Jeep is no doubt one of the most recognizable brands in the world. When the name Jeep is mentioned, people immediately think about the Wrangler or Cherokee. But Jeep has more than just those 2 models. In fact in Malaysia, Jeep Malaysia has a whole bunch of models for sale. But first, how much do you really know about the venerable Jeep brand? For example did you know that the name ‘Jeep’ actually came about from the slurring of the letters ‘GP’, which stood for General Purpose? Read on…
Let’s start with the grand-daddy of all Jeeps. The one that started it all. This is the 1941 Willys MB. It was during World War II that the United States government needed an four wheel drive light reconnaissance vehicle. Ford, Bantam and Willys had submitted their proposal for the project, and Ford got selected. Ford called it the GPW, with the W referring to Willys’ licensed design. Over time, the GP’s short name was called Jeep. A total of 650,000 of these were made during the war period.
In 1984, Jeep introduced the Cherokee. It was Jeep’s first foray into the compact SUV segment. Back then, it was the only compact SUV that was offered a two and four-door model option. A limited edition Jeep Wagoneer (pictured above) was also offered. Apart from its cosmetic differentiation, the rest of the Jeep Wagoneer remains identical to the Cherokee. And thus begins Jeep’s foray into Malaysia…
Chris Wee says…
Along with the Wrangler, Malaysians got their first taste of Jeep with the Cherokee, and I personally remember this model quite well seeing as how it was the very first car I ever reviewed when I started my career as a motoring journalist in the early 90’s. It was a red one, powered by a 2.5 petrol engine, and this was followed by the 4.0 Grand Cherokee. I do recall having quite a bit of fun on the road and off-road with both the Cherokees, impressed with the ‘shift-on-the-fly’ 4WD function. Both performed well on and off the road, offering a decent amount of driving pleasure and off-road capability. The cars themselves were tough, rugged and very robust; they looked the part and if memory serves, they were quite well received by the general public. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the importer at the time…
The Jeep brand lasted a few years before the (then) importer pulled-up its tent-pegs, leaving behind a legacy, and not to mention countless owners, in a bit of a lurch. However, that changed recently with the opening of Jeep Malaysia, under the DRB-Hicom Group, and the brand has never looked stronger…
Boasting the largest Jeep showroom in South East Asia, the Jeep brand seems to have risen like the proverbial Phoenix from the ashes. Impressive as the showroom located in Glenmarie may be, the line-up of Jeeps currently being sold, with full backing and aftersales warranties are even more so, and these include:
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Featuring a new Quadra-Lift Air Suspension system, the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee was the next iteration of the iconic Jeep SUV. The Quadra-Lift suspension set up allowed for height adjustments for both on and off-road driving, while the Selec-Terrain system with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II offered a total of five terrain settings. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is powered by an all-new 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine with VVT. In Malaysia, you can choose between two variants of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The first variant is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, which retails for RM448,889*, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland will set you back for RM468,889*. The Quadra-Life Air Suspension system is only available on the Overland variant, alongside larger rims, wood and leather wrapped steering wheel and courtesy lights on the side mirrors.
Introduced in 2014, the new Jeep Cherokee raised the bar for the SUV segment, as it boasts excellent off-road, world-class on-road dynamics and excellent fuel economy. The new Jeep Cherokee also comes with an array of advanced safety and technology features. Under the hood is a 2.4-litre Tigershark Multiair 2 engine that is mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox. The Jeep Cherokee comes in 2 variants for Malaysians, the first being the Jeep Cherokee Limited, which retails for RM348,889*, while the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk costs RM378,889*. The Trailhawk variant benefits from bigger rims, Jeep Active Drive Lock, Selec-Speed Control and unique Trailhawk suspension set up (standard on the Limited).
My personal fave, launched in 2007, the new Jeep Wrangler featured an all-new frame, exterior and interior design. Apart from that, the engine, safety and convenience has also been enhanced. The Jeep Wrangler is available in both two- and four-door variants. The Wrangler is designed to tackle the toughest off-road obstacles, with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon setting a world record for climbing the world’s tallest volcano in 2007. All Jeep Wrangler variants are powered by a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine. A total of 3 variants are available in the Malaysian market. The first variant is the Unlimited Sport, which retails for RM288,889*. Moving one level up gets you the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, for RM328,889*. The range-topping Wrangler Rubicon costs RM338,889*.
The most-affordable Jeep in Jeep Malaysia’s lineup is the Jeep Compass. Don’t let that fool you though, as the Jeep Compass does pack some excellent features, like a total of 6 airbags, active front head restraints power heated side mirrors and a power sunroof. Under the hood, the Jeep Compass has a 2.4-litre dual-VVT engine mated to a 6-speed PowerTech automatic with AutoStick electronic controls. The engine is good for 170 hp at 6,000 rpm and a total of 220 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. In addition to the safety features mentioned above, the Jeep Compass also comes with ABS, ESC, Brake Assist and Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM). The Jeep Compass is only available in one variant, which is the Limited variant which retails for RM248,889*. (*All prices are quoted before the implementation of GST)
The Future of Jeep in Malaysia…
The road ahead for Jeep will not be without its bumps and challenges, that’s for sure, however, Jeep Malaysia seems to be on the right track (pun intended). It already has one of the most impressive car showrooms in the country, the largest, in SEA, not to mention a healthy line-up of vehicles for sale.
In addition to roadshows and a host of on-ground activities, Jeep Malaysia also has a customer-focused promo currently underway (click on the Jeep banner at the top of the main page), which invites the public to get to know the Jeep brand better. There’s a famous saying that ‘bums in seats sell cars’, and that’s exactly what you need to do. Sign-up for a test-drive.
Watch this space as AF will be bringing you a lot more from the ‘new’ Jeep brand in Malaysia very soon!
Photo Gallery of Jeep models for sale in Malaysia are shown below.
Jeep Cherokee Overland
Jeep Cherokee Limited
Jeep Wrangler (Unlimited Sport, Unlimited Sahara, Rubicon)
Jeep Cherokee Limited
Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Compiled by Chris Wee, Alia Zaharin & Eric Goh