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PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By Ilyse Gordon & Friends

Thinking of abandoning your own family to join a new one? You won't find a more loyal driver-base than Jeep owners. Jeeps are the oldest off-road vehicle brand in history, used first as army 4-wheel drive cars in World War II and post-war years. 'Jeeping' is an actual verb used to describe the action and effect of a Jeep (use that in your next English paper), and you're referred to as a 'Jeeper' if you own one. (Wow –you'll get a new name if you join this clan!!!)

But not everyone who loves Jeeps knows how to use 4-wheel drive or take the car on a trail ride. In the last couple of years, Jeep has really come out with a lot of different styles to make the average driver a part of the pack. Here's a quick round up of The Best Jeeps for Girlz:

  • Jeep Commander. This SUV is meant to replace the old Jeep Grand Wagoneer, but offer high-end design taste. Three words precisely describe the inside: premium, premium, and more premiums, such as chrome-accented knobs, wood and leather trim, and optional DVD, six-disc CD/MP3 player and GPS navigational systems. Highlights are three-row seating and the versatility of having 15 different seating/cargo configurations. Expect a solid, quite ride. Price range starts at $28,610 and can get into the high 40’s when loaded with upgrades.

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee. Debuting in 1992, the Grand Cherokee often outshines its siblings and is known for its top-rated off-road capabilities. Highlights include a turbo diesel (CRD) engine that offers up to 30 percent improvement in fuel economy, getting a driver 19-mpg city and 23-mpg highway driving. The ride inside a Grand Cherokee delivers comfortable, precise seating. Base price for a Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 with the 4.7-liter SOHC V8 is around $37,320.

  • Jeep Compass. The Compass is Jeep's trendiest crossover, surprisingly big on the inside. It's not what you’d expect in a Jeep – it doesn’t have any real 4-wheel drive capacity – but still looks a part of an iconic brand. It boasts great gas mileage at 23-mpg city and 28-highway driving. Highlights include SIRIUS radio, MP3 jack, power outlets for computers or cell phone, and hands-free calling. Sporty handling. Pricing starts at $18,055.

  • Jeep Patriot. You' get great gas mileage and a vehicle under $25k with the compact Patriot. It looks like a cross between the Compass and the Liberty, but with more rugged Jeep styling – it's meant to attract a new breed of buyers and is a lot like the Dodge Caliber. Highlights include a transmission called Freedom Drive I, which is a full-time 4WD system with a lockable center differential for deeper snow and other scary traction surfaces. Price is around is $22,535 with a gas mileage estimate of 23-mpg city and 26-mpg highway driving.

  • Jeep Liberty. Introduced in 2002, there is no mistaking this small-size 4-door, 5-passenger sport utility vehicle is a Jeep. The Liberty doesn’t try to confuse the consumer with its configurations. There are two trims; the Sport and the Limited, so there are just four different ways (4WD or 2WD) to have your Liberty. Available options include a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated seats and a six-disc CD system. A navigational system, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity are also available. Price range for is around $7,170 for the Limited 4WD and $22,615 for the Sport 2WD. Fuel economy is 18-mpg city and 22-mpg highway driving

So there you have it! Deciding which Jeep would be best requires taking a look at your lifestyle and where you might be in the next couple of years. Will you be going to a college located in the snow – or just become a full-time ski bum? Do you want a vehicle that is smaller and saves gas, or something with a big engine that can fit all of your friends? Look here on The New Car Buyers Guide to make that final decision!

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More to come, I promise.