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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A closeup of the fender of a silver 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is shown in front of a muddy trail.

Hitting the Off-Road in Your Jeep

When you are going off-roading, the one vehicle that should be at the top of your list is a Jeep. Jeep models take the ruggedness of a truck and mix it with the interior of an SUV, making them the best choice for adventurous drivers. The key is that Jeep builds every one of their vehicles from the wheels up and front bumper to rear with off-roading in mind. Plus, Jeep uses unique 4X4 systems to give you the extra protection that you and your Jeep will need when you hit the trail. In other words, Jeep doesn’t just look the part; it plays the part as well. So today, we are going to look at the main pieces that come into play regarding the tough off-road readiness that Jeep has to offer. Let’s get into it!

Specialized Systems

So many vehicles advertise as having all-wheel drive. You see it on trucks. You see it on SUVs. You even see it on some luxury sedans and economy compact coupes. But not all of these systems are the same. Sure, they all might have separate drive trains for each of your vehicle’s wheels, but is that all you are going to need when you are on a particularly challenging trail? Is that going to really do the trick when you are driving in a particularly fierce thunderstorm or snowstorm? You have to know that your vehicle can handle this before you take that chance. And only a Jeep 4X4 System offers the peace of mind you need when you are faced with whatever the road and Mother Nature may throw your way. That is because Jeep has over 75 years of designing and building 4X4 systems for its vehicles, going all the way back to the Jeeps that helped the Allies win World War II.

Jeep helps you in many different ways with its unique, modern-day 4X4 system. First, there are off-road differentials. These transfer power to each wheel separately, either through electronic, mechanical, or brake-assisted differentials. They are the key to giving you the maximum power and traction so your Jeep can handle the rough terrain of the trail. Jeep also offers a front sway bar disconnect standard, which is standard on the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. This system gives you improved articulation for the front wheels by automatically disengaging the front sway bar when you are driving your Jeep under 18 miles per hour. As a result, your Jeep can better handle more challenging terrain at slower speeds.

The third thing that Jeep models offer that many other vehicles don’t are numerous stamped high-strength steel skid plates. The undercarriage of your Jeep is filled with vital systems that need protection from the rocks and sharp objects you may drive over when off-roading. Only these skid plates can provide the protection your Jeep needs and give you the confidence to hit the trail without worrying about doing damage to your vehicle. Finally, the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited models feature a body-on-frame design to provide you with improved strength, durability, and flexibility. All of these systems together ensure the greatest quality off-road vehicles.

One of the most popular Jeep models, a white 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, is parked on red rocks while off-roading.

Trail Rated Is Not Just a Badge

Jeep models intended for off-roading receive a badge for being trail-rated. But Jeep doesn’t just stamp every vehicle it makes with a Trail Rated badge. Each vehicle must earn this badge by undergoing five different rigorous performance tests. These tests begin at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles headquarters before they are taken out to confront real-life conditions out on the off-road. The Rubicon is used for trail challenges, riverbeds, hills, and boulders, while the harsh winter climate of Northern Michigan serves as the perfect proving ground for inclement weather conditions.

The first test is for traction. Jeep needs to know that your vehicle can handle itself, going up and downhill. It also needs to test to make sure that your Jeep won’t have a problem during a blizzard. If you are going to face a traction problem, it won’t be with a Jeep.

The second test is water fording. You need to know if your Jeep can traverse a body of water before you make that attempt and the engineers at Jeep check to make sure the air intake is positioned high enough, and all body openings and electrical connections are sealed so you won’t have a problem when you hit the water in your Jeep.

Next, Jeep checks to make sure the vehicle has the right amount of maneuverability. You never know what you are going to encounter on the trail, and you have to know that the steering is responsive enough to get you around these obstacles. It also entails making sure the wheelbase is the proper length for the task. It is this maneuverability that translates to the highway, where you have the ability to navigate away from potential collisions.

The fourth test involves articulation. This makes sure that you have a high enough level of articulation in the 4X4 system to make sure the wheels will stay stable and grounded when one or more of the other wheels leaves the ground. This comes in handy when you are crossing over rough terrain as it ensures the wheels will continue to pull your Jeep safely over the obstacle.

The final test that may be one of the most important is ground clearance. You need to know that there is enough between the underside of your Jeep and the ground so that you don’t have problems when you are driving off-road. Those rocks and logs can cause a real problem if you can’t get up and over them. So to ensure that you can, Jeep tests the ground clearance of each trail-rated model.

With all of these tests, the trail-rated Jeep models are sure to be off-road ready. And knowing that each of the models passed the tests allows for each driver to pick their off-roader accordingly. Jeep takes driving seriously and makes sure all of their vehicles with badges really are capable of driving on the trails.

A red 2020 Jeep Gladiator is shown from the side while off-roading over rocks.

Off-Road Models to Check Out

Jeep has made sure to offer a model that can handle off-road in each vehicle class. If you love classic looks, there is the Jeep Wrangler, with some models offering detachable doors to let you experience the wild up close and personal. The Jeep Gladiator combines the ruggedness of a Jeep with the versatility of a pickup truck. If you want a little Jeep with a ton of attitude, there is the Jeep Renegade. And the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers the ultimate in luxury and performance while giving you the ability to go off-road in maximum comfort.

There is also the Jeep Cherokee, a midsize SUV that is equally adept on the road and off it. If you want a crossover that combines the best advantages of a small SUV and a sedan, check out the Jeep Compass. This one will point you in the direction of your next adventure. But whichever one you choose, you know that you have Jeep engineering to provide you with the ability to take on the off-road whenever and wherever you may be.

Jeep is not just a name; it is an attitude. It means that you have a vehicle that is built for the trail. With its specialized 4X4 system and Trail Rated badge, your Jeep can handle whatever you may put in its path. The only limits are the ones you place on yourself. Now let’s hit the off-road and have fun!

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