It’s America’s birthday, the Fourth of July. Who else do you think we’re going to recognize here as an all-American kick from the automotive world? Jeep’s historic role in World War II, and all the years since then, put it in a genuinely unique place to strut its status as an American motoring icon, even though the brand hasn’t been under purely American ownership in quite some time. Stellantis, the combine of FCA and Group PSA that now owns Jeep, headed into America’s birthday blowout secure in the knowledge that for the 19th consecutive year, a Brand Keys survey of some 6,000 respondents has again named Jeep as the nation’s most patriotic consumer brand of any sort. That’s the sort of credibility that motoring en masse off the newly seized beaches of Normandy, to use just one apropos vignette, does so much to provide. Despite being born as a modified spinoff of a captive British compact car – look it up – Jeep is an American icon down to the atoms that bond its steel together.
Need more proof? Just look at the vehicles above, which collectively demonstrate the Freedom appearance package that’s offered across the entire 2021 Jeep lineup. In addition to the star graphic, the Freedom package includes matte-finish wheels and an American flag on the flanks. The Wrangler and Gladiator, which have proper tailgates