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4 Great New Jeeps Under $40,000 for 2019

As it stands currently, Jeep is one of the hottest brands in the auto industry, and now offers a rugged sport utility vehicle for just about everyone (although we’re still waiting on that 3-row model). From the Wrangler to the Renegade to the Grand Cherokee to the new Gladiator, chances are there’s a Jeep out there for you. Given that the average price of a new car is trending ever closer to $40,000 as the years go by, we’ve outlined four new Jeeps — trim levels and all — that you should look for if you’re working with a budget of around $40k.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite

Jeep offers two compact SUVs, with the Cherokee being the more premium of the two. First sold for the 2014 model year, the Cherokee replaced the Liberty, which itself replaced the legendary square-shaped "XJ" Cherokee when it launched back in 2002. The Cherokee was updated for 2019, with the biggest change being a set of traditionally-shaped headlights that replace the controversial 2-tiered lights on the pre-face-lift model. The Cherokee can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive, and in a variety of different trim levels from luxurious to off-road oriented. Two engines are offered: a 3.6-liter V6 and a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, with the turbo being the more modern, more refined of the two. Needless to say, the Cherokee covers most of the bases in what has quickly become one of the hottest segments here in the U.S. The starting price for the Jeep Cherokee is just a hair under $26,000, while a fully-loaded Trailhawk Elite model reaches just over $42,000. At the $40,000 mark, we’d recommend the Trailhawk Elite, which offers off-road capability without sacrificing the Cherokee’s practicality. It’s also the coolest looking Cherokee — the Jeepiest, if you will. Spec’ing the Technology Group package, which comes with active safety features like automatic braking, automatic high beams, and stop-and-go cruise control, brings the price of a Cherokee Trailhawk Elite up to about $39,000, and that’s before any rebates or incentives that Jeep might be offering. Find a Jeep Cherokee for sale

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude

While the Grand Cherokee is the largest, most luxurious vehicle in Jeep’s lineup, it’s also the oldest, last having received a full redesign for the 2011 model year. Still, the Grand Cherokee offers a great blend of size, features and off-road capability, which has allowed it to remain competitive over the years, despite it being a little long in the tooth. Pricing for the Grand Cherokee starts at around $33,000 and reaches all the way up to $88,000 for the wickedly-fast 707-horsepower Trackhawk model. At the $40,000 mark, we like an Altitude model with 4-wheel drive, which comes in at $39,900 with current incentives. The Altitude comes standard with the upscale 8.4-in UConnect infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, black 20-in wheels, a 7-in display in the gauge cluster, passive keyless entry, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Under the hood is the Grand Cherokee’s most common engine: a 3.6-liter V6 making 295 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Find a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale

2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S

2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S

The legendary Jeep Wrangler can be had in a few different trim levels, each geared toward a different buyer. Entry-level models are known as the Sport and offer next to no options, with manual locks, roll-up windows and a plastic steering wheel. The starting price of a basic, manual-equipped 2-door Wrangler Sport is $29,540 when factoring in delivery fees. Step up to the Sport S and you get power locks, keyless entry, power mirrors and an alarm. The Sport S also allows you to select options like the Convenience Group, which gets you remote start and a universal garage door opener, and the Technology Group, which comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-in infotainment screen, SiriusXM radio, and a display located in the instrument cluster. A limited-slip rear differential is also optional on the Sport S. The Sahara trim adds luxury features like body-colored fenders, leather seats, side steps and 18-in wheels. At the top of the pile is the mighty Rubicon model, which comes with all-terrain tires, an off-road suspension, locking front and rear differentials, an electronically disconnecting sway bar, rock rails, steel bumpers, a more sophisticated 4WD system, and more. A loaded 4-door Rubicon with an 8-speed automatic transmission tops out at about $50,000. Major things buyers need to decide beyond basic trim level are whether they want two or four doors, whether they want the 3.6-liter V6 or the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, if they want a manual or an automatic transmission, and whether they’ll be able to tolerate the soft top or if they want to pay the extra for the hard top. At the $40,000 mark, most buyers are probably best served by a Wrangler Unlimited Sport S with the automatic transmission, which comes in at $40,535. Alternatively, if you can live with two doors and if you’re ok with a manual transmission, a 2-door Wrangler Rubicon comes in at just under $40,000. Regardless of what you end up with, every Wrangler comes with a top that comes off, doors that can be removed, and a windshield that folds down. Find a Jeep Wrangler for sale

2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport S

2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport S

As far as new Jeeps go, perhaps none is more exciting than the all-new 2019 Gladiator, which blends the off-road credentials of the Wrangler with the practicality and versatility of a midsize pickup truck. As with the Wrangler, four trim levels are offered: Sport, Sport S, Overland (the Gladiator’s version of the Sahara) and Rubicon. The Gladiator generally comes priced about $2,000 higher than a comparable Wrangler. The base price of the Gladiator is $33,545, while a fully-loaded example will come in at almost $62,000, which is big money for a midsize pickup truck, but keep in mind that like the Wrangler, every Gladiator offers removable doors and a removable top along with a folding windshield, all while offering a truck bed on par with the offerings of competitors like the Toyota Tacoma, the Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet Colorado. As opposed to the Wrangler, which can be had with two different gas-powered engines, the Gladiator comes with just the 3.6-liter V6 for now, although Jeep is promising a 3.0-liter turbodiesel making 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque for the 2020 model year. For $40,000, we’d go with a Gladiator Sport S optioned with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Find a Jeep Gladiator for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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