Driving the 2019 Jeep lineup in Italy
We landed in Milan where these vehicles were waiting for us to be driven on road for more than 2 hours until we reached our desired destination. I was lucky enough and got to drive the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. I was already excited about what was coming, and this was the cherry on the top. Two hours behind the steering wheel of this 6.4-liter V8 with 465 HP under the hood. While the Italian highways are capped at 130 km/h, I did manage to push it a bit. And below, on our Insta story, you can find out how 465 HP brought me back to life after a long flight. If you fall under that segment which I will define as the "best, coolest, and most adventurous dad from the block" this is the car everyone is expecting you to be driving.
We arrived at Desenzano del Garda hotel and the 2019 Jeep range which included the Renegade, Wrangler, Compass, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee awaited us. We did not have that much time to spend with those cars since we had to hit the road again to attend the press conference. And here things got a bit more interesting. We learned a bit more about FCA’s plans for the region and their plans for hybrid and electric vehicles. In addition, a bit more of the spirit of Jeep customers and how they are performing in terms of sales.
For instance, Jeep sales grew by 56% if we compare it with 2018. The beloved and all-new Wrangler (Test Drive here) grew by more than 100% in sales. Clearly, their strategy of expanding their user base is working and it is working very well. As of Q1 this year things also look fine since they are showing an 11.4% of growth. Which is worth mentioning since we all know that things have been quite slow lately. I can't stop thinking this from a customer point of view, meaning more people buying Jeeps, more Jeeps on the road, more trust on the end consumer that will encourage others to join the community.
On a different note and what is exciting is that they introduced the new Renegade 4X4e. Arriving in the Middle East by Q1 2020, it is the first step Jeep is making towards electrification. This Renegade will be a fully capable plug-in hybrid off-roader and the electric vehicle will give you 50 kilometers of range without using a single drop of petrol. For fully electric models, however, we might need to wait a bit more since they announced plans to introduce them in Q3 and Q4 of the same year.
During the second day was where things got spicier. We started early in the morning and drove uphill to a beautiful camp next to a marble mine. Waiting there we had the same range of Wrangler, Compass, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee to test drive. With one difference though, taking them to where they belong: off-road!
Each of these vehicles had a dedicated and complex off-road track to drive them. And for this, they deserve an article itself. In all cases, my focus was on the 2019 Jeep Compass and 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Below you can find the links to the reviews.