Closer & Closer: The Plug-in Wrangler

Jeep announced their plans to go green a while ago, and it appears that it’s going to happen very soon with a plug-in hybrid Wrangler model slated to hit showrooms by 2020. The company recently announced that the critical components for the plug-in hybrid Jeep will be produced at its Toledo Machining Plant. The plant will be responsible for the manufacture of the power inverter and the integrated dual charger; both labeled as the Electronics Module. Once completed, the Electronics Module components will be shipped over to the nearby Toledo Assembly Plant, where the innovative Wrangler plug-in is to be assembled. According to Jeep, the Electronics Module will be housed in a structure located between the exhaust and drive shaft.

Details about the Wrangler plug-in have been scarce, but industry experts say that the plug-in Wrangler will borrow ideas from other successful hybrids from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) lineup, mainly the Pacifica Hybrid. The current Wrangler is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar engine – an engine that’s almost identical to the six-cylinder engine found on the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The engine commonly referred to as the “Pentastar,” couples with an electric motor to power the car, and is expected to be the very same one that will appear in the upcoming eco-friendly Wrangler.

The Pentastar engine in the Pacifica Hybrid is modified to the Atkinson Cycle – intended to improve efficiency at the expense of power output, and using the electric motor to compensate for that power loss. The engine is also paired with an electronically variable transmission, dual electric motors, and a 16 kWh battery pack. The minivan has an all-electric range of up to 33 miles per charge. Meanwhile, given the heftier design of the Wrangler, it’s likely that the all-electric range will be shorter – depending on the battery pack size. Of course, Jeep can always modify the battery packs for better charge efficiency, but that would be pointless – the Wrangler’s drivetrain would be unnecessarily expensive to produce when compared to the Pacifica Hybrid with the same exact drivetrain.

FCA currently gets the Pacifica Hybrid batteries from LG Chem in Michigan, and it’s likely that the ones for the plug-in Wrangler will come from the same place. The battery packs include thermal management to keep them from overheating and reducing the risk of them igniting. FCA recently announced their five-year electrification plan, one that will bring over thirty new electric options over the entire lineup by 2022. Details on the plug-in Wrangler are scarce for now, and we are sure that FCA will likely make more announcements as we near closer to its launch in 2020. The environmental benefits and enhanced fuel economy will be selling points of the plug-in Wrangler, but devoted Jeepers will be looking out for the added torque that the electric motor can provide at lower speeds – perfect for off-roading!

Come by Miami Lakes Jeep and sneak a peek at the current 2018 Wrangler JL inventory while we wait for the plug-in version to arrive. You can even pass by Miami Lakes Chrysler and test drive the Pacifica Hybrid so you can get a feel for the drivetrain that’s expected to be the same or somewhat similar to the one in the plug-in Wrangler.

Already own a Jeep? You’ll be glad to find out that our service department is now open on Sundays for your convenience. Schedule a service appointment online today!

Photo Source/Copyright: Jeep

Five Rules to Follow Before and During Off-roading

Made for the wide open road, Jeep® brand vehicles are no strangers to adventure and wilderness. Off-roading in a Jeep is almost a rite of passage for any adventure enthusiast, but off-roading on the wild side is no easy feat. This is where Jeep vehicles shine – top of the line safety features and endless 4×4 systems make off-roading a breeze.

Preparing Your Vehicle

Consumers should perform a thorough check of their vehicle before heading out on the road, the same way they would before heading out on a road trip. All oils and fluids should be topped off, all hoses should be in good conditions and the battery should be fastened. The tires must be in good condition with sufficient tread and appropriate tire pressure. Prepping the vehicle will help avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. No one should go off road alone in remote and unknown areas.

Ready, Set, Go

Getting ready to go off road is only half the battle as drivers should be able to cautiously judge trail conditions. Determining when to engage the four-wheel-drive (4WD) is an incredibly important skill that can turn an exciting afternoon into a nightmare. Drivers should look over the hood while scanning the terrain from left to right to see when the need for additional traction presents itself. Engaging the 4WD after getting stuck is nearly impossible.

