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6 Trail Rated Jeeps for Going Off-Road in 2019

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author photo by Chris O'Neill August 2019

Jeep's lineup consists of five SUVs and one truck. While every one of them is available with either all-wheel drive (AWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD), some offer more off-road capability than others. To help buyers differentiate off-road capable models and trims from those meant primarily for on-road use, Jeep introduced the "Trail Rated" badge. Here we'll talk about each of the Trail Rated Jeeps in the company's lineup, and cover the specific features offered by each one that gives it genuine off-road capability.

2019 Jeep Wrangler

2019 Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler is the most legendary Jeep of all time, and as a result, the current Wrangler serves as the ethos for the rest of the Jeep brand, and is the most capable of all the Trail Rated Jeeps. As such, every Wrangler -- from the Rubicon down to the basic Sport trim -- comes Trail Rated. The Wrangler comes with solid axles front and rear, along with 4WD and great approach, breakover and departure angles. The more common of the two available body styles is the 4-door Unlimited model, which offers space on par with competitors like the Toyota 4Runner. Buyers with no use for two extra doors and wanting maximum maneuverability can opt for the classic 2-door body style, which Jeep still offers despite the larger Unlimited model making up around 80% of sales. The top-of-the-line trim is the Rubicon, which gets you a tougher off-road suspension, better off-road gearing, locking front and rear differentials, a disconnecting front sway bar and more. Every Wrangler comes with a removable roof, removable doors and a windshield that folds flat. Three different tops are offered -- a soft top, a hard top and a canvas retractable top. Pricing starts at about $29,000 and reaches about $60,000 for a fully optioned Rubicon. Find a Jeep Wrangler for sale

2020 Jeep Gladiator

2020 Jeep Gladiator

The all-new Gladiator is the first pickup to be offered by the Jeep brand since the Cherokee-based Comanche was discontinued in the early 1990s. As if it isn't obvious, the Gladiator shares the majority of its components from the rear doors forward with the Wrangler. Around back though is a 5-ft pickup bed, on par with the short bed offerings of other midsize competitors like the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger. Like the Wrangler, every trim level of the Gladiator carries a Trail Rated designation. This is because every Gladiator comes with 4WD, excellent approach and departure angles and robust solid axles that allow for great articulation. Just like with the Wrangler, at the top of the Gladiator line is the Rubicon model, which adds to the equation locking front and rear differentials, all-terrain tires, a Fox off-road suspension, skid plates, rock rails, taller fenders, lower off-road gearing and more. Given the immense practicality offered by the truck bed, the Gladiator Rubicon is arguably the most practical and versatile Jeep there is. The new Gladiator carries a base price of around $36,000 and reaches around $63,000 in fully loaded guise. Find a Jeep Gladiator for sale

2019 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

2019 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

The Renegade Trailhawk is probably the most off-road capable subcompact SUV on sale in the United States today. While the basic Renegade is akin to an economy hatchback and is often found in front-wheel drive (FWD) spec, especially on rental car lots, the Trailhawk model offers a surprising degree of cred when the pavement ends. Every Renegade Trailhawk comes with AWD, along with 17-in aluminum wheels with more aggressive tires, unique fascias with red tow hooks, skid plates, black roof accents, a setting for the AWD system that mimics low-range, and a terrain management system with settings for driving on different surfaces. While neither will help you navigate terrain as much as it will help you enjoy the view, the Renegade can also be had with two different sunroofs -- a standard glass panoramic design, and a "My Sky" roof with removable panels, allowing for a more open-air experience. The Renegade Trailhawk starts out at about $28,000 and tops out at close to $36k when fully loaded. Find a Jeep Renegade for sale

2019 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

2019 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

While it offers comparable interior space to the Cherokee, the Compass is still considered a subcompact SUV and is positioned below the Cherokee and above the Renegade in the Jeep model hierarchy. As with all of Jeep's mainstream SUVs, the Compass offers a Trailhawk trim that carries Jeep's Trail Rated designation. In Trailhawk guise, the Compass starts off right around $30,000 without factoring in any financial incentives and tops out at around $40,000 once fully optioned with a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, Jeep's upscale 8.4-in infotainment system and more. Off-road gear offered on the Compass Trailhawk includes unique 17-in wheels wrapped in Falken mild all-terrain tires, an AWD system capable of mimicking low-range gearing, and the rest of the off-road bits offered on the Renegade, with which it shares its underpinnings. We give Jeep bonus points for offering optional rock rails, which are a hugely helpful off-road feature that protects your rocker panels from irreparable damage. Find a Jeep Compass for sale

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

The Cherokee is Jeep's compact SUV. Launched for the 2014 model year, it originally wore rather controversial styling thanks largely in part to a unique split headlight design, but an update for the 2019 model year gave the vehicle a more conventional front end. In Trailhawk trim, the Cherokee offers everything you get with a Renegade or Compass Trailhawk, plus a few more things. Relative to lesser Cherokee trims, the Cherokee Trailhawk comes with a 1-in taller ride height along with an off-road suspension and skid plates. Additionally, the Cherokee Trailhawk is available with a locking rear differential -- a rarity in its segment. Falken all-terrain tires are standard while rock rails are optional. Two levels to the Trailhawk trim are offered. The basic Trailhawk model starts at about $34,000, while the Trailhawk Elite adds things like ventilated front seats, remote start and a hands-free power lift gate, and tops out at about $42,000. Find a Jeep Cherokee for sale

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

The Grand Cherokee is the oldest vehicle in Jeep's lineup, having last received a full redesign for the 2011 model year. Still, it's a competent, proven midsize SUV, and among the many different trim levels offered in the Grand Cherokee range is a Trailhawk model. As you may be expecting by now, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk comes with unique front and rear fascias with prominent red recovery hooks. Also included is a black hood decal along with unique wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires. Functional upgrades include selectable low-range for the 4WD system, hill descent control, an electronic limited-slip rear differential and an air suspension system that allows you to raise or lower the vehicle by about two inches in either direction. As with the other Trailhawk models mentioned above, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk round things out with a few different terrain modes for driving through snow, sand, mud, gravel or rock. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk starts at about $44,500 and tops out at close to $58,000 in fully loaded guise. Jeep's venerable 3.6-liter 295 horsepower V6 comes standard on the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, while a 5.7-liter V8 making 360 hp is available as a $3,300 option. Find a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
6 Trail Rated Jeeps for Going Off-Road in 2019 - Autotrader