Have you Considered a Lifted Jeep?
We’re willing to put money down that when we say Jeep, the first thing that jumps to your mind is the image of the timeless Jeep Wrangler. With it’s rough and tumble beginnings as a capable military vehicle, Jeep Wranglers have become an American symbol of can-do attitude and unwavering determination. While the Wranglers have undoubtedly stolen the show, Jeep has numerous impressive SUVs in their lineup. If you want to know what makes lifted Jeeps so great, we’ve got you covered!
Why Choose A Jeep?
Before we jump into all the great Jeep models out on the market today, let’s take a moment to talk about why you should consider a Jeep.
To start, Jeep has a long and storied history. The earliest predecessor to Jeep’s most iconic model, the Wrangler, was the Willy MB. It was an off-road capable, light, military utility vehicle used largely by the Allied forces during WWII.
It gained a reputation of being durable and versatile, prompting President Eisenhower to consider it “one of three decisive weapons the U.S. had during WWII.” That’s one heck of an endorsement if we’ve ever heard one!
The Willy MB, and later Jeep, showed up everywhere- there were (and still are) few vehicles able to rival its recognizability. Despite decades of engineering ingenuity, the iconic Jeep grille has become a design staple for every model that they produce. In addition to their iconic grille, Jeeps are also known for their sheer off-road capability.
However, not every Jeep is built off-road ready, but that’s part of the beauty of their appeal. The aftermarket for Jeep parts is one of the best there is, making it a dream vehicle for gearheads, DIY junkies, and weekend warriors alike!
So, to recap, you might want to consider a Jeep if…
- You want to own an important part of American history
- You’ll want a vehicle with the ability to conquer any off-road terrain
- You want a project you can tinker with from the ground up.
If you can check off any of those boxes, you’ve come to the right blog.
Why Lift My Jeep?
Of course, this isn’t just a buyer’s guide for Jeeps, it’s a buyer’s guide for lifted Jeeps. What exactly does a lift accomplish for your Jeep?
First and foremost, a lift can make your Jeep look just that much cooler. A lifted Jeep is much more imposing, undeniably. There are so many different kinds of lifts you can give your Jeep, so be sure to install the right ones for your needs. For instance, if you’re just looking to improve its cool factor, you might want a leveling kit rather than a whole suspension upgrade.
More practically, the right lift can improve your Jeep’s ability to take on off-road terrain. If you want a lift that improves your Jeep’s performance, you absolutely need one that will upgrade your suspension system. Beyond the smoother ride that a suspension based lift can bring, it also serves a couple of other purposes. Take a peek at this blog if you’re unsure what kind of lift to invest in!
Namely, lift kits serve to improve your overall ground clearance and approach angles. Ground clearance is defined as the distance between the lowest hanging part of your vehicle to the ground, which dictates what kind of obstacles it can overcome. IE, if an obstacle is 9 inches tall, but your Wrangler only has a clearance of 8.3 Inches, you’re going to have a difficult time overcoming it.
Better ground clearance also serves to improve your approach, departure, and break-over angles. Simply put, the approach angle is the maximum angle from the ground that your vehicle can take on without hitting your front bumper. The departure angle is the same, but for the rear bumper. If you want a more detailed explanation, check out this article!
We won’t go into too much detail here, but if you want a lift that improves your Jeep’s off-road ability, the following upgrades are also a must:
- Off-Road Tires: Not only are these wheels bigger to make your ride more proportionate after a lift, but they also have deeper treads more suitable to grip rough and uneven off-road terrain. They also improve your ground clearance!
- Tire Deflator: In off-roading, reducing the air pressure in your tires gives them more surface area to grip the ground with, as well as make them less liable to outright pop. Of course, you want a way to inflate your tires too.
- Beadlock Wheels: In a vehicle made only to drive on asphalt, the air pressure in a tire is more than enough to keep it wrapped around a wheel. However, deflating your tires for offroading makes them more likely to slip off. Beadlock wheels are the solution.
If you want more information about what makes a killer off-road vehicle, check out this blog!
Popular Jeep Models that Make for Great Lifted Jeeps
We’ve covered why Jeeps are as popular as they are, and how a lift can help them reach their maximum potential. So, what Jeep model is right for your lifted Jeeps needs?
We wouldn’t be doing the Jeep name justice if we didn’t talk about its most iconic model, the Wrangler. From its origins as a wily military vehicle to its contemporary reputation as an off-road legend, the Wrangler is a timeless and classic model with the ability to become whatever you need it to be.