Speeding not Necessary

Speed and power have nothing to do with off-roading – it’s not a race! Experts recommend crawling – not speeding – over obstacles. The lowest gear should be engaged, and a low speed that seems as if the vehicle is idling will get a Jeep 4×4 vehicle through the roughest trails. Consumers will be surprised to read that the average speed at the famed Rubicon Trail ranges a measly one-to-five miles per hour. Off-roading isn’t a speed sport, it’s slow and methodical.

Sandy Situations

Off-roading in the desert? Driving through sand will require exceptional traction, and dropping air pressure 10-12 pounds below normal pressure on conventional tires will definitely help. Depending on the condition of the terrain, low-range or high-range 4WD may be necessary. Wide turns are recommended as tight turning slows the vehicle down and can even contribute to getting the vehicle stuck. The idea is to always keep moving forward.

Your Best Behavior

Off-roaders must observe all posted signs, stay on trails and go off road only in approved areas. Treading lightly is the key, and sound judgment should be used at all times to preserve the beauty and solitude of the trail. If the terrain appears fragile, off-roaders should seek an alternate route. “Leave it better than you found it” is the general rule when off-roading.

Bitten by the adventure bug? Come by Miami Lakes Jeep and check out the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler or the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for exceptional power. If you already own a Jeep then you’ll be glad to learn that our service department is now open on Sunday for your convenience. Schedule a service appointment today!

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The Jeep Compass & Grand Cherokee Take On the Moose Test

2018 jeep compass moose test miami lakes automall

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Originally named the Elk Test until 1997, the Moose Test is a simulated obstacle course that allows drivers to see how well their vehicle can evade compromising situations or even avoid hitting a moose. Yet, this is no easy test as drivers have less than a second to swerve around an obstacle and get back on track to avoid any other harmful traffic. Of course, the more skilled the driver, the more chances of passing the test but it’s up to automotive companies to provide their consumers with exceptional safety features, and in this case, it’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Where it all began…

As previously mentioned, the Moose Test was originally named the Elk Test until 1997. On October 21, 1997, Robert Collin, a journalist from the motor magazine Teknikens Värld, overturned a Mercedes-Benz A-Class during the moose test. Meanwhile, a much older vehicle, a Trabant, was able to take on the moose test perfectly. As a result, a German newspaper called Süddeutsche Zeitung officially coined the term after Collin described the test by using the example of an evasive maneuver for a moose on the road – hence the name Moose Test. Prior to this, different forms of Moose Tests were performed since the 1970s. Today, the Moose Test is more commonly performed in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Northern Russia, Canada, and Alaska.

Jeep Compass

Beginning with the lighter Jeep Compass – this midsize SUV participated and essentially passed two tests. Both were performed at about 49 mph, and each time the driver was able to swerve out of the way and get back in their lane with minimal problems. During the second test, however, the driver reached a speed of 50 mph and hit a cone. Luckily, it wasn’t considered an issue due to the fact that moose don’t commonly have protective cones surrounding them. Throughout the entire test, the driver always felt in complete control and the ESC worked quickly and efficiently. 

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Contrary to the Jeep Compass, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is heavier, by about 5,300 pounds, which makes stability control no easy task. Participating in three driving courses, the initial test proved to be challenging due to the elevated speeds of 44 and 45 mph. During the second test, the Jeep Grand Cherokee almost ran off the road but was able to come back on the track. Unfortunately, the third attempt was unsuccessful as the Grand Cherokee drifted off the road and was unable to return to its lane. Even though the Jeep Grand Cherokee lacks grace when avoiding those cones, it does react cleanly with minimal unexpected movements.

Overall, both vehicles maintained stability and control, but the Jeep Compass definitely takes the win on this one. Come test drive a 2018 Jeep Compass or 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Miami Lakes Automall today! We’re located in Miami Lakes, FL and for more information on our entire new car inventory selection, visit our website or stay updated on our social media.    

