The Jeep brand is easily the strongest performing marque in the Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ stable. Over the years, Jeep has changed ownership numerous times. Since it first started life with Willys-Overland in 1943 as a stalwart military vehicle, Jeep has been owned by Kaiser-Jeep, the American Motors Corporation, Chrysler, and now Fiat-Chrysler. Each parent company has brought varying levels of success and fortune to the Jeep brand, but it’s the partnership with Fiat-Chrysler that has really helped bring Jeep into the mainstream.
Today, Jeep is the most successful brand under the FCA umbrella. Compared with fellow FCA brands like RAM, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo, Jeep is doing ridiculously well. Unfortunately, the entire FCA company isn’t doing as well as it could be at the moment. In 2019, FCA managed to sell a total of 2,203,663 vehicles in the United States. That’s a total of 1% less than 2018’s 2,235,204. The drop might not be significant, but negative sales are negative sales. It would be worse for FCA if Jeep wasn’t continually posting impressive sales.
In 2019, Jeep was responsible for 923,291 sales across the USA. It’s a huge number, but it’s actually 5% less than in 2018, when the brand sold a total of 973,227 vehicles in total. This slight dip isn’t expected to last forever. For example, in the last quarter of 2019 FCA enjoyed a few record-breaking moments. For example, the Jeep Wrangler managed to end the year with its highest fourth quarter sales of all time, with 52,012 units sold. Even better, the Jeep Grand Cherokee sold a total of 242,969 units in 2019, which is a new full-year sales record for the model.
2019 might not have had the sales success that the brand predicted, but Jeep has actually posted regular positive growth since the economic troubles rocked the car industry back in 2008. Since then, Jeep has recorded improved sales year after year, with the exception of 2017. In 2017, the brand saw an 11% sales drop from 2016, but the brand returned to form in 2018 with a 17% sales increase. It might be a little up and down at the moment, but even the worst sales years haven’t been awful.
RAM and Jeep are very-much keeping the FCA brand afloat. But what Jeep vehicles are the most popular? The most popular Jeep model is still the Wrangler, which saw 228,032 sales in 2019—which is still a 5% drop from 2018. The next most popular model is the Grand Cherokee, which enjoyed an 8% sales increase in 2019, with 242,969 models sold. The Cherokee is the third most popular, but it did have a sales drop of 20%. The Compass is the next most popular model, but again, we saw a large drop in sales, this time to the tune of 16%. It’s a similar story for the Renegade, which also saw a sales drop of 21% in 2019. It wasn’t all bad news though, since the new Gladiator managed to clock up impressive sales for its debut year, with 40,047 units sold.
Lastly, there’s the Patriot, which had abysmal sales. 27 were sold in 2019, which is a total of 96% less than 2018’s 621. The Patriot was the biggest loser in the Jeep line-up, but it was expected. It’s not an up to date model, and sales weren’t expected to be noteworthy at all. The Patriot is old news, but we’re looking to the future to see what the 2021 Jeep line-up will include.
So far, we’ve got a few confirmed models and a couple of rumors to talk about. Here’s what the 2021 Jeep range could include. Take note though: it’s early days yet, and some of these models may not appear, and some may not even exist yet. Just a word of warning! So, let’s take a look at what 2021 Jeep might bring to the table.
What To Expect From The 2021 Jeep Line-Up
2021 Jeep Wagoneer & 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
What began as nothing more than a rumor has now been officially confirmed: the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are coming. Previously, Jeep fans who needed people-moving power have had to go without a sensible and practical Jeep offering ever since the Commander was put out to pasture, but now there are two new models on the horizon. The Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, full-size three-row beasts, are coming and they’re set to turn the big-boy SUV market on its head. The Chevrolet Tahoe and Surban, as well as the likes of the Ford Expedition, may be in for some fierce competition.
