The Jeep Lineup
Jeep is a favorite brand of off-roaders, outdoors enthusiasts and watercraft haulers for good reason. Every Jeep vehicle offers a winning combination of affordability, capability and rugged appeal. There are six Jeep vehicles to choose from.
The compass is arguably one of the best SUVs you can get, when you consider the price you're paying for it. Starting at $19,940, the base model has a 158 hp engine and will tow 1,000 pounds. The most powerful trim, the 2.4L, has 172 hp. That's plenty of pep for this compact SUV, in most cases.
The Cherokee has become Jeep's primary crossover competitor, whereas it used to be the affordable "jeep-style" off-roader. Although it looks like a typical crossover today, there are several Cherokee trims that are real off-road vehicles. For just a couple thousand dollars more than the base trim costs (base 2.4L = $23,695) you get four-wheel drive. If you want more off road capability and rugged looks, splurge on the Jeep Cherokee Overland for $34,895.
The Cherokee looks and performs like a bigger, more powerful Jeep Compass. Of all the Jeep vehicles, it's the most suited for hauling heavy trailers, with at least 3,500 pounds of towing capacity. Purchase a towing package for an extra 3,000 pounds or opt for the SRT trim ($66,895), which has a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. The base SUV costs $30,000 and has 293 horsepower. Throw in $2,200 more for four-wheel drive.
The smallest and least expensive vehicle in the Jeep lineup is the renegade. It starts at just $17,995. There's little else on the market that offers 4WD for such a low price. Its disconnecting 4WD system engages the rear wheels when necessary and saves gas by only driving power to the front wheels otherwise.
The Wrangler is an SUV with a reputation. Whatever you need to get done off-road, you can do it in a Wrangler. It will get you to your destination as well as almost anything else, except maybe a tank. Locking differential, large fuel tanks, generous horsepower and decent towing capacity are some of the things you can expect in every Wrangler.
A little larger and little less showy than the Jeep Renegade, the Patriot is a comfortable compact SUV. 4WD will cost you around $20,000, meaning it's one of the most affordable 4WDs in the Jeep lineup and in the market as a whole. And you get those classic boxy Jeep looks. The top-level trim has 172 hp, gets 23 mpg on the highway, has 4WD and comes with an MSRP of $25,000.
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