Sneak Peak—Jeep— 2013/2014
By Andy Lightbody
Grand Junction, Co. --(Ammoland.com)- Say Jeep, to any automotive fan or history buff, and most will relate back to WWII where the iconic Willy was first introduced and helped the American GI win the war.
Today, say the word—Jeep, and the line of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) built by the Chrysler Corporation still conjures mental images of great off road travel, and hitting the backcountry.
The difference is, today you can do it in style and creature comforts that could not even be dreamed of when the Willy Jeep was around.
Look for some of the vehicles to be “carryovers” from last year.
On the other hand, Jeep is going to be seriously upgrading some models, and has a few surprises for the sportsman with some mid-2013 entries that are likely to be early entries for 2014.
2013 Jeep Compass
The Compass for 2013 is once again a compact 5-passenger compact SUV that features styling to resemble the larger Grand Cherokee. Introduced back in 2007 and upgraded in 2011, it’s available with either a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out only 158 horsepower, or the larger 2.4 liter 4-banger powerplant rated at 172 horsepower.
Front-wheel drive and a 5-speed manual are standard, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) comes as an option. 4×2 models are rated at 30 mpg, while the 4×4 version with the small engine rates 28 mpg.
Both of these fuel economy figures are up over the 2012 models, and outside of a couple of new exterior colors being offered, there’s not much changing until at least 2014/15.
2013 Jeep Patriot
Introduced as a 2007 back in 2006, the Patriot continues as an “affordable” SUV and shares it frame and powerplants with the Compass. Not much new for 2013 other than a few new exterior colors, and a slight boost in fuel economy.
The Patriot Freedom Edition joins the previously announced Wrangler Freedom Edition as a tribute to United States (U.S.) military members past and present. Available in red, white or blue with exclusive military-inspired features, Jeep will donate $250 from each 2013 Jeep Patriot Freedom Edition it sells to charities that benefit U.S. Military members.
2013/14 Jeep Liberty:
For the first half of 2013, the Liberty is gone from the Jeep lineup! Look for an entirely new vehicle to debut mid-2013, as a 2014 model.
The Liberty, was originally introduced in 2002. Rather boxy in terms of style, it still was a proven off road and trail performer, with gentle manners when on the highways.
Rumors abound about what the new vehicle will look like/capabilities, insiders are saying it will be based on the Chrysler “CUSW” platform– Compact U.S. Wide. This is the same basic frame that is currently being offered with the Dodge Dart, but obviously with a different body style, engines and performance packages for the off road marketplace.
Look for the Liberty, to be stylish, but with a lot of off road oriented features, including All-wheel drive; greater ground clearance; revamped suspension; a 1.4 liter 4-cylinder turbo powerplant; a high mileage 3.2 liter V6 powerplant (optional); an eight or nine-speed automatic transmission, and at least one Trail Rated configuration.
Both the 2-door Wrangler and the longer 4-door Wrangler Unlimited series, remain one of the best designed real-off-road hard core choices on the market today. High ground clearance, steep approach and departure angles coupled to an aggressive 4×4 system with outstanding low-range capabilities are going to continue for the new model year.
Upgraded in 2012 with a more powerful and much needed 3.6 liter V6 powerplant, it rocks with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, its mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with a hill-start assist feature as standard. A five-speed auto is optional.
Four trim levels are again offered, with everything from bare-bones to luxury class options are available depending on your driving tastes and budget. Bottom line for 2013, even the most basic Wrangler can get the sportsman in and out of the backcountry that very few other mass marketed vehicles can even dream of!
2013/14 Grand Cherokee/SRT8
Jeep calls the family of Grand Cherokees, their “sophisticated summit” of vehicles. And from what we are hearing, it’s only going to get better!
For early 2013, the Chrysler engineers are going to work on the power train levels, instead of a lot of exterior modifications. All Grand Cherokees (GC) and the SRT8 are expected to sport a new front fascia and re-worked tailgate/bumpers.
Expected to continue will be the 3.6 liter V6 engine as standard. Optional gas powerplant will be the larger 5.7 liter V8. What is likely to boost performance, as well as fuel economy for both powerplants is the addition of a new “Torque flite 8” eight-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler is being tight-lipped as to whether the new gear box is going to be standard on all, or offered as an option.
The sports/performance oriented SRT8 model will continue to sport the track-burning 6.4 liter V8 HEMI, and may also sport the new 8-speed gearbox, 20-inch stylized aluminum wheels, performance tuned steering, run flat tires and more luxury accessories than you can imagine.
Options for most of the GC series include Selec-Terrain, Quadra-Lift air suspension system, and Trail Hawk model that greatly enhance the sportsman’s backcountry driving experience.
Andy Lightbody is a TV/Video producer and host, as well as an outdoor writer/photographer. Lightbody is the former Managing Editor for Western Outdoors Magazine; Senior Editor at Petersen’s Hunting Magazine and Editor of the Guns & Ammo Book Division. He remains an avid shooter, hunter and angler, as well as a regular contributor to the Sportsman’s Warehouse publication—Sportsman’s News Magazine. Visit Rocky Mountain Television/Productions : www.rmtv.net