When the reports of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer first surfaced, we didn’t have a hell of a lot of information to go on. Luckily, eagle-eyed car spotters have seen the prototypes out testing and snapped a few useful pictures. Back in 2019, the first shots confirmed suspicions that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models would be built on top of RAM 1500 pick-up truck’s platform. The body-on-frame architecture is a useful plan to build on, and makes a lot of sense.
These pictures also spotted independent rear suspension, which is similar to the Wagoneer’s most likely competitors: the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC and Cadillac’s full-sized offerings. This new suspension arrangement will really maximize cabin space, allowing for a more spacious cargo area and third row passenger space, thanks to its smaller size, and more practical design. And of course, it will seriously improve handling and drive comfort too.
If the 2021 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are using the RAM 1500’s chassis, then it’s very likely that the models will be using the same powertrain options. This is pretty exciting, because RAM currently offers a couple of hybrid options, and it seems like the new Jeep models will get the same treatment. As far back as 2016, the then Jeep boss Mike Manley—who’s now Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s CEO—said that a future Grand Wagoneer would be offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain option. And it looks like that’s the truth of it.
The RAM 1500 currently comes with three engine configurations: a 3.6 liter V6 with an eTorque hybrid system, a larger 5.6 liter Hemispherical V8 with eTorque hybrid power, and lastly, the 3.0 liter V6 diesel option. We don’t think the diesel package will be offered, but the other two engine configurations, with the accompanying 48-volt eTorque hybrid system, seem likely. These engines will come equipped with a ZF eight speed automatic transmission, with rear-wheel drive and full four-wheel drive options as standard. No doubt there’ll be some extra off-roading add-ons and packages to make the new Wagoneers even more off-road capable.
What will the difference between the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer variant actually be? Since they both share the same DNA as the RAM 1500, what visible difference could the two models have? It’s actually expected to be a matter of wheel base lengths. Like Ford and GM’s full-size SUV offerings, it’s expected that Jeep will follow suit and offer a short wheelbase option, the Wagoneer, and a long wheel base option, the Grand Wagoneer. Both will come equipped with three-row seating, but the longer wheelbase model, the Grand Wagoneer, will have much more passenger legroom and cargo space. That’s the only discernible difference we know of so far.
The new 2021 Jeep Wagoneer and 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer are going to be built at the Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Warren Truck plant in Michigan, with production formally beginning in early 2021. Since production won’t officially begin until 2021, we don’t expect to see the new Wagoneer duo on sales floors until mid-2021 at least. However, we expect to see the new models get a formal unveiling sometime later on in 2020, perhaps at the Detroit Auto Show.
And what are these models predicted to cost? At the moment, there’s no official word on the prices but since we can expect the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer launch into the market as direct competitors of some of the above mentioned machinery, we can expect similarly competitive and appropriate pricing. Most full-size SUVs have prices starting from around $50,000 and we think the Jeep duo will follow suit. Our money is on the Wagoneer having a starting price of around $45,000, with the larger Grand Wagoneer coming in with a more expensive base price of $55,000. These are just estimates though.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Yes, you read that correctly. The venerable Jeep Grand Cherokee is getting a serious redesign for the first time since 2010. This isn’t a rumor! It’s happening. We’ve got some spy shots to fawn over to prove it. Unfortunately, the spy shots don’t give much away since the factory’s camouflage has done a rather good job of concealing the final design of the fresh and updated Jeep SUV. Still, even with the camouflage, there’s a lot we can discern.
For starters, it’s quite clear that the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee update will feature a longer wheelbase and a longer rear overhang, increasing passenger space and maximizing cargo space at the back. The front looks a touch sharp at the end of the hood and protrudes quite far over the front grille, similar to the classic J-series Jeeps, but don’t be fooled; this is expected to be part of the camouflage, and masks what the real front is expected to look like. The classic seven-slot grille is also just about visible, too. At the rear, the camo has done a fantastic job at keeping us guessing—but we can still make out some slim looking taillights. But that’s about all we can gather from the styling at the moment.
