One of the first things almost every single Jeep Wrangler or Gladiator owner does upon purchasing one of the hot off-road models is to add some accessories. But not everybody plans on immediately taking to the hills and trails with their Jeep; some folks buy them as style statements and turn them into the ultimate urban cruiser. Whereas the Rubicon and new Gladiator Mojave trim levels are aimed at sending you into the wilderness, the new High Altitude trim being unveiled by Jeep at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show is meant to stay on pavement — making you look good in the urban jungle.
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Unlike the new Mojave, there’s no new equipment meant to aid you in blasting over dunes. Despite still being considered Trail Rated Jeeps, the new High Altitude models should more appropriately be called Boulevard Rated. It starts with 20-inch gloss-black wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza all-season tires meant to optimize on-road comfort, not unlike the Wrangler Sahara or Gladiator Overland trims. All of the badges have been blacked out for a subtle look, and the fenders, door handles, tailgate handle, side mirrors, hard top, and front and rear bumpers are all painted to match the body color. There’s a new color available, as well: Snazzberry (no, not Snozzberry, as we suspect that name might have triggered a golden ticket of another kind from Paramount Pictures), a stunningly deep, dark burgundy red that looks simply gorgeous. All of the exterior lighting is now LED, and side step rails are also fitted.
The cabin has been elevated in the High Altitude thanks to new quilted diamond-pattern leather on the seats, as well as stitched leather wrapping the doors and dash. It’s all done in either black Nappa leather with light stitching or steel-gray hides (available sometime late in 2020), and it looks, feels and smells as decadent as any of the top-notch, award-winning interiors that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been creating on all of its models lately. Nearly all of the fancy electronic bits are standard in the High Altitude, as befits a premium trim level: The 8.4-inch Uconnect 4 touchscreen, Alpine premium audio, an onboard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, automatic high beams, navigation, keyless entry, a blind spot monitor, rear cross-path detection and a backup camera are all included.
Under the Hood
Powertrains are unchanged from other trims, but your options are a bit more limited. The standard engine in the Wrangler High Altitude will be the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; the 3.6-liter mild-hybrid eTorque V-6 or 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 are both optional, and an automatic transmission is standard regardless of which engine you choose — no manual will be available. The Gladiator only comes with one possible engine, the 3.6-liter V-6, but an automatic transmission is your only choice here, too.
The color palette will be a bit more limited than on other models: Billet Silver, black, Bright White, Granite Crystal and Snazzberry are available for both the Wrangler and Gladiator, with Gobi available on the Gladiator only and Ocean Blue available on the Wrangler only.
No pricing has yet been announced for the High Altitude trim levels, but it’s safe to assume that they’re going to have a sticker price as lofty as the name suggests. The new model is set to arrive in showrooms in the spring.
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