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Best of 2019 Jeep

What To Buy And What To Avoid From The New Jeep Lineup

2019 Jeep Scrambler rendering

The iconic automotive division that’s changed hands more times than they probably care to admit has recorded a surge in sales during 2014 and they’ve been building on that result ever since. From 490,000 units sold in the U.S. during 2013, their sales soared to 690,000 models the following year. Despite a limited vehicle offering, the SUV craze has really helped Jeep to position itself as one of the largest automakers on the U.S. market. More recently, however, its sales have taken a sharp turn for the worse. After recording its best-ever year in 2016 when they marketed as many as 926,376 vehicles, their 2017 sales stopped at 828,522 units. Discontinuation of the Jeep Patriot had a lot to do with that as the compact accounted for 121,926 units in 2016 and only 40,735 units in 2017. With the new Wrangler no longer under wraps, however, it’s expected that the 2018 and 2019 Jeep lineups will take another step toward the magical 1 million units.

Another driving force behind Jeep’s success in recent years is their loyalty rate that’s sitting in the mid 40 percent zone. Although GM, Ford, Toyota, and even Jeep’s mother company FCA boast loyalty rates higher than 65 percent, Jeep’s loyalty rate simply doesn’t compare. Other manufacturers offer complete lineups whereas Jeep’s portfolio consists exclusively of SUVs. In other words, a Jeep customer that wants to switch to a car instead of an SUV has no choice but to abandon ship. Nevertheless, a number of iconic nameplates and a smart addition of in-demand models should see to the brand’s success in the future. With that in mind, here’s what to buy and what to stay away from when it comes to the Jeep lineup in 2019.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk 3/4 view

What’s Hot In The New 2019 Jeep Lineup

05. 2019 Wrangler JL

The spiritual successor to the iconic Jeep CJ has finally switched to the next generation after more than a decade of running the JK platform. The new Jeep Wrangler JL debuted for MY 2018, but considering its nature that gravitates toward longevity, it’ll remain fresh for years to come. Moreover, it sold alongside the old JK Wrangler during its inaugural year on the market. Despite keeping its retro design and basically continuing where its predecessor had left off, the next-gen Wrangler does sport a number of upgrades one probably won’t notice straight away. Apart from numerous small visual revisions like a new grille, lighting, increased windshield rake, etc., the new Wrangler also receives a number of tech upgrades and modern aluminum body parts such as the hood, doors, fenders, hinges, and windshield frame.

The next-gen Jeep Wrangler also sports a revised engine lineup. A base 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of twist has been carried over from the JK days, whereas a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder with eTorque assist making 268 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque serves as a backup. The former was the only available option within the U.S. at launch, while the latter was exclusively available in overseas markets. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard with the Pentastar, while an 8-speed automatic is available for an additional $2,000. The mild-hybrid turbo four is tied exclusively to the automatic. The 2019 Jeep Wrangler will expand the current duo of engines by offering an intriguing new 3.0L turbo-diesel V6 built by VM Motori. The oil burner will provide 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, and will be offered exclusively with the 850RE Torqueflite auto.

The 2019 Wrangler also benefits from a new steel frame and five boxed cross members. Dana provides front and rear solid axles for the latest generation which are tied to a coil-spring suspension. Both 2 and 4-door models are still here, but the Unlimited tag has been discontinued from the latter. 2-door Wranglers were initially available in Sport, Sport S, and Rubicon trims while the 2019 model adds a Sahara spec as well. On the other hand, 4-door Wranglers were available with all four trim levels from the get-go. The Jeep Wrangler JL will also add half-doors to the options list – a feat that should work well with the folding windscreen and optional electrically operated full-length canvas roof. The biggest issue, however, is that fully stacked new Wranglers can cost well north of $50,000 and still ride like a base model.

