Jeep, now part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobile Group, traces its roots back to World War II. During this conflict, the Allied armies relied on the light 4x4s from Willys-Overland for transportation. They were so widely deployed through 1940s and in the post-war period that everyone - soldier or civilian - came to know their name.
Today, Jeep produces a range of utility vehicles and SUVs. Like their wartime predecessors, many of these autos have off-road capabilities. In fact, the Trail Rated badge gets awarded to those 4x4s in the product line that pass stringent tests related to away-from-the-pavement performance.
Jeep History: From World War II to BC, Canada
Willys-Overland won a major contract with the U.S. military to mass produce light 4x4s. Along with Ford, the company made more than a half-million of these vehicles during World War II at a cost of less than $1,000 per unit.
Willys trademarked Jeep in the 1940s. Ownership of the company changed hands multiple times, transferring to Kasier-Jeep, AMC and, finally, Chrysler. Other overseas manufacturers (such as Mitsubishi) licensed the name for some of their projects, as well.
Jeep Brings Unique Automaking Philosophy to BC
Though Jeep has dabbled with other concepts - including 4x2 and part-time 4x4 options - it has mostly stayed true to its off-road roots. This is now evident in its 2021 line-up, which offers all-terrain performance to BC.
The Wrangler is the most recognizable member of the Jeep lineup. It has a two and four-door models, with the latter known as the “Unlimited" trims.
Some of this best-selling SUV's traits - like the removable roof, windshield, and doors - bring to mind the original Willys-Overland 4x4s of the 1940s. However, other features, including the Selec-Terrain traction control system, fuse the Wrangler with a distinctly modern touch.
The Jeep Wrangler has numerous choices both in terms of options and packages. There are 12 2020 models and 16 trims available in 2021.
In the 1970s, the original, wagon-like Jeep Cherokee was one of the first to use the term “sports utility vehicle.”
The Jeep Cherokee has been through several generations, each one proving popular and forcing competitors to respond with changes to their own lineups.
Today, the fifth generation of this automotive icon is a small SUV, and shoppers looking for fuel-efficient options gravitate toward the Cherokee.
Features like Selec-Terrain traction management and best-in-class towing capabilities mean that this truck is a standout in its niche. The current model year also offers tools like a power liftgate, blind-spot monitoring, and shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
This midsize SUV has models that range from practical to luxurious. The Grand Cherokee is an example of the many different trim options that Jeep offers. There are currently 11 choices for the 2021 model year, and each one of these standard packages comes with a full menu of add-ons.
For example, the Grand Cherokee Laredo is a base model with a 4x4 drivetrain and fuel-efficient 3.6L V6 engine. The Trailhawk trim has off-road suspension and a four-wheel-drive system that increases torque on steep, unstable surfaces.
Features like leather heated seats and premium Harman Kardon stereos, meanwhile, make the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and High Altitude competitive in the entry-level luxury SUV market.
The Gladiator is Jeep's the latest entry to the pickup truck market.
This vehicle has a classic appearance and some of the features, including a removable roof, that draw so many people to the Jeep Wrangler.
Its unique design, 4x4 system, safety features like blind spot monitoring, and overall value earned the Gladiator Truck of the Year from the North American Car, Utility, and Truck of the Year Awards (NACTOY).
The Gladiator merges performance with its classic looks. It can tow 3,470 kg and haul more than 700 kg in its truck bed. Every trim has a Trail Rated badge, which gets awarded to Jeeps that pass stringent off-road tests.
The Jeep Compass is a compact SUV that seeks to balance practicality with rugged off-road performance.
The 2020 Compass has a 2.4L four-cylinder engine that delivers fuel economy as low as 7.3 L/100 km on the highway. At the same time, operators get shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, traction control, and a towing capacity of more than 900 kg.
They also get a compact-but-comfortable, tech-rich interior. The 2020 and 2021 Compass trims have Chrysler-Fiat's Uconnect touchscreen systems for navigation and entertainment.
These modern traits extend to safety. Adaptive cruise and traction controls keep Compass drivers and passengers safe on the road, while available blind-spot monitoring and cross-path detection can help with accident avoidance.
The Jeep Renegade is a subcompact SUV that can still tow 900 kg. This vehicle can serve as a practical auto for daily commutes, while also working for weekend off-road adventures.
The new Renegade delivers class-leading comfort, offering a passenger volume of 100.1 cu.-ft and ample dimensions (including 41.2-inches of frontal leg room and 35.1-inches in the rear). It also boasts tech features, like Uconnect entertainment and navigation touchscreen interfaces, and flexible seating options. Additionally, the rear bench folds down to provide up to 1,438 L of cargo storage.
The Renegade is an ideal example of the adaptability that is common to all Jeep vehicles. You can easily move seats and add or subtract components to get a setup that works best for your particular needs.
What Does Jeep Have for BC in the Future?
Jeep continues to manufacture vehicles for the same market sectors it has dominated for eight decades. Its unmistakable grille makes it one of the industry’s most recognizable brands.
Though it continues to produce vehicles that have the same traits they've always had (such as the Jeep Wrangler’s removable windshield), there are some new concepts on the horizon. The Wrangler 4xe and Wagoneer concept car, for example, are plug-in hybrid versions of the iconic off-roader and suburban family vehicle.
Visit Our BC, Canada Dealership to See the Latest Jeep Models
If you would like to see the current line of Jeeps, peruse used offerings, or find out what’s coming next year, contact our Lower Mainland, BC dealership. We are happy to discuss financing options, provide information, and help you schedule a test drive.