How To – A Guide to 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Top Removal


Jeepers are going to be happy to hear about all of the hardtop and Sunrider soft top configurations available on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL model. Jeep has been consistently improving their removable rooftops, and the 2018 Wrangler JL model is the best one yet – the fussy hassle of removing the top before heading out on the trail is a thing of the past. With less time to be spent removing the top, Jeep adventurers can enjoy more time outdoors. Knowing how to remove the top beforehand really helps make the process more efficient, and we’ve constructed a simple guide for consumers. We recommend having someone to lend a helping hand with the removal of the hardtop as it is a more laborious process than the removal of the Sunrider soft top. We’ve also got a video for Jeepers to follow along with the written instructions:

Sunrider Soft Top Removal

Gone are the days of the zip-out windows, the press-and-seal slider system is here to stay. From start to finish, the Sunrider soft top only takes about a minute and a half! Here’s our step by step process:

  1. Open the trunk to gain access to the back window. Next, grasp the corners of the rear window while pulling up and away from the vehicle until the window is only attached at the top. Slide the window out towards the left by using the new sliding track system. Place the window in the trunk to avoid damaging it.
  2. The side windows function in the exact same way, with the press-and-seal slider system. First, unlatch the window column off the back corner. Next, pull the window panel away from the Jeep by undoing the velcro, and slide the window off the guiding track towards the front of the vehicle. Repeat this process for the other window and store the panels responsibly to avoid damage.
  3. With all three windows removed, it’s time to work on the actual rooftop. Inside the cabin, there will be two latches – each one behind its respective sun visor. Undo each latch to unlock the soft top.
  4. After unlocking the soft top, go ahead and push it back halfway. Jeep lovers will be glad to learn that they can complete the topless look by unhooking a latch on the back of the rooftop. From here on out, the top will fold back like a traditional convertible top and will rest above the trunk.
  5. Secure the soft top by locking it into place using the locks to connect the soft top legs to the frame of the Wrangler. Push the soft top upwards to make sure it is locked in place.  

Hard Top Removal

As we previously mentioned, the hard top removal is a bit more challenging but can be completed in under five minutes. Follow these steps with a buddy to hit the pavement quicker:

  1. The front panels are called the freedom panels, and they are held in place by a total of eight latches. Two can be found behind the sun visors, while six L-shaped latches remain around the roof of the cabin. Pull the L-shaped latches towards the center of the cabin and unlock the two remaining latches behind the visors.
  2. Now that the panels are loose, lift them one at a time and store them. Many companies offer freedom panel storage bags as added accessories.
  3. Next up, open the trunk and locate the wiper fluid line and accompanying electrical harness. Disconnect the wiper fluid line and lock it into the nearby receptacle to secure it. Repeat these steps to disconnect the electrical harness by pressing on the red tab and pulling down, and lock it into the nearby receptacle as well.
  4. Along the inside roof of the hardtop, there will be a total of six screws, three on each side. Use the toolkit that comes with the Wrangler to unscrew these screws.
  5. There are only two screws left – on the top front corners of the roof – their function is to attach the hardtop to the top of the frame. Unscrew these and the hard top is officially loose.
  6. Jeep has a convenient feature on the edge of the trunk to store the loose screws for safekeeping. Just lift the felt cargo cover in the middle and pop them in place.
  7. It’s time for the assistant to step in – the actual removal of the top will require an extra set of hands. The top is heavy, and accidentally dropping it will become a nightmare scenario of expensive repairs. Slide the hardtop away from the frame of the Jeep for leverage and proceed to lift it off in unison. Store the top responsibly to avoid any damage.

Jeep clearly listened to consumers and made terrific strides with their new-and-improved tops, making it easy to enjoy the Wrangler the way it’s meant to be enjoyed –  topless and without a fuss. Rumor has it that Jeep is saving their ‘Sky One-Touch Power Top’ (a feature that will retract the canvas roof of the Wrangler with just the touch of a button) for the 2019 model.

Come by Miami Lakes Jeep and check out our inventory of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. Follow us on Miami Lakes Jeep social media to be one of the first to know about the launch of the ‘Sky One-Touch Power Top’.

Already a Jeeper? We’ve got great news for you – our service department is now open on Sundays for your convenience. Schedule your service today!

Photo Source/Copyright: FCA/


10 Best Jeeps of all Time


When people think of Jeep, they often think of a brand with a timeless design and a history of endurance – but what is often overlooked is the fact that Jeep has switched corporate owners many times in its close to 80-year history. It’s a fact that is easy to ignore when none of the automakers have dared to alter what is unique about the Jeep brand, only contributing to its improvement over time. Endurance is a large part of the Jeep DNA, and it shows through their craftsmanship spanning their history. That said, let’s take a look at ten Jeep models that have made their mark over the years.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

We’ll start with a Jeep you can currently own – The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. With a roaring 707 horsepower pulled from the depths of the supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 engine, and the power of unmatched off-road capabilities for an SUV of its size, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is an SUV that can do it all. Consumers will be attracted to the distinctive style and outrageous performance abilities of this vehicle.

