Hmm, should you consider Jeep? Well, you certainly wouldn’t be alone, since it is one of the most popular brands in the country. It’s also quite possibly one of the most recognizable and beloved brands, as well, stemming from the little Jeeps that helped win World War II. That fact is hard to forget, as little “easter egg” decals of that legend can be found hidden throughout modern Jeeps (along with iconic grille decals, a tiny Big Foot, a spider and probably some we haven’t found yet). That just speaks to how much fun the Jeep brand is. Now, everyone pretty much knows about its iconic Wrangler, so let’s take a look at some of Jeep’s other highlights.
It’s safe to say that the Grand Cherokee is the best vehicle Jeep produces, which is impressive given how long it’s been since it was completely redesigned. That’s a testament to its excellence from the get-go. Its styling perfectly blends heritage and modernity, while its handsome, well-made cabin allows the Grand Cherokee to genuinely be considered a luxury model in its Limited, Overland and Summit trim levels. It’s also great to drive, with a refined and sophisticated highway ride (especially with the optional air suspension), and a lineup of capable engines that contribute to much greater towing capability than the typical midsize crossover. Oh, and it’s a Jeep, so its off-road credentials are excellent, especially the new Trailhawk model.
The Compass is the most recently redesigned Jeep model and rarely has a car needed a makeover so badly (the regrettable old model was just an old Dodge Caliber hatchback with all-wheel drive). The new version is better in every conceivable way, and even betters its pricier Cherokee sibling in terms of interior and cargo space. Its interior quality and design are also in keeping with the Cherokee, while its exterior resembles a baby Grand Cherokee (no bad thing). Plus, unlike the old Compass, the new one is a more viable choice for off-roading, with two optional all-wheel-drive systems, Jeep Selec-Terrain settings and an available Trailhawk version.
It isn’t the biggest subcompact SUV inside, and its powertrain leaves much to be desired, but the little Renegade provides heaps of fun, personality and off-road capability that none of its competitors approach. Even a simple Latitude trim level can go places rivals would run away from, while the Trailhawk has surprising off-road capability thanks to its raised suspension, off-road-ready all-wheel-drive system and generous approach/departure angles. It also looks pretty cool. The Renegade’s feature content is also quite generous and its attractive cabin features easy-to-use controls.
If you’ve turned your back on Jeep in the past for making simple, trucklike off-roaders with few frills, it might be time to give the brand a second look. The brand’s styling, ride comfort, technology and interior quality have improved considerably over the years. And while reliability still has some room for improvement, there’s no doubt Jeep deserves a spot on your test drive list.