New Jeep Lineup - 2019 Jeep Wrangler JL 3/4 view

04. 2019 Wrangler Pickup

Although 2018 goes down as the year of the Wrangler, Jeep’s most prominent vehicle won’t sit idle during 2019 as well. FCA is preparing quite a treat for MY 2019 when the Jeep brand finally stops being an SUV/crossover-exclusive division. Enter the Jeep Wrangler Pickup – one of the most anticipated new arrivals of the year. The new JL Wrangler-based pickup truck will be division’s first truck since the 1992 XJ Cherokee-based Comanche bowed down from the stage. Being based on the CJ successor, it wouldn’t surprise us if they name it Scrambler after the now-iconic CJ-8 from the early eighties. The name itself has yet to be confirmed – alongside most of the relevant specs – but there’s no doubt the Wrangler pickup truck is coming. It’ll apparently come to dealerships in April 2019 which means the production is set to commence during late 2018.

The all-new Jeep Wrangler Pickup will most likely share a powertrain lineup with its role model. This means that a 3.6L V6 making 285 ponies and 260 pound feet of rotational force, and a 3.0L turbo-diesel V6 generating 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque fit the bill perfectly. Like the Wrangler SUV, the pickup version should also implement a weight-saving strategy by utilizing aluminum panels where applicable. The best part is, it’ll sport a removable top just like the Wrangler. In fact, there are three possible roof configurations to consider: a hard top with removable panels, the above mentioned electrically operated canvas roof, and a manual-folding soft top. Regardless of which makes the final cut, the Jeep Wrangler Pickup will surely be in high demand.

New Jeep Lineup - Jeep Wrangler Pickup rendering by the Jeep Scrambler Forum
Image credit: Jeep Scrambler Forum

03. 2019 Cherokee

The fifth-gen Jeep Cherokee was met with mixed emotions due to its polarizing design which radically distances the KL Cherokee from its predecessors. Then again, the latest Cherokee is a crossover while its predecessors were old school SUVs, which means the change was intended. In spite of all the critics, the KL Cherokee turned out to be a huge success for the company, sales-wise. The 2019 Jeep Cherokee sports a freshened frontal design that comes as a result of a mid-cycle makeover. It’s now slightly less polarizing thanks to larger headlights and slightly revised grille. The interior also sports some new cues alongside a new 7-inch touchscreen display with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The upcoming Jeep Cherokee is still less fuel-efficient and comes with less cargo room than most of its competitors, though.

The new Cherokee keeps a 180-horsepower and 170 pound-feet 2.4L 4-cylinder as a standard engine, while a 271-horsepower and 295 lb-ft 3.2L V6 remains optional. That’s not all, however, as the new model adds yet another option. A 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder which develops 270 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of twist. All three units are tied to a new 9-speed automatic transmission and either standard front or optional all-wheel drive. Even though the KL Cherokee was built for different purposes than its rugged predecessors, off-road fanatics can still opt for the Trailhawk model. Equipped with all-terrain tires, a 1-inch factory suspension lift and a locking rear differential, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is as dedicated a Jeep as any. Prices start below the $25,000 mark for base models and go all the way to $36,000 for the Overland trim. Trailhawk starts from north of $33,000.

New Jeep Lineup - Jeep Cherokee for MY 2019 3/4 view

02. 2019 Renegade

The smallest of the Jeeps has also gone through a mid-cycle revision for MY 2019. The quirky Euro-inspired subcompact crossover has found more than 100,000 new owners in both of its full years on the market, and a mild facelift is here to make sure this trend continues throughout its first generation. The Jeep Renegade for MY 2019 gets a new front bumper with repositioned foglights and a similar treatment at the rear. It also gets a new dashboard on the inside with a larger screen and revised HVAC controls. Other than that, there’s a possibility of additional interior color schemes, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

It would seem that the mid-cycle revision won’t affect the 2019 Renegade’s powertrain units. Although the subcompact offers no less than 7 different engine choices across the globe, the U.S.-spec Renegade keeps things simple with two. Standard on most units is a 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder mill which makes 160 horsepower 184 pound-feet of rotational force. The optional 2.4L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder is mostly offered with higher trim levels and develops 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. The former is mated to a 6-speed manual, while the latter pairs to a 9-speed auto. It’ll be interesting to see how FCA is planning on addressing the mediocre fuel economy and slow acceleration resulting from the Renegade’s weight.