Like many lifted trucks out on the market, lifted Jeep Wranglers come with so many trims and options it’s hard to keep track of them all. We’ll cover just a few of the most popular ones here. The simplest distinction is whether your Wrangler is a Sport or an Unlimited Sport. This just means your Wrangler either has two doors or four doors, respectively.
Next, we can talk about the different trim levels. As you expect, the base model Jeep Wrangler does not come with any off-road bells and whistles. Its suspension, tires, and differentials are all made for standard asphalt driving. This is a good option for you if you’re someone who appreciates the way it looks and its place in American history, but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to show it.
The lifted Jeeps base model is also a good option for you if you’re someone who appreciates being able to get down and dirty and tinker with the mechanics. Like we pointed out before, Jeep Wranglers have one of the best aftermarkets in the game. To top it off, there are only a few off-road upgrades that you can’t do yourself with a little elbow grease.
The Sahara trim level brings you one step closer to off-road mastery, but still leaves a little to be desired. Meanwhile, the Rubicon trim level is the Wrangler best suited to roll right off the lot onto muddy terrain.
It’s best to talk about them in the same breath, as they share the following similarities:
- 3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve VVT Engine
- 285 horsepower/260 lb.-ft. of torque
- 6-Speed Manual Transmission
Here, however, is how they differ:
- 4WD Systems: The Sahara employs a Command-Trac Part-Time 4WD system, while the Rubicon employs a Rock-Trac Part-time system. Essentially, the Rock-Trac system is better suited for off-roading and is not something you can upgrade. More on their differences here.
- Differentials: The Sahara features traditional differentials, while the Rubicon features Tru-Lok differentials, their trademarked locked differentials.
- Electronic Sway Bar Disconnect: The Rubicon allows you to disconnect your sway bar at the press of a button. Any off-road aficionado will tell you how useful this feature is.
Whichever model you choose, you’re in for a fun ride. Check out the NWMS selection of lifted Jeep Wranglers here!
Cherokee and Grand Cherokee
Among Jeep’s impressive lineup of SUV’s are the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. These two models are what are known as Crossover SUV’s, which means that they are built with unibody construction rather than the standard body-on-frame construction of most SUV’s and trucks. What’s the difference, you ask?
A body-on-frame construction is key for a few things. Vehicles built this way excel in handling torsion (the twisting and bending a vehicle would have to do during off-roading) and typically have better-towing capacity. However, unibody construction sacrifices those benefits for better overall MPG, smoother handling, and vastly improved safety ratings. Read more about their differences here.
The key difference between the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee is, you guessed it, their size! The Grand Cherokee kicks it at 290 horsepower with 260 ft-lbs of torque, while the Cherokee trails behind at 184 horsepower with 171 ft-lbs of torque. However, the Cherokee beats the Grand Cherokee in fuel economy, with 31 MPG highway and 25 MPG highway respectively.
Don’t let our little excerpt about body construction dissuade you from this SUV’s off-road capability! Both models are available at the Trailhawk trim levels, specially designed to help these SUV’s take on all kinds of terrain. This trim level comes loaded with a Quadra-Trac II 4WD system, underbody skid plates, all-terrain tires, and a five-mode traction control system.
The Cherokees trade the Wrangler’s the-sky-is-the-limit off-road attitude for more sensible fuel economy and safety features that let you share your love of the outdoors with your whole family. Why not check out what we’ve got in the NWMS fleet of lifted Jeeps?
The Gladiator is a rarity in the Jeep lineup, being one of few trucks that they’ve produced throughout their long history. One look at it and you can easily see the similarities between it and Jeep’s most iconic ride, the Wrangler. The design cues are largely the same, inside and out.
Announced in 2018 and released in 2019, this is Jeep’s first go at pickup trucks since the Comanche was discontinued in 1992. Claiming to be the Off-Road King of Mid-Size trucks, the Gladiator is available in the same trim levels as the Wrangler, with the Sahara trim being redubbed as the Overland trim. Check out the specs on its official website!
If this unique model in Jeep’s history excites you, check out our inventory! It’s so new we currently only have two in stock!
Check Out Our Lifted Jeeps Today!
We gave you some of our top picks when it comes to the Jeep name, but it would feel wrong if we didn’t throw out some honorable mentions. The Jeep Compass is a respectable crossover SUV that shares a lot of similarities with the Cherokee at a lower MRPG, and the Jeep Renegade is a fun option too.