When it comes to off-roading prowess, nobody does it like Jeep. From movies like Jurassic Park showcasing the capabilities of Jeeps out in the wildest of wilderness to running across an ad in a magazine portraying a Jeep conquering boulders, this iconic vehicle has paved the way for an adventurous lifestyle for those who drive one. Like any other automotive brand, Jeep has many different models, including sizes, strengths, and capabilities. Walk onto the lot of any Jeep dealership, and you’ll be inundated with options. From different models like the Wrangler, Compass, Cherokee, Wagoneer, and more, to different trim levels and packages, there are many ways to find the right Jeep for you.
In the market for a new off-roading companion? Whether it’s a trip to Angeles National Forest, the desert, Big Bear, or a laid-back trip to the beach, you need a vehicle that can perform everywhere. It can be overwhelming to have so many choices and walk into a dealership unsure. Jeep designs specific models and packages to help with the most rugged terrains, piecing together elements of the exterior, chassis, suspension, and driver assistance features, all in service of making a Jeep that can handle whatever comes its way. It helps to dig a bit and do some research. Here, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Jeep models specifically for their off-roading abilities.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
Famous for off-roading, the Rubicon is many Jeep fans’ favorite of the bunch. Adorned with a powerful four-wheel drive, sky-high ground clearance, a high crawl ratio, and plenty of skid plates, the Rubicon 392 gives way to countless possibilities. Coming in as one of the pricier options, the Rubicon is worth every penny for any driver who wants this Jeep as an off-roading companion. A roaring 6.4L HEMI V8 puts out 470 hp and has a 0-60 mph time of only 4.5 seconds. Fast on city streets and country roads alike, the Rubicon 392 also delivers features and driver assistance technologies that have stood the test of the most rugged terrains.
Rubicon 392’s heavy-duty braking system performs flawlessly and is there for you when you need it—traversing a steep incline or decline? An Electronic Sway Bar Disconnect helps stabilize the front end. It also helps in rock climbing scenarios, assisting with the crawl ratio, so your Jeep has more traction when things get slippery. When it’s time to rock crawl on a warm Southern California day, the roof and doors come off easily so you can soak up every bit of scenery. The sharp, stylish exterior of this Rubicon 392 will turn heads whether you’re in the city or traversing the backroads.
Jeep Gladiator Willys
The Jeep Gladiator deserves recognition as one of the brand’s best options for off-roading. It has amassed an impressive amount of “best-in-class” accolades, such as best-in-class maximum diesel torque, best-in-class maximum gas towing capacity, best-in-class maximum 4×4 payload, and best-in-class available ground clearance. Adding an even more unique factor, the Jeep Gladiator is the only open-air pickup truck in the automotive landscape. You don’t have to be a pickup truck enthusiast to appreciate that this Jeep gives its drivers opportunities that other trucks and SUVs can’t live up to.
The truck bed allows you to venture out with all your favorite gear without having to tow added equipment. On the other hand, if you do wish to tow, the Gladiator can handle up to 7,700 lbs. Add the Trailer-Tow Package and enjoy the benefits of a 240-Amp alternator, a class IV Receiver Hitch, heavy-duty engine cooling, and a Trailer-Hitch Zoom. At five ft in length, the bed of the Gladiator can accommodate dirt bikes, surfboards, camping gear, and anything else that may get a little dirty during your outings. The bed has available LED lighting and an innovative three-position tailgate. Add an available heavy-duty spray-in bedliner to protect your Jeep and keep it looking fresh for years to come.
Jeep Cherokee X
Versatile and easy to move through the city, the Jeep Cherokee X is a great option for off-roading fans who have busy lifestyles during the week but are still passionate about venturing outdoors on the weekends. Blending iconic Jeep styling with rugged capabilities, the Cherokee X features an efficient 3.2L Pentastar V6 engine atop its four-wheel drive powertrain. The Active Drive Four-Wheel Drive system has a disconnecting rear axle that increases efficiency in various settings. The Trail Rated Jeep Active Drive Lock, plus a locking rear differential, function to add power when you’re moving at low speeds, helpful in those grittiest of rocky trails.
The Cherokee X is all-around eye-catching, with bold 17-inch gloss black wheels, beefy all-terrain tires, gloss-black badging, and its iconic Cherokee grille. Unique decals round out the design of the exterior that sits high up, with a total ground clearance of 8.7 in. Jeep Active Drive I is a driver assist feature that balances the torque distribution according to weather and conditions. The available Selec-Terrain Management System works hand in hand with your Cherokee X to adjust traction for specific modes. You can set it to Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, or Rock.
Jeep Compass Trailhawk
Jeep fans who want it all, and want it at a budget-friendly price point, will love the Jeep Compass Trailhawk. The Compass is the smaller of this batch, making it more efficient, lighter to maneuver, and costing less than its aforementioned cousins. The Trailhawk trim is one of the mid-level trim options and includes the Trail Rated badging that qualifies it as a top-tier choice for those who prioritize off-roading. When a Jeep is considered Trail Rated, it has passed the test of five performance categories; Traction, Articulation, Maneuverability, Ground Clearance, and Water Fording. If you’re getting a Jeep with the Trail Rated status, you know that the Jeep is primed and ready for whatever you throw its way. The Trailhawk has a low Crawler gear ratio for drivers who love a good boulder challenge.
The Compass Trailhawk received an interior facelift for 2022, with a refreshed cabin with more modern features like Uconnect 5 and voice recognition with navigation. It has a tablet-like touchscreen with a 10.1-inch display and six speakers to jam out to your favorite music while you forge the latest trail. Aside from having a snazzy interior, the Compass is more efficient thanks to its smaller, V-4 engine. It gets an EPA-estimated 22 MPG city and 30 MPG on the highway so that you can cut down on gas station stops on the way to your off-roading destination.
Four Rockstar Jeeps
The Wrangler Rubicon 392, Gladiator Willys, Cherokee X, and Compass Trailhawk all have unique attributes, distinguishable in exteriors, size, price, and features. However, all four share a key moniker; they’re all Jeep. Nobody has exemplified off-roading quite like Jeep, forging the way for other automakers to try and build vehicles that can live up to Jeep’s world-famous capabilities. Jeep has thrived at combining features for intelligent city commuting and breath-taking off-roading attributes all in one package. While these four models vary, they give their drivers the confidence to make the most of any adventure. They hold their vehicles to the highest standards, earning them recognition as an innovator in off-roading vehicles. But don’t just take our word for it; get out to your Los Angeles Jeep dealer and find out for yourself.