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Think the Jeep Renegade is Small? There Could be an Even Smaller Jeep in the Works

Think the Jeep Renegade is Small? There Could be an Even Smaller Jeep in the Works

More Jeep models mean more profits for FCA

Jeep is an immensely lucrative brand these days, and Fiat Chrysler is wisely cashing in on the moneymaker. FCA is reportedly developing a “baby Jeep” that’s smaller than the current Renegade for use in global markets like China and Europe.

A report from Automotive News quotes Jeep boss Mike Manley as saying the brand is looking “very closely” at a small crossover. What’s more, the Jeep would already have a chassis to borrow – the Mini architecture currently underpinning the Fiat Panda and several other city cars sold across Europe. FCA’s Pomigliano assembly plant outside Naples, Italy has already been selected as the factory. That’s not too surprising given the Panda is currently built there.

However, according to FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne who spoke on the topic at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show, the Panda is scheduled to vacate the Pomigliano factory between 2019 and 2020. Marchionne said Pomigliano “can work on more complex cars than the Panda.” Perhaps that means the Jeep will be more adept at off-road than even the beefed-up Fiat Panda Cross.

Unfortunately, it seems development of this baby Jeep has hit roadblocks, according to reports from Automotive News Europe. Speculation suggests delays could be tied to developing a more capable off-roader from the Mini platform in order to retain Jeep’s Trail Rated status. That ties in with Marchionne’s statement.

Naturally, such a small crossover would flop here in the U.S., so Jeep will reserve the compact model for its international markets. That means the Reengaged will likely continue being America’s smallest Jeep product, which is totally fine.

Of course, Jeep is also building SUVs in the other direction. Jeep has all but debuted the Ram 1500 pickup-based Wagoneer and luxury-minded Grand Wagoneer. Both models were promised by Marchionne a few years back as Jeep’s way of competing with Ranger Rover and the other high-end SUVs flooding the market. Moreover, Jeep has its upcoming Grand Commander three-row SUV that will be completely dedicated to the Chinese automotive market.

What do you think? Should Jeep build a compact model below the Renegade and sell it everywhere but inside the U.S.? Let us know in the comments below.

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2019 Jeep Renegade

2019 Jeep Renegade

The baby Jeep is getting a facelift

The cute-ute Jeep Renegade is getting its first mid-cycle refresh. Spy photographers spotted a camouflaged Renegade winter testing in Europe along side the euro-spec Wrangler JL and some Alfa Romeo products. The changes are confined to the Renegade’s front and rear fascias, along with tweaks to the dashboard.

Changes to the drivetrain will likely be limited to a new nine-speed automatic transmission and updated Active Drive 4WD system, both courtesy of the updated 2019 Cherokee. Jeep could even include its new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, though at 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, is a big jump over the for the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder and its 180 horses and 175 pound-feet. The power would certainly be welcomed, though.

Jeep is expected to debut the updated Renegade sometime in 2018 ahead of the 2019 model year.

Continue reading for more on the refreshed Jeep Renegade.

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A Detailed Look At The 2019 Jeep Cherokee's 4WD Systems

A Detailed Look At The 2019 Jeep Cherokee’s 4WD Systems

Revised Active Drive I system loses weight, adds efficiency

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee includes some admirable updates. The front has been redesigned to not be so ugly, new LED headlights should perform better, a new lightweight tailgate gets hands-free opening, five new wheel designs change up the appearance, a dual-pane sunroof is available, and the new 2.0-liter turbo-four borrowed from the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is under the reshaped aluminum hood. But Jeep didn’t stop its drivetrain updates with the new engine. The Cherokee’s base 4WD system has been updated with less internal friction and a reduction of 17 pounds.