The exterior might still be a mystery but at least there are a few things that we can make out. On the inside, we’re completely in the dark. However, it’s expected that big changes are afoot. The word on the street is that the new interior will have a few plush features, improved tech, and a number of advanced driver-assist features. Some fans are speculating that the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee may borrow a few features from the RAM 1500 (it seems to be the Jeep donor of choice lately, if the Wagoneer twins are using the RAM chassis) including the 12 inch touchscreen.
Like those Wagoneers, the Grand Cherokee will have independent rear suspension. This will boost cabin space and increase passenger comfort, whilst simultaneously improving handling. The Grand Cherokee won’t be sharing the RAM 1500’s chassis though. Instead, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee will use a modified version of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio. This information was divulged in 2018 by Jeep’s boss Segio Marchionne just before his untimely death a month later. It’s going to be stretched longer to accommodate the larger cabin. While the Grand Cherokee will be a large sized SUV, it won’t be a three row beast. It’s understood to be a two row vehicle only.
Under the hood, the base level Grand Cherokee is expected to use the same 2.0 liter tubocharged inline-four hybrid powertrain that you’d usually find on the Wrangler. Other engine options are likely to include a Pentastar V6 with eTorque hybrid-assist technology as the mid-range option, and a Hemi V8 with eTorque being the top shelf offering. There’s also talk of a full plug-in hybrid option being offered, with an EcoDiesel V6 option too but these aren’t looking like they’ll arrive for 2021. There’s talk of a turbocharged inline-six being on the cards, but that was expected to feature on the Wagoneer, and doesn’t look like it’s production ready yet either, so probably won’t be a Grand Cherokee option either.
As for the delivery date and pricing, it’s too early to tell. The formal unveiling is expected to occur sometime in early- to mid-2020, with the first units going on sale towards the end of the year, badged up as 2021 Jeep models. This is only speculation though, and fans have pointed out that FCA might be holding the Grand Cherokee in reserve for release at a later date. And the price? Since it will be more advanced the outgoing model the price will have to reflect that. Something around $35,000 for the base model sounds feasible, with $65,000 and up as a good figure for the top shelf option.
2021 Jeep Wrangler, Renegade & Compass
2021 will bring a number of interesting things to the automotive industry. One of them is a hybrid Jeep Wrangler, which will be known as the Wrangler 4Xe. It’s rumored to share similar technology as the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which offers 33 miles of electric range on a single charge. The Wrangler could have two electric motors mated with a 3.6 liter V6. It’s exciting stuff, but there’s more to the new hybrid line-up than just the Wrangler, it seems.
The word on the street is that Jeep will being three hybrid models to the US market in 2021. The hybrid Wrangler will lead the charge, alongside a hybrid Renegade and Compass. While we can have a guess at the Wrangler 4Xe’s powertrain, we can take a more educated guess at what the Renegade and Compass might have on offer, since they’ve already debuted in Europe.
When the covers were pulled off at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, we saw that the Renegade and Compass variants came equipped with a turbocharged 1.3 liter four-cylinder engine that powered the front wheels, with a pair of rear axle mounted electric motors to power the back two. The result was an all-wheel drive platform with instant torque delivery that produced 240 horsepower. Now, the Wrangler is heavier than those two models by quite a margin, so we’re expecting a different powertrain with more guts. A 3.6 liter V6 and a pair of motors seems like a fair estimate.
What will the difference be between the hybrid and non-hybrid options? Well, we know that the new hybrid models will be given the 4Xe designation, but apart from that and the powertrain there won’t be any visual differences, save for a charging port flap. However, the interior may have some nice upgrades to accommodate the new hybrid system. For example, a more advanced infotainment system, with a touchscreen interface, is likely to be introduced. And that, is all we know so far.
Expect a formal unveiling sometime in mid-2020, with the first Wrangler model to go on sale at the end of the year as a 2021 Jeep model. Hopefully with Renegade and Compass models to follow.