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5 Best Used Jeeps Under $20,000 for 2019

Thanks to renewed consumer interest in off-road vehicles and the brand’s wide array of compelling products, Jeep is on a hot streak as of late. While the company has a ton of great new products and more on the way, there are also a variety of compelling used Jeeps available as well. Here we’ll discuss several that we think would make a great purchase for anyone with a budget of around $20,000.

2012-2017 Jeep Wrangler

2012-2017 Jeep Wrangler

There’s one vehicle that comes to mind when you hear the word Jeep, so we’ll cut right to the chase: Buyers looking for a used Jeep Wrangler for around $20,000 should target a 2012 to 2017 model. While the “JK” Wrangler was introduced for the 2007 model year and offered through 2018, a number of updates over the years make certain variations more appealing than others. The JK Wrangler received an all-new interior design for 2011, which helped to make it much more livable than in prior model years. A year later for the 2012 model year, the Wrangler gained Chrysler’s ubiquitous 3.6-liter “Pentastar” V6, an engine offering a good balance of power to fuel economy and used throughout the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram lineups to this day. For these reasons, we recommend prioritizing a 2012-or-newer model in your search for a $20,000 Wrangler. Luckily for buyers, there are more than 1,000 listed on Autotrader that fit the bill. Another thing to consider is trim level. Buyers looking for a Wrangler for on-road use might find a Sahara to their liking, as the Wranlger Sahara offers niceties like a leather interior, heated seats, nicer looking wheels and a body-colored hard top. Anyone wanting to go off-road should look to the Wrangler’s Rubicon trim, which offers tons of off-road features like locking front and rear differentials, a disconnecting front sway bar, off-road shock absorbers and taller fenders ready to accept oversized tires. Of the 1,000 plus 2012-2017 Wranglers currently listed on Autotrader for under $20,000, around 200 are Sahara models, and fewer than 50 are Rubicons.

If you opt to look at examples from prior to the 2012 model year in your search for a sub-$20,000 Wrangler, keep in mind that a 2-wheel-drive version of the JK Wrangler was offered through the 2010 model year. While these are significantly cheaper than 4×4 examples, many will argue that 2-wheel drive defeats the whole purpose of a Wrangler, and therefore should be avoided. You can filter to display only listings for 4-wheel drive equipped Wranglers under “Drive Type” in your search on Autotrader. Find a Jeep Wrangler for sale

2014-2017 Grand Cherokee

2014-2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

As far as used Jeeps go, the Grand Cherokee is another great option, as it mixes a go-anywhere mentality with upscale design cues, making it great for both on- and off-road use. The Grand Cherokee you’ll currently find on dealer lots first went on sale in its current form back in 2011, and received a significant update for 2014. There are currently over 1,000 of these 2014-or-newer updated Grand Cherokees listed on Autotrader that would work for a budget of $20,000, many of which offer all-wheel drive, which we recommend prioritizing unless you live in a state that sees year-round sunshine. The Grand Cherokee has been offered in a variety of trim levels over the years, and luxurious and feature-rich models like the Summit, Overland and Trailhawk are all available at this price point, albeit with higher miles and in limited numbers. Regardless of which one you choose, a used 2014 or newer Grand Cherokee offers good practicality along with good off-road capability, making it a great used midsize SUV purchase here in 2019. Find a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale

2014-2017 Jeep Cherokee

2014-2017 Jeep Cherokee

The Cherokee slots into the Jeep lineup just below the larger, more luxurious Grand Cherokee. After calling its compact SUV the Liberty for a few years, Jeep switched back to the Cherokee moniker when introducing the current generation model, which came out for 2014. Wearing a bold new design with split headlights, the Cherokee was met with some controversy when it launched, but it’s gone on to become one of the more popular compact SUVs thanks to its off-road capability. The Cherokee uses a 3.2-liter V6 putting out 271 horsepower while still being capable of up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway — a good balance of power and efficiency. Lower end models come with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder making 184 hp and returning 31 mpg in highway driving. The Cherokee’s most compelling trim level is probably the Trailhawk model, which offers all-terrain tires, a slightly lifted suspension, trail management controls and a locking rear differential, among some other items that are useful off-road. There are currently over 1,000 gently used 2014 or newer Jeep Cherokees for sale on Autotrader for $20,000 or less, over 300 of which are the off-road ready Trailhawk model. Find a Jeep Cherokee for sale

2015-2018 Renegade

2015-2018 Jeep Renegade

The Renegade is Jeep’s subcompact crossover. Built in Italy and based on a platform shared with the Fiat 500X, the Renegade was introduced for the 2015 model year and boasts small proportions and fun, funky retro styling. Power comes from a range of economical 4-cylinder engines paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, although the Renegade wouldn’t be a Jeep if it wasn’t available with four-wheel drive. As with every other Jeep aside from the Wrangler, the Renegade offers an adventure-oriented Trailhawk model with a low-range mimicking 4×4 system with Selec-Terrain traction management tools, along with other items like red painted tow hooks, aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires. As the Renegade starts at under $19,000 and reaches just over $27,000 when fully loaded, it isn’t hard to find one — new or used — for under $20,000. Right now on Autotrader, there are over 1,000 Renegades listed for under $20,000. Many of which are the go-anywhere Trailhawk model. Find a Jeep Renegade for sale

2017-2018 Jeep Compass

2017-2018 Jeep Compass

The Compass fits into the Jeep lineup between the Cherokee and the Renegade. After soldiering on as one of the oldest vehicles in the Jeep lineup, the Compass received a full redesign for the 2017 model year, and we recommend buyers interested in a Compass seek out one of these newer models. The new Compass is powered by one engine — a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder putting out 180 hp and mated to a 9-speed automatic. Despite the fact that it’s positioned below the Cherokee, the Compass actually boasts more cargo area than its bigger brother, with 27.2 cu ft. behind the second row, compared to the Cherokee’s 25.8 cu ft., or 59.8 cu ft. with the second row folded, compared to the Cherokee’s 54.9 cu ft. In terms of passenger space, the two vehicles have similar dimensions. Still, buyers can choose from a variety of trim levels, including a Trailhawk model along with a unique “Upland” model, which offers Trailhawk aesthetics without as many standard features. Like in other Jeep models, an 8.4-in UConnect touchscreen infotainment system is available. The Compass also offers an available contrasting black roof, which helps it to stand out. Right now on Autotrader, there are over 600 2017-or-newer Jeep Compass models listed for around $20,000 or less. Since the Compass is still relatively new, buyers are unlikely to find as much variety with a used compass, as the nicer, better equipped trim levels have yet to depreciate down to the $20,000 level. Still, if you’re looking for a relatively spacious compact SUV with a new design, the Compass is worth a look. Find a Jeep Compass 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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