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Updated Jeep Cherokee Gets 2.0-liter Turbo from the Wrangler

Updated Jeep Cherokee Gets 2.0-liter Turbo from the Wrangler

Expect better fuel economy figures

The facelifted Jeep Chekoree made its public debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with a brand-new front fascia that no longer looks like it’s sucking lemons. The best Jeep-related news in a year, because let’s face it, the pre-facelift Cherooke’s design sucked really bad. The rear end was also heavily revised to the point where it no longer looks like a Fiat. Interior updates are small, but it does feature a new center console and new tech. But by far the biggest change lies under the hood, where the Tigershark and Pentastar engines were joined by a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

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Updated Jeep Cherokee Goes Softer In The Styling Department

Updated Jeep Cherokee Goes Softer In The Styling Department

It looks better than the outgoing model

The Jeep Cherokee is living proof that even the most iconic of SUVs aren’t immune to criticism when there’s reason to criticize. The current-generation Cherokee found that out first-hand when its debut in 2013 was greeted by an avalanche of criticism from an indignant public that couldn’t believe that Jeep became a little too playful with the model’s looks. That was five years ago. This year, Jeep is flipping the script on the facelifted 2019 Cherokee. Not only does it have three different engines to choose from, it also arrived at the Detroit Auto Show with a more refined look that, quite frankly, is much better than the model it’s replacing.

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Someone Swapped A V-10 Into A 2005 Jeep Wrangler!

Someone Swapped A V-10 Into A 2005 Jeep Wrangler!

It’s all yours for $52,000 on eBay

The venerable Jeep Wrangler is no stranger to engine swaps. Folks have been shoving bigger engines behind its grille ever since the U.S. Military defeated the Axis powers in 1945. The small-block Chevrolet V-8 is the standard go-to engine, but small block Fords and even other Mopar engines are a common sight. But, it’s a certifiable rarity to see a Wrangler with the 8.3-liter V-10 from the Viper and 2004 – 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 SRT10.

Nevertheless, that’s exactly what’s for sale right now on eBay.

The project started with a low-mileage 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. That generation is known as the TJ, but since it’s a long-wheelbase Unlimited version, it’s called the LJ. So, this LJ with 22,500 miles had its 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder, four-speed automatic transmission, and two-speed transfer case removed and replaced with, well, “beefier” components. The transmission is now a 48RE automatic from a Ram heavy-duty and the T-case is a modified RockTrac unit from a Wrangler Rubicon. The front axle is a good ole Ford nine-inch, while the rear axle is a stout Dana 60. Both have 35-spline axle shafts.

The suspension is a long-arm kit from Superlift that accompanies by a one-inch body lift that helps with clearance of the big V-10 under the hood. A set of 20-inch six-spoke, Pro Comp wheels and 35-inch Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ all-terrain tires hide Viper-sized front brakes and upgraded rear disc brakes.

Continue reading for more information on this Jeep Wrangler.

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Hurray, the Jeep Cherokee No Longer Looks Like It's Sucking Lemons!

Hurray, the Jeep Cherokee No Longer Looks Like It’s Sucking Lemons!

Jeep finally came to its senses!

When it replaced the Liberty in 2013, Jeep decided to bring back the Cherokee name, which it had discontinued in 2001 in the U.S. The first Jeep to ride on the FCA Compact Wide platform, the KL-generation Cherokee shared underpinnings with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. But similarities with European cars didn’t stop here. Unlike its predecessors, the Cherokee dropped the traditional boxy design in favor of a more streamlined look. Some approved Jeep’s decision to step out of the box and offer a bolder design, but FCA also received a lot of heat for the scrunched up headlamps, the narrow grille, and the somewhat generic rear end. I’m not a big fan of it either, and I think it looks like it’s sucking on lemons. Well, Jeep just unveiled the mid-cycle facelift and I’m happy to see that the Cherokee’s face is no longer sour.

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2019 Jeep Cherokee Coming to Detroit

2019 Jeep Cherokee Coming to Detroit

A mild facelift and updated powertrains bring a premium flare

Jeep will be introducing its updated 2019 Cherokee at the North American International Auto Show come January 16, 2018. The mid-size crossover receives a mild facelift with updated designs front and rear, along with more fuel-efficient powertrain options. Jeep didn’t go into detail about the powertrain changes or any other information, saying that news will become available when the 2019 Cherokee makes its appearance at the Detroit Auto Show.

