If you want to get the uncut facts about something, you go straight to the source to get them. We wanted to share the updates and upgrades Jeep and RAM have in store for the 2020 model year with you. Thanks to the generosity of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), yours truly flew up to Michigan to attend FCA’s annual “What’s New” event at its Chelsea Proving Grounds to find out what those changes are.
FCA had a few different stations set up. There was a short drag strip and autocross course for its performance cars, a handling course for those and less powerful vehicles, and the Lyman Trail for testing the water fording, articulation, traction, and ground clearance of its Jeeps and Ram trucks. I got a sunburn and mud on my shirt, but a lot of information about the 2020 lineup of Jeep and RAM vehicles, too. These are the highlights.
What’s new for JEEP in 2020
2020 Jeep Renegade
Jeep’s smallest model got an all-new engine option for 2019, so its 2020 updates are more focused on its interior tech. Jeep will offer the Renegade with a nine-speaker Kenwood premium audio system. Sport and Upland models are now available with the Safety & Security Group, which includes Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path detection, rain-sensing wipers, an alarm system, and a cargo area cover. You can also equip Sport models with the Advanced Tech Group’s combination of Forward Collision Warning-Plus with Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning-Plus with Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, and automatic high beams.
Renegade Latitude models with the 2.4-liter engine benefit from a variety of updates, too. Like the Renegade Sport, the Latitude is available with the Advanced Tech Group. You can upgrade the headlights, daytime running lamps, fog lights, and taillights with the LED Lighting Group. If you’d rather let the Renegade Latitude’s wheels do the shining, you can add a set of optional 19-inch wheels.
2020 Jeep Compass
The Compass gets similar technological updates, as well as a new exterior color (Velvet Red Pearl Coat). The Safety and Security Group available on the Sport model has the same features as the one offered in the Renegade, but swaps out the cargo cover for Gloss Black side mirrors and adds the ParkSense rear parking assistance system. Another optional package for the Compass Sport is the Advanced Safety Group. That includes a leather steering wheel, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Lane Departure Warning-Plus, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, Advanced Brake Assist, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
All of you audiophiles out there can spec your future 2020 Compass Latitude, Limited, or Trailhawk with optional Alpine speakers. If you’re more interested in making the Compass’s interior more convenient and comfortable, you can order the Limited, High Altitude, or Trailhawk model with the Luxury Seat Group and enjoy a ventilated driver seat with memory and a ventilated power front passenger seat.
2020 Jeep Cherokee
Changes to the Cherokee are mainly cosmetic, although it does get one major new tech option. Sangria and Spitfire Orange join the exterior color palette for 2020. Ski Grey is a new interior color choice for Latitude Plus models. The Cherokee Latitude gets standard 17-inch wheels; 19-inch wheels are available on the Cherokee Limited.
Cherokees with the Uconnect 4C/4C NAV system and 8.4-inch display can be equipped with Alexa Skill Technology that enables you to ask for recommendations, play games, get caught up on the news, and more. The available Advanced Safety Group’s Lane Departure Warning-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, and rain-sensing wipers take the protection provided by the Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, and Overland models to the next level.
2020 Grand Cherokee/Grand Cherokee SRT/Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
One of Jeep’s most popular SUVs gets a well-rounded assortment of tweaks for the 2020 model year. Let’s start with the outside.
The High Altitude model features a new set of Low Gloss Granite Crystal wheels. Laredo, Limited, and Trailhawk models are available with the Premium Lighting Group, which adds bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, automatic high beams, signature daytime running lights, and LED fog lamps. A single-pane sunroof is now standard equipment on Grand Cherokee Limited and Trailhawk. Jeep didn’t forget about the 707-horsepower Trackhawk, either. That gets a badge with yellow accents on its liftgate; 20-inch Titanium-finish wheels are optional.
The most luxurious trim levels, Overland and Summit, offer new interior color schemes: Dark Sienna/Black and Light Frost/Brown, respectively. You can deck out the Trackhawk with a Black/Ski Gray Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package.
Laredo models get the one major safety enhancement to the 2020 Grand Cherokee. They’re now available with a little extra peace of mind in the form of the Jeep Active Safety Group’s Forward Collision Warning-Plus, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus, automatic high beams, and Advanced Brake Assist.
2020 Jeep Wrangler
It may be hard to believe, but 2020 marks the JL Wrangler’s third model year. That means it gets an array of powertrain updates and three new trim levels. Sport and Rubicon models are available with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6, and a more powerful second-generation turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 – all of which feature fuel-saving electronic start/stop (ESS) technology. The Sahara gets the same V6 engine options as well as eTorque mild-hybrid versions of the 2.0-liter I4 and 3.6-liter V6.
The Wrangler’s other hardware updates are relatively minor. LED headlights and fog lamps are available on the Wrangler Sport. If you configure the Wrangler with the 8.4-inch Uconnect system with navigation and the Advanced Safety Group, you get automatic high beams as a bonus.
Jeep will offer not one, not two, but three special-edition Wranglers for 2020. The Willys is equipped with 32-inch mud-capable tires, rock rails, and a limited-slip rear differential. The Freedom Edition pays tribute to the armed forces with a variety of military-themed exterior and interior design cues. The appropriately named Black and Tan has its own special content that includes black exterior badging and accents and a premium tan soft top.
2020 Jeep Gladiator
What’s new about the Jeep Gladiator? Everything. I drove it when Jeep held its media launch event in Sacramento, California earlier this year. For more information on the reborn warrior truck, be sure to read my article about it by clicking here.
What’s new for RAM in 2020
2020 RAM 1500
RAM introduced an all-new 1500 for the 2019 model year, but that didn’t stop it from making several revisions to it for 2020. They range from minor to major. You can now add Hydro Blue, RV Match Walnut Brown, and Olive Green to the list of available colors. If you order a Longhorn model, you can dress it up with a set of optional two-tone 22-inch wheels.
There’s a new “Built to Serve” model based on the Big Horn 4X4 that features an extensive list of visual and mechanical upgrades: a black grille, LED headlights and taillights with black bezels, fender flares, special 20-inch wheels, a U.S. flag decal, a suspension lift, and a locking rear differential.
The Night Edition uses either the Big Horn or Laramie model as a starting point, then swaps out the regular wheels, badges, and other pieces for black replacements (Big Horns get 20-inch wheels and Laramies get 22-inch wheels).
RAM made sure to give the off-road-focused Rebel plenty of new goodies, too. In addition to new exterior graphics, it’s available with a Black Appearance Group that adds black wheels, a black skid plate, and an all-black interior (red is optional) and a Safety Group, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Go, and Hold; Forward Collision Mitigation; Lane Departure Warning-Plus; and automatic high beams.
A new second-generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with 260 horsepower and a stout 480 lb-ft of torque joins the powertrain lineup and enables the 1500 to tow up to 12,560 pounds.
2020 RAM 2500/3500
After receiving a total overhaul last year, the Ram 2500 and 2500 Heavy Duty trucks get minor updates for 2020. You can get both of them in two new colors, Olive Green and Hydro Blue, and equip them with trailer tire pressure monitoring, blind-spot monitoring that also includes trailer coverage, an auxiliary camera system that can support two different cameras, Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Steering. Crew Cab models with the eight-foot bed come standard with a 50-gallon fuel tank. The Heavy Duty Night Edition gets the same exterior design cues as its 1500 Night Edition sibling.
There’s everything you need to know about Jeep and RAM’s significantly refreshed 2020 models – straight from the source. You can learn even more about them in person at AutoNation Jeep and RAM dealerships later this year.