A Jeep is one of the best cars you can buy if you’re looking for off-roading thrills. The Wrangler is probably the most popular option, but the more conservative Cherokee models and boxy Jeep Renegade are also there. Still, even the most dedicated Jeep fan is probably aware of the brand’s reputation for unreliability.
According to Forbes, four used Jeep models from 2019 should be avoided at all costs. No Jeeps made it to the top three of this list, occupied by the Fiat 500, Dodge Caravan, and Acura ILX. While they’re not the worst cars on the market, you might end up paying a lot of cash to keep them running.
Jeep Compass SUV
Two years after its 2017 redesign, the 2019 Jeep Compass got a 7-inch touchscreen and some new optional safety features. It still only had one engine, a loud and sluggish four-cylinder. The Compass doesn’t have as many features as the larger Cherokee, but it surprisingly has slightly more cargo space.
Critics also disliked the Compass for its unexciting handling and middling safety scores. It doesn’t come with any standard driver’s aids and has been included in two recalls. Surveys say to look out for rusting or vibrating brakes and a defroster that randomly turns itself on.
Jeep Cherokee SUV
For 2019, the Jeep Cherokee got an exterior makeover and an improved infotainment interface. This was also the first year drivers could get an optional 271-horsepower turbo-four engine, a significant improvement over the sluggish base engine option. However, it’s still paired with a clunky nine-speed automatic transmission and poor ride quality.
Its handling is passable on civilized roadways, but it feels like it’s bigger than it actually is. Consumer Reports also didn’t think the seats were very comfortable and that driving is difficult with limited visibility. The engine is loud on any road, to the point where it drowns out any exterior noises.
To date, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee has been included in nine recalls. CR owners say its most prominent issues are a faulty transmission, loose interior wiring, and noisy axles. The infotainment system is also prone to freezing, and the car’s computer gives false alarms.
Jeep Patriot SUV
The Jeep Patriot was discontinued for the 2017 model year, primarily because it lacked the advanced technology of its rivals. It had two engines available, but both of them felt sorely underpowered and made the Patriot a chore to drive. While it has a cheap price point, the limited standard features and drab interior aren’t exactly good trade-offs.
The Jeep Patriot didn’t have any recalls for its last year, but its safety scores were still troubling. The IIHS gave it the lowest score for its small overlap front crash test. The NHTSA awarded the Patriot only three stars for its front crash test performance. An optional backup camera serves as its only safety feature.
Jeep Wrangler SUV
The 2019 Jeep Wrangler beats all of its siblings in terms of off-roading, and its available powertrains are surprisingly quick. Unfortunately, the Wrangler also has a hard and noisy ride as well as uncomfortable seats.
Around this time, many outgoing Jeep Wrangler JK models were also purchased by consumers. This Wrangler is even worse with its outdated interior and technology. Like the Patriot, this Wrangler also suffered from below-average safety scores.
Consumer Reports recommends the Gladiator pickup and the Grand Cherokee SUV if you’re looking for a more reliable Jeep. Jeeps are undeniably fun, but the extra work required to own some models makes them impractical for some buyers.