Jeep History

Jeep has the awesome reputation of being the very first manufacturer of off-roaders/ SUVs. It was the inspiration for that other renowned SUV maker - Land Rover. In fact the word was originally used generically to mean any 4-wheel drive off-road vehicle. The disputed story of the origin of the ‘Jeep’ moniker was that American World War II soldiers named the car after Eugene the Jeep, a character in the Popeye cartoon who was small and could solve seemingly impossible problems. Even today some Jeep models still carry remnants of the original’s design, like the seven-bar grille, round headlights and short overhangs. Jeep only manufactures 4X4 off-road vehicles.

The company is currently part of the Chrysler Group, having cycled through several owners starting with the Willys-Overland Company in 1941. The cars have also been produced by other makers under licence, for example India’s Mahindra and Japan’s Mitsubishi. Jeep corporate headquarters in is Toledo, Ohio, USA.

Jeep Models

Jeep’s lineup in New Zealand starts with the Wrangler, a compact SUV available as either short or long wheelbase versions. The car can even be optioned with a canvas soft-top. The Grand Cherokee is a larger 5-seater SUV popular in the U.S. and targeted towards families. It can be ordered as a 3.0 litre turbodiesel, 4.7 petrol, or the SRT8 hotrod version featuring a beefy 6.1-litre engine. The Patriot is a crossover SUV for those owners who don’t really need the full-on SUV experience. The Cherokee is a compact SUV with monocoque construction (as opposed to the traditional body-on-frame SUV), and lastly the Commander- a large 7-seat cousin of the Grand Cherokee.

Looking at buying a Jeep? Check the vehicle history of any Jeep by entering its number plate in the field above.