When it comes to reliability and dependability, many car buyers rely on the scores and ranking data from Consumer Reports. Based on surveys from actual vehicle owners, along with independent evaluations, how a vehicle ranks can have a significant impact on which model you buy. And if you’re a Jeep enthusiast, you might be wondering which 2021 Jeep model in the lineup scores the highest.
We’ll give you the run-down of the Jeep portfolio for 2021 models, and it might surprise you to learn which 2021 Jeep model came in last.
The overall lowest-scoring Jeep of 2021
Consumer Reports compiled the data and overall evaluations for every Jeep in the lineup, including the 2021 Jeep Cherokee, the 2021 Jeep Compass, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2021 Jeep Renegade, and of course, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler.
Based on predicted reliability, road testing scores, routine handling, and emergency handling, each model was assigned a combined numerical score between one and 100.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee comes out on top in this Jeep model comparison, with a score of 67. The Renegade only earned a 37, while Cherokee scored a 54. The 2021 Jeep Compass earned a 39, and coming in last, with the worst score of all, is the 2021 Jeep Wrangler with a dismal 29.
What Consumer Reports didn’t like about the 2021 Jeep Wrangler
So what was the major turn-off about the Jeep Wrangler? Consumer Reports didn’t like a few key characteristics that ended up resulting in poor scores for the road test.
Despite a variety of improvements, the Wrangler continues to fall behind in responsiveness, with stiff jolting and vague steering. Consumer Reports also points out a subpar braking distance, even on dry pavement, with a constant jitter most SUVs have conquered these days. And even with a hardtop variation, the Jeep Wrangler still offers a noisy ride on the highway.
Why the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee scored the highest
Of course, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is designed to be a more refined SUV, with more upscale touchpoints and a much quieter ride. But this Jeep model landed at the top of the lineup of Jeeps for other reasons, too.
What Consumer Reports really likes about the Grand Cherokee is its versatility and robust options for engine and trim level configuration. They say it’s the “Swiss Army Knife” of SUVs.
The road test earned an 80 out of 100 score, and the Grand Cherokee has a higher predicted reliability rating than the other Jeeps in the portfolio.
Is the Wrangler getting treated unfairly?
Let’s be honest. The Jeep Wrangler has never tried to be a luxurious or supple driving machine. At its core, the Wrangler is meant to be off-road, meaning it’s equipped best to do just that.
You can’t design a vehicle with removable doors and multiple top options without compromising on road noise. Chances are, if you’re interested in buying a Wrangler, you’re buying it because of those unique features. And you’re probably willing to forgo a plush seat, a smooth ride, and a quiet cabin.
So, while the Consumer Reports score suggests the Wrangler is the worst in the overall Jeep lineup, you need to take that rating in context with what the Wrangler’s all about as an SUV.
The great thing about the Jeep family of SUVs is that each model is designed to be different and appeal to different buyers. If you need a four-wheel drive capable ride with more luxurious road manners, the Grand Cherokee is ideal.
But if you need a salt of the earth variety Jeep that loves dirt roads and summer breezes, the Wrangler is your best bet. And the Consumer Reports ratings really just confirms how different each Jeep can be.