Aesthetically, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee looks far more palatable, losing that ugly front end and odd headlight arrangement. The new front uses new one-piece headlights with the turn signals and daytime running lights integrated into the same housing. The fog lights now have a slightly larger scallop. The lower grille is now more streamlined. Despite the more handsome look, the hood and upper grille appear unchanged. It seems the Cherokee’s ugliness was all contained in those headlights.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Cherokee.

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2018 Jeep Wrangler Priced at $26,995

2018 Jeep Wrangler Priced at $26,995

Prices increase roughly $3,000 over the outgoing model

Jeep has announced pricing for the all-new, 2018 Wrangler JL. As expected, the costs have risen for each trim level. The base Sport two-door starts at $26,995 – a full $3,000 more than the equivalent outgoing Wrangler JK. The price hike continues throughout the lineup, with the two-door Wrangler JL Rubicon costing $3,350 more at $36,995. The four-door 2018 Wrangler JL Sahara starts at $37,345, which is $3,100 more than the JK version.

While the increase is steep, the hike can be explained by Jeep’s development costs, the Wrangler’s new aluminum components and strong steel frame, the new drivetrain options, the new hard and soft tops, and the vastly improved interior. Add to that Jeep’s need of relocating the Wrangler’s assembly to make room for the upcoming Wrangler-based pickup while continuing the Wrangler JK’s production into the first few months of 2018.

Continue reading for a full list of prices for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.

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Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

From road to rocks, we sample the newest Wrangler

Much hoopla has been made over the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. Enthusiasts around the world and the massive aftermarket scene have been hanging on every word written about the first new Wrangler in a decade – and for good reason. The JL represents the first reworking of the Wrangler since it exploded in popularity thanks to the addition of four doors with the 2007 Wrangler Unlimited JK. Everybody from the hard-core rock crawler to the average soccer mom wants to know how this new Wrangler drives.

Thankfully, the wait is over.

Jeep flew us out to Tucson, Arizona in early December for the Wrangler JL’s first U.S.-based media event. The southwestern territory offers an interesting mix of smooth, flat roads through valleys and bumpy, twisty roads through the rock-strewn hills north of town. And of course, off the pavement lies nothing but inhospitable terrain filled with cactuses, scorpions, venomous snakes, and rocks after rocks with more rocks piled on top. It was the perfect place to test the new Wrangler’s mettle.

Continue reading for our driving impressions.

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Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Powertop Top in Action

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Powertop Top in Action

Push a button and watch the sky appear

Jeeps have always been open-air vehicles, but with the proliferation of the hardtop option, getting a breeze inside has become a bit more challenging. Yeah, Jeep now has the revised three-piece Freedom Top option that’s easier to work, but it doesn’t compare to the absolute breeze of the new Sky One-Touch Powertop.

It’s basically a hard top with its center section cut open and sealed with a power-retractable canvas cover. A single button transforms the Wrangler Unlimited from weatherproof to completely open. The operation can happen up to 60 mph and takes about 18 seconds in both directions.

Better still, the side windows are now removable – something the standard Freedom Top doesn’t do. Simply twist two L-brackets at the top of each window, and the entire piece comes out. Both windows will store in the cargo area. With both the canvas top pulled back and the windows removed, the Sky top offers just about as much open-air freedom as a bare Wrangler. The rear glass is the only remaining hindrance to that. Remove the aluminum doors, drop the windshield, and boom – the Wrangler Unlimited is about as open as a typical owner would ever want. Jeep does say the Sky top isn’t designed to be removed, so those selecting that factory option are married to that choice.

Jeep hasn’t announced the price for the Sky One-Touch Powertop, but it will be an option on the Sahara and four-door Rubicon models.

