The all-wagon line of Jeep, Chrysler brand devoted exclusively to four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles, expands to eight different products in 2007. Jeep Commander is the first Jeep with three rows of seats, and Grand Cherokee SRT8, packing a 6.1-liter HEMI V8, is the most powerful Jeep ever. But Jeep's icon wagon, Wrangler, reinvents itself this year and spins off a four-door variation called Wrangler Unlimited. And there are two entirely new products -- Compass, a car-based crossover SUV, and Patriot, an entry-level Jeep with low price points.
Jeep's largest vehicle looks like a modern interpretation of Jeep classics. It shares a 109.5-inch wheelbase with Grand Cherokee but the structure is longer with room in the cabin for seven. For powertrains, Commander offers the 330-hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with multi-displacement system (MDS), which can switch to fuel-saving four-cylinder; Jeep's 4.7-liter V8 with 235 hp and flex-fuel E85 capability, and a 3.7-liter worth 210 hp. For 4WD, Jeep adds three systems -- Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. New models for '07 are Sport with the V6 and Overland packing the HEMI V8.
Jeep's mid-size SUV staple gains curtain-style air bags with a roll-detection system (RDS) as standard equipment on all 2007 models and shows the option of a turbo-diesel engine. The new 3.0-liter common rail turbo-diesel (CRD) V6 musters 215 hp. Grand Cherokee Laredo employs a 3.7-liter V6 with 210 hp. Limited draws Jeep's 4.7-liter V8 with 235 hp and flex-fuel E85 capacity, but Overland pulls from the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with MDS for 330 hp. Soft leathers and real wood trim Overland's cabin, as the exterior shows unique platinum accents on the grille and 17-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels.
Grand Cherokee SRT8
This souped-up Grand Cherokee SUV, swiftest and strongest vehicle ever to wear that chrome-coated J-E-E-P badge, performs like a raucous sports car but carries a boxy back bay under the disguise of a sport-utility wagon. It's outfitted with a massive 6.1-liter HEMI V8 pumping 420 hp and the suspension dropped an inch on sport-taut springs. All power from the big HEMI channels through a heavy-duty automatic transmission with five forward gears and adaptive electronic controls from the AutoStick, which has automatic and shift-it-yourself manual modes. And the 4WD system is unique to save weight.
Jeep's new crossover SUV fits in the compact class and rides on a car's chassis with front-wheel-drive (FWD) or 4WD traction plus fun-to-drive ride and handling traits. In the cabin Compass has seats for five and a cargo bay which expands to 53 cubic feet. Engine is a 2.4-liter in-line-four with dual variable valve timing (VVT) and output of 172 hp. A manual five-speed transaxle is standard, with a continuously variable transaxle (CVT) optional. The full-time 4WD device on Compass is designed for traction on rain-slick pavement or slippery snow.
The lowest price points in Jeep's line apply to the new compact-class Patriot SUV. It seats five in provides exceptional value with standard safety equipment like curtain-style side air bags and the non-skid electronic stability program (ESP). Engine is the same as in Compass -- a dual-cam 2.4-liter four-in-line with VVT and 172 hp. Patriot divides into three different traction configurations: The base unit with FWD, optional Freedom Drive I (a full-time 4WD system with lock mode), and the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package (a full-time 4WD system with low range for crawling over rough terrain).
Jeep reinvents its rugged dirt warrior for 2007 with a rigid new chassis and a longer and broader body, a new engine and more on-board safety systems. Two 4WD transfer cases appear with Jeep's CommandTrac part-time system or the RockTrac device for off-roader Rubicon with locking front and rear differentials, electric axle lockers and electronic disconnecting front sway bar. High-torque muscle stems from a 3.8-liter V6 worth 205 hp with standard six-speed manual gearbox or the optional four-speed automatic. For added safety the new Wrangler brings standard ESP and optional seat-mounted side air bags.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
A stretched version is called Wrangler Unlimited and it comes with four cabin doors and three trims -- X, Sahara or Rubicon. This is the only four-door convertible SUV and it stocks Jeep's new Freedom Top, a three-piece modular hardtop, and the Sunrider soft top. Powertrain compares to Wrangler with Jeep's 3.8-liter V6 for 205 hp and a six-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic shifter. The cabin carries seats for five with a fold-flat rear bench and options for premium gear like power controls for windows and door locks plus a remote keyless entry device.
Jeep's compact-class Liberty SUV extends into 2007 with two trim versions -- Sport and Limited. Both models draw from the same engine, a single-cam 3.7-liter V6 rated at 210 hp. A six-speed manual goes to Sport, while a four-speed automatic ties to Limited but is available on Sport. Either two-wheel-drive (2WD) or 4WD traction works with both trims. For 4WD, Liberty offers the shift-on-the-fly Command-Trac part-time transfer case or Selec-Trac full-time 4WD system. Sport wears a body-color grille and fascia resembling a twin-tube custom kit. Limited shows a chrome grille and body-color fascia and fender flares.