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A white 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is shown splashing through a mountain creek.

The Jeep Legacy in Six Different Used Models

When you walk into your local used Jeep dealer, you may feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine. That’s because no other automaker has kept its original look while providing the latest technological and performance features quite like Jeep. Somehow, when you look at a used Jeep, you are seeing the results of over 80 years of development and innovation. With six different models to choose from, Jeep gives you options in a used vehicle unlike any other. Some are more similar in looks to the original Willys-Overland MB that served in World War II, whereas other models have a more modern styling while still retaining the core features that let you know you are driving a Jeep.

When you buy a used Jeep, you know you are getting a great vehicle for a great value, as this brand is revered most of all for its dependability. The Jeep brand confidence is KNOWING your 4×4 will stand up to the rigors of the road and trail; the following are the six widely available models that best exemplify this trait.

Jeep Wrangler

The most traditional Jeep model is the Wrangler. This is the one that bears a striking resemblance to the famous Jeeps that served the Army so well over the years. A used Jeep Wrangler comes in two variants: the two-door Wrangler and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited; both have two rows of seats, with the Wrangler Unlimited offering a little more legroom. Jeep has been redesigning the Wrangler constantly over the years, using different names along the way; however, the name “Wrangler” stuck in 1986. The current model is the fourth generation of the Jeep Wrangler, introduced in the 2018 model year. All have featured Jeep’s amazing four-wheel drivetrain, which allows you to go anywhere and do anything with your vehicle.

You can find a used Jeep Wrangler with a number of different engine options and trim levels. Many of these are Trail Rated, which means that Jeep has had the vehicle undergo a series of rigorous tests to show it could do things like ford rivers and streams and complete challenging rock climbing. No matter which you choose, regular or Unlimited, you are buying a piece of history with a legacy unmatched in the automotive world. What’s more, the Jeep Wrangler has removable roof and door panels, so you can let the outdoors in on a sunny day.

Jeep Gladiator

If you want to go into battle on rough terrain, you must be sure you are prepared. This is where the Jeep Gladiator comes in. Jeep introduced the Gladiator for the 2020 model year, so we are starting to see these amazing vehicles becoming available on the used market. The Gladiator combines the design of a Wrangler Unlimited with a very useful payload capability. As such, it has a standard four-wheel drive with four doors and removable roof and door panels like the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Interestingly enough, this is the second Jeep model to feature the name “Gladiator.” The original Gladiator was a conventional midsize pickup truck sold in the ’60s and ’70s. As you can see, this Gladiator is anything but conventional, with a hypnotic insistence that you take it to the trail the moment you drive it off the lot.

One other interesting thing about the Jeep Gladiator is its choice of engine. You can get a conventional V6 gas engine or an EcoDiesel V6 with a built-in turbocharger. Whichever engine you look for in your used Gladiator, however, you are getting a rugged pickup truck that is purpose-built for off-roading, unlike so many other midsize pickup trucks that can’t handle the challenges of the trail.

A red 2020 Jeep Gladiator is shown on the road after leaving a used Jeep dealer.

Jeep Renegade

Many drivers consider subcompact SUVs to be “cute,” yet these little crossovers with good ground clearance and surprisingly spacious interiors are becoming rather popular. However, none in this class can match the toughness of a Jeep Renegade. With a front end that echoes the Wrangler and Gladiator, the Renegade is a crossover that signals that it means business. As a result, it is a great vehicle choice for commuters who want a subcompact SUV that can give a little extra.

Jeep introduced the Renegade in time for the 2015 model year and, over the years, has offered it with a number of different engines and the choice of front-wheel and four-wheel drive. As a result, if you choose a used Jeep Renegade with available four-wheel drive, you will have one of the few models in its vehicle class equipped for off-roading.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

The flagship of Jeep’s more conventional SUV branch, the Jeep Grand Cherokee practically invented the suburban luxury SUV category. The Grand Cherokee was an instant hit when Jeep premiered it in 1992. Since then, drivers can get the toughness and solidity of a Jeep in a model with the roominess and comfort features that family drivers desire.

The Grand Cherokee is currently in its fifth generation, which started in 2022; this means you should have no trouble finding a used Grand Cherokee with the features you desire. For example, Jeep began offering a third-row option on the Grand Cherokee in 2020, making this midsize SUV a great choice for larger families with its ability to accommodate up to eight passengers. The Grand Cherokee also features many advanced safety and infotainment features, and most have been equipped with a four-wheel drivetrain, improving vehicle traction and ability.

Jeep Cherokee

If you love the looks of a Jeep Grand Cherokee but want the advantages of a smaller vehicle—such as improved fuel economy and easier handling—then you should consider a used Jeep Cherokee. This is actually one of the longest-running vehicle names in the Jeep lineup, dating back to 1974. However, the first Jeep Cherokee model was basically a redesigned and rebranded two-door Jeep Wagoneer. At some point in the ’80s, the Cherokee also came to be known as the Jeep Liberty, a boxy compact SUV with the same grille as the Jeep Wrangler. By 2001, Jeep had discontinued the Cherokee—but good things never really go away, do they?

In 2014, Jeep brought the Cherokee back as a sleek and sexy smaller version of the Grand Cherokee. With a similar grille, front end, and aerodynamic design as its larger linemate, the used Cherokee gives commuters an excellent alternative to the dull, round fare of the modern market. It has a roomy interior, solid trunk space, and exceptional fuel economy, and buyers could choose between front-wheel drive for better fuel economy and four-wheel drive for superior traction.

A gray 2020 Jeep Cherokee is shown driving along a winding mountain road.

Jeep Compass

If you want to know if Jeep’s future is pointed in the right direction, just look at the used Jeep Compass. These subcompact SUVs were first sold during the 2007 model year and had a look that was more in line with the traditional Jeep Wrangler; however, when Jeep introduced the second generation in 2017, the looks changed to resemble those of the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. This showed the market that the Compass would be dedicated to more comfort and convenience features, with its handling favoring on-road over off-road. Nevertheless, you can get a used Compass with four-wheel drive—because, after all, it’s still a Jeep!

It’s interesting that Jeep offers two different subcompact models, but this actually makes perfect sense. The Renegade is great for people who want a rugged model that can hit the trails, whereas the Compass is slightly larger, so it has more interior space and is designed to maximize fuel economy. Regardless of your choice, they both make great vehicles for commuters and new drivers.

A Rich Legacy In Every Model

Jeep has one of the most compelling legacies in the history of motor vehicles. It single-handily launched the off-road movement with the CJ model, which eventually became the Wrangler; it also helped launch the luxury SUV category with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. When you drive a used Jeep, you are reaping the fruits of generations of innovation and adventure.