Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2013 Jeep Cherokee is parked on a beach.

Jeep Adventures

Jeeps are all about getting out and having fun. The adventures possible in a Jeep run the gamut, from a few hours of fun to multi-day, off-road treks. Each Jeep is seemingly created for a special adventure, but only one is right for you. Here we’ve gathered a few of our favorite models you can find at a used Jeep dealer and the adventure it is best suited for. Some are relaxed, contemplative, and emotionally recharging affairs. Some are technical thinking challenges that involve problem-solving. Others provide eye-widening and smile-inducing thrills. What unites them all is that anyone with the right used Jeep can do them and get back home that same day with new memories that will last a lifetime.

Cruising in a Cherokee

Some of the best times in life are the simplest, and few things are simpler than a quiet night time cruise. Whether by city lights, moonlight, or starlight, getting out when few others are on the road and just going nowhere, in particular, is a freeing and cathartic exercise of purposefully doing nothing.

A great partner to have along on this kind of drive is the Jeep Cherokee, a comfortable small crossover with enough room to stretch out in its warm, inviting interior. The latest generation is the KL, which started with the 2014 model year. This latest generation of the Cherokee includes state of the art infotainment systems and a comfortable interior.

The Cherokees available interior technology will offer the perfect background for your night cruise with an Alpine speaker system and Uconnect infotainment system. Uconnect itself is available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to give you the perfect soundtrack as you whisk through the night.

When it comes to the Cherokee, if you purchase one of the KL models used, you’ll be getting something practically brand new at a great price point. Used Cherokees from 2013 on can be easily found for under 20,000 dollars. When you compare this to a brand new 2021 Cherokee that costs between $26,555 to $38,000, you’ll be saving thousands.

Of all the things about the Cherokee that helps make a night drive an oasis of peace is the fuel economy ratings. Depending on the model and engine, the Cherokee can get up to 31 MPG. You’ll be able to stay out longer without having to worry about filling up at the gas station.

The Cherokee is the perfect Jeep SUV for a moonlit joyride.

A silver 2013 Jeep Compass is driving through a puddle in the woods after leaving a used Jeep dealer.

Camping With a Compass

Some of the best adventures happen far away from civilization. Away from the hustle and bustle, away from the concrete, and in some cases, away from other people. Camping is a time-honored pastime that has gained renewed popularity and interest as of late, and for a good reason. It’s far from expensive, allows people to truly get away from it all, and it can be as long or as short as one wants.

The first-generation Compass, built 2007-2016, makes for a great camping companion. To start with, the Compass is relaxing to drive, with comfortable seating and a tall seating position that provides the driver with a noticeably higher vantage point than most cars. Additionally, the Compass can be found at extremely low costs considering its lack of age and still solid reliability. It is not uncommon to find good condition Compasses for 12,000 dollars.

Despite this low cost, the Compass’s higher trim levels offer plush leather seating and great infotainment systems. While the Compass is plenty large enough to haul around camping gear, it still remains relatively small, making navigating to a campsite a snap.

The surprisingly large amount of cargo space means that once the campsite is reached, the required supplies are easily accessible, and once camp is broken when the sun’s rays once again pierce through the tree canopy, available heated seats make it much easier to warm up after a potentially chilly night.

Finally, when it is time to head back to civilization, the tried and true Jeep four-wheel drive system on the Compass guarantees that you can confidently handle any trail or road conditions on the return journey.

A used Jeep Compass is a great thing to have when venturing out beyond the beaten path.

Off-Road Via JK Wrangler

With the Jeep Wrangler, a direct descendant of the Willys Jeep that helped win World War II, roads are optional. And in many cases with the JK generation Jeep Wrangler, roads are rather boring. The real fun is off them.

Off-road trails and parks are available across the country for all kinds of skill and equipment levels, and there isn’t a single vehicle better equipped to provide both off-road thrills and a cozy and pleasant ride to and from the trail. Covering the model years 2007 to 2018, the JK is sort of a holy grail vehicle for those just getting into off-roading who have a budget between 10,000 and 20,000 dollars. For that money, one gets a truly capable and easily useable entry-level off-road vehicle that has relaxing seats and a bumping sound system, not to mention the traditional Jeep removable doors.

The JK Wrangler is great fun for all, and nothing else looks as good when muddy.

A red 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is climbing over rocks.

Autocross Racing in a Grand Cherokee SRT

They say that opposites attract, but that normally doesn’t cover bringing an SUV to an event full of sports cars. And yet, here you are, in a lightly used mid-2010’s Jeep Cherokee SRT, in a parking lot full of winged racecars and low slung exotics.

There is a rough course laid out on the opposite side of the parking lot, and each of the vehicles surrounding you is taking turns to set the fastest times they can through the tight, undulating course.

An official waves you forward, and you pull up to halt your large SUV at the line. You grip the wheel, waiting for the starter to give you the go-ahead. He raises a hand, and his fingers begin, counting down.
Five, four, three, two, one…

With a thunderous roar, your beast of a Grand Cherokee leaps forth from the start line, devouring the straightaway. An instant later, a hard corner is upon you, and you jab the brake and swing the wheel to wrench the massive truck through the corner. Hearing the tires whine, you feel the Gs as you pull through the corner, but the SRT’s suspension has you planted like wheat in a field.

You shift the beast’s weight with the gas and brakes, weaving through cones and charging down the few straightaways. Suddenly, you reach the end. The other racers are shocked at what the timing board says. They have stripped down racecars and some of the greatest sports cars ever made, and you have a Jeep with heated and ventilated seats.

There is no better model for racing than a Grand Cherokee SRT.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Adventures are a Jeep thing. Whether out alone to clear one’s head, camping or off-roading with friends and family, or taking on the competition to create a little joy, Jeep has you covered. More than that, a used Jeep will do all these things for far less money than would otherwise be required.

For those looking to get out and live, a Jeep is one of the best choices you can make.

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