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Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Freedom Top in Action

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Freedom Top in Action

Redesigned latches make removal much easier

Jeep introduced the three-piece Freedom Top with the then-new 2007 Wrangler JK. It proved to be an instant hit thanks to its combination of security and weatherproof coverage with removable panels over the front seats. Now with the introduction of the all-new 2018 Wrangler JL, Jeep has reworked the Freedom Top to make it even easier and quicker to remove the panels.

First, jeep made the panels lighter. They weren’t overly heavy to begin with, but every ounce counts when lifting car parts overhead, espeaiclly in the rain as we’ve personally discovered. What’s more, the hand screws that secured the Freedom panels to the B-pillar horizontal bar are gone. Now the top just uses six L-brackets and the two main latches at the windshield header. No tools are required and forearms remain unsure. From there, the panels are easily lifted off and can be stored in the cargo area. Mopar and several aftermarket companies offer storage bags and even bracketry that secure the panels when stored.

And for those wanting the full open-air experience, the entire Freedom Top is still removable just like before. Its removal is still best done with at least two people since it’s rather bulky.

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Latest Detroit Auto Show:

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Soft Top & Windshield in Action

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Soft Top & Windshield in Action

New designs make both easier to use

The brand new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has plenty of improvements throughout, not the least of which are its updated Sunrider soft top and redesigned folding windshield. Unlike before, the new soft top uses no zippers or fussy Velcro to attach its side windows. An innovative sliding plastic channel allows the side window panels to easily slip into place. Securing the bottom and end pieces are still done by snapping the top into channels on the Wrangler’s body and cage. It’s the most simple soft top in the Wrangler’s history.

Likewise, the windshield has been made much easier to operate, though it’s not as easy as the two hand-nuts that held the Wrangler YJ’s windshield in place. Here, only four bolts hold the windshield frame and glass to the now-permanent A-pillars and horizontal support. Jeep supplies a ratchet and T40 Torx bit to remove the bolts, along with the socket to remove the windshield wiper arms from their shafts. The whole process takes less than four minutes.

The windshield is held down by brackets that loop through the rubber bump stops on the hood, or the entire windshield can be removed by undoing the hinge nuts with the supplied T50 Torx bit – the same driver used for the door hinges.

How cool is that?

Stay tuned to [TopSpeed.com} for more videos on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s different tops.

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A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Dashboard

A new design is just the beginning

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is finally here and its new interior is one of its best selling points. The seats are more comfortable, there is more storage room, the materials are all nicer, and the dash has way more functionality baked in. From the buttons on the steering wheel to the dual-zone climate controls, the JL’s dashboard makes for a much better user experience over the outgoing Wrangler JK.

We’re going to take a quick look at Jeep’s improvements to see exactly what has changed. Of course, the Wrangler JL still comes in several trim levels, so not every feature will be available on all models.

Continue reading for more information.

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The 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Three Infotainment Systems

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Three Infotainment Systems

The Wrangler in-dash tech finally moves into the 21st century!

Perhaps the most obvious improvement to the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is its new infotainment systems. Gone is the old and outdated radio and optional Uconnect 420N system found in the outgoing Wrangler JK. Now, the JL comes with three systems – all of which are far better and more user-friendly.

Regardless of the head unit, the Wrangler comes with eight speakers. An optional nine-speaker Alpine system with a subwoofer is available on the Sahara and Rubicon trims. The Wrangler Unlimited with the Alpine system now has its subwoofer located in the side panel of the cargo area, freeing up the floor space. The two-door Wrangler still has its sub in the floor. No worries, though, it’s weatherproof and has a strong metal grille protecting it from harm.

Continue reading for more on the Wrangler’s infotainment systems.

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The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit

It includes everything you’ll need to deconstruct your Jeep

The Jeep brand’s foundation is based on utility and preparedness, so it comes as no surprise that the 2018 Wrangler JL comes with its own toolkit. The kit comes with a socket wrench and the drivers needed to remove the doors and fold the windshield – two very important aspects of Wrangler ownership.