New Jeep Lineup - Facelifted 2019 Jeep Renegade

01. 2019 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The fifth generation Jeep Grand Cherokee is due by 2020 which makes the MY 2019 units somewhat of an unwise choice. Then again, that’s also the last chance to grab yourself the ludicrous high-performance Trackhawk version of the SUV. In other words, we have to separate the 707-horsepower intermediate from the rest of the lineup in regards to their momentary appeal. $86,000 might sound like a lot for a mid-size crossover SUV without the pedigree of a German luxury car, and that’s because it is a lot. However, the Jeep Grand Cherokee itself is more than a borderline luxury vehicle in this upscale form, and it offers an abundance of room to boot. Most of the available Grand Cherokee features are standard with the Trackhawk, and so are the exclusive red and black leather interior arrangements.

But the Trackhawk’s biggest advantage is still its powertrain. The quickest SUV ever sports a 6.2L supercharged Hellcat V8 mill worthy of 707 ponies and 645 lb-ft of rotational force. Thanks to a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox and a Torque Reserve function taken from the Dodge Challenger Demon, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. It’ll also do a standing quarter-mile in 12 seconds and max out at 180 mph. What’s more, the high-performance SUV doesn’t forget its natural duties as well since it’s capable of towing up to 7,200 pounds. Then again, it’s better not to stray too far from the road as off-road duties in the Grand Cherokee lineup belong to the similarly named, yet entirely different Trailhawk.

New Jeep Lineup - Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk 3/4 view

What’s Not in the New 2019 Jeep Lineup

02. 2019 Grand Cherokee

As stated above, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be the ultimate fourth generation model which puts it at a slight disadvantage compared to current and previous models. In situations like that, it’s often better to wait for the redesigned model even if it means driving your current car a year longer than planned. Especially since price reductions for the old model are usually too low to incite action. The current base model starts around $30,000 and the next-gen Grand Cherokee shouldn’t cost more than $31,000 or $32,000. Although the next-gen Grand Cherokee is bound to be lighter, more stylish and tech-savvy, it’ll still keep the original formula of offering off-road capability in the practical modern-day package for which it’s known.

The powertrain lineup in the 2019 Grand Cherokee will remain unchanged. A 295-horsepower 3.6L V6 is standard across most of the range while options consist of a 240-horsepower 3.0L turbo-diesel V6 and a 360-horsepower 5.7L V8. All are standard with rear-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic gearbox, whereas all-wheel drive comes as an option in three different setups depending on a model. There’s also the aforementioned Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with the supercharged Hellcat V8 engine, but we already said all there is to say about it.

New Jeep Lineup - Jeep Grand Cherokee 3/4 view

01. 2019 Compass

Not counting the departed Patriot, the Compass amassed the fewest sales of all Jeep models during 2017. With the Patriot now definitely gone, the Compass is poised to take this undesired accolade upon itself. However, the second generation Compass is at least somewhat fresh being introduced in 2017. This also means that the compact crossover won’t receive a substantial makeover for at least another year or two.

The Jeep Compass for MY 2019 carries over with the same lineup of engines – if you can call its sole 2.4L 4-cylinder option a lineup, that is. The naturally aspirated mill develops 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of twist, comes equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, standard front-wheel-drive and optional all-wheel-drive, and solid fuel economy of up to 31 mpg on the highway. All this comes in an affordable package that starts from $24,000, but the Compass still doesn’t appeal to many consumers since there are far better alternatives on the market.

New Jeep Lineup - Jeep Compass side view


Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!