2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK

This model marks the beginning of the four-door Jeep Wrangler. The introduction of this vehicle added convenience to a classic without having to sacrifice too much. The off-roading capabilities and style remained the same while adding room for more. What’s that saying? The more, the merrier.

1997 – 2007 Jeep Wrangler TJ

The Jeep Wrangler used to be directly associated with off-roading, but all that changed with the introduction of the 1997 Wrangler TJ model. This model added on-road capabilities and established the Wrangler as a vehicle that combined fun and function. Consumers might’ve feared that perfecting it for street usage meant that its capabilities in the wild suffered, but that wasn’t the case. This new Wrangler boasted greater axle articulation, higher ground clearance, and more than enhanced its off-roading capabilities.

1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee

This landmark Jeep model took its cues from the original Jeep design, including the classic Jeep front grille, but allowed for Jeep’s introduction into the rising SUV market at the time. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the first of its kind that combined style, off-roading capabilities, and most importantly, its luxury packaging – all to become a serious competitor in the SUV market, where it now rules as one of the best-selling in its class.

1984 – 2001 Jeep Cherokee

Hailed as the SUV before the SUV even existed, the Jeep Cherokee is often described as the vehicle that sunk the station wagon market. With its two four-wheel-drive systems, impeccable design as the first SUV, and various engine options that offered significant upgrades in terms of power for the time, the Jeep Cherokee was the right vehicle at the right time. The combination of right-size design and driveability helped make the Jeep Cherokee the classic it is today.

1976 – 1986 Jeep CJ-7

The CJ-7 brought adventure to the masses once again, building on the success of the CJ-5. The greatest changes not only added safety and comfort but introduced features to Jeep that are standard nowadays – the choice between a steel hardtop and doors or a vinyl soft-top with vinyl doors.

1966 – 1971 Jeepster Commando

This model was meant to evoke the light-hearted side of Jeep, with its two rows and open-air style that invited consumers to cruise. The Jeep style remained untouched even with the quirky design of the Jeepster Commando, still beckoning consumers to take off on another adventure and to take advantage of the four-wheel-drive. Initially intended to rival the Ford Bronco, the Jeepster Commando made a name for itself with the continued Jeep tradition of balancing style and functionality.

1963 – 1991 Jeep Wagoneer

The Wagoneer was a vehicle that stood the test of time, going as far as maintaining the same platform for all of the 28 years that it was in production. It also had a reputation of firsts – the first four-wheel-drive to offer an automatic transmission and the introduction of the Jeep Quadra-Trac all-wheel-drive system. Consumers and Jeep engineers know a good thing when they see it, as was the case with the Wagoneer, which is slated for a possible revival in the coming years.

1955 – 1983 Jeep CJ-5

Consumers that own a Jeep Wrangler can thank this model, the one that held down the Jeep fort for over 25 years. The CJ-5 helped the brand transition out of its military design limitations by adding more power and comfort and eventually making Jeep a consumer classic. With its manufacture, Jeep became synonymous with off-roading for the masses, played up its individualism with countless color options and styles, while reflecting the ongoing need for automakers to evolve.

1941 – 1945 Willys MB

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the one that started it all. The Willys MB is an outstanding vehicle that serves as an eternal tribute to American ingenuity during World War II. Designed with durability in mind, the Willys MB was the first Jeep that set the precedent for what the brand is today. The very same principles that governed the brand back then shine through in the current lineup – Jeep vehicles are still vehicles that are creative and adventurous but filled with rugged capability – all bound to make their own mark on the road.

It’s amazing to think that a few of these Jeep vehicles are still in production now, but what’s even more amazing is the fact that we’ve got plenty of them in our inventory! To find a new Jeep come visit us at Miami Lakes Automall, where our friendly staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. In the market for a used Jeep? We welcome you to take a look at our certified pre-owned vehicles. If you’ve already been bitten by the Jeep adventure bug, we’re happy to announce that our service department is now open on Sundays. Schedule an appointment today!

Photo Source/Copyright: Jeep