The toolkit trend started a few years ago with the Wrangler JK, but Jeep is keeping the idea alive. The kit comes in a snazzy nylon pouch with a Velcro latch. Inside are elastic bands that hold the tools in place. The kit includes a min socket, a T40 and T50 Torx bits and an M15 socket. The T40 is used for the various parts of the soft top, while the T50’s main job is removing the bolts holding the door hinges in place. The T50 is also used to remove the track system of the Sunrider soft top.

Folding the windshield requires removing the windshield wipers. That takes the M15 socket. Simply pop off the caps at the wiper hubs and remove the nut. Use the T40 to remove the four bolts holding the windshield header bar to the Sports Bar support and boom – the windshield easily folds down. Two more T40 bolts on the windshields two hinges will have the entire windshield assembly removed from the Jeep.

Best of all, the Wrangler offers a custom-fit storage holder for all this hardware. Lift up the cargo floor, and holes are pre-made and labeled in the plastic tray found underneath.

Jeep also includes a handy instruction guide with photos and labels. The instructions are on thick, laminated paper that should last a while, especially when kept in the clear plastic pocket inside the took kit pouch.

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What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims

What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler’s Other Trims

A guide to the mechanical and visual difference

The Rubicon model has become synonymous with the Jeep Wrangler for hard-core off-roading, despite its relatively recent introduction on the 2002 Wrangler TJ. The Rubicon trim has remained a part of Wrangler history since, including the jump to Jeep’s all-new 2018 Wrangler. The Rubi is now more capable than ever thanks to an improved suspension system, use of the 2018 Wrangler’s stronger frame, improved skid plates, and lower gearing thanks to the new transmissions choices.

But the Rubicon isn’t just about mechanical advantages. There are aesthetics advantages, too.

Most notably, the Wrangler Rubicon comes with steel rock sliders that protect the vulnerable rocker panels under the doors; there’s an available steel bumper that easily holds an electric winch; and new for 2018, the front fenders are taller so owners can run 35-inch tires without having to modify a thing. Let’s get into the details below.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

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The 2018 Wrangler's Cargo Area is Ready For Anything

The 2018 Wrangler’s Cargo Area is Ready For Anything

More cargo volume and new tie-down bring added functionality

Jeep has added several new features to the 2018 Wrangler JL’s cargo to make it more functional. First, the cargo area is larger thanks to the JL’s 2.4-inch longer wheelbase. The Wrangler JL Unlimited’s cargo space now measured 31.7 cubic feet behind the second row and 72.4 cubic feet with the 60/40-split bench folded flat. That’s up from the Wrangler JK Unlimited’s 31.5 and 70.6 respective measurements. Though slight, the improvement still means more storage.

But Jeep isn’t expecting its customers to simply toss in their belongings. No, Jeep added the new Trail Rail system to help secure items in the back. It consists of two aluminum rails in the floor, and one mounted to the inside of the tailgate. Slidable tie downs help secure cargo, and we all know the aftermarket will devise tons of products that utilize these rails. Mopar already has several products available.

The system’s technical name is the Trail Rail Cargo Management Group, and it’s optional on the Sport S, Sahara, and Rubicon. The Trail Rail system can even be had in the two-door Wrangler, as well.

Another interesting feature is the flat spot on the tailgate, just above the door striker and engraved data plate. It’s the perfect shape for holding a drink while parked. It’s a small but ingenious detail that Jeepers will be delighted to discover.

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Latest Videos:

Jeep Could Put the Wrangler JL's 2.0-liter in the new Cherokee

Jeep Could Put the Wrangler JL’s 2.0-liter in the new Cherokee

That’s a welcome addition on top of the new headlights setup

The refreshed 2019 Jeep Cherokee is going to look different from its predecessor. That’s good because the current Cherokee is a sight for sore eyes. Mercifully, Jeep is doing away with the horrendous headlights setup of the current model, opting instead to go with a more conventional design that should be more pleasing to look at. But the headlights aren’t the only things changing with the new model as reports show that the Cherokee will also receive a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that we saw in the next-generation Jeep Wrangler when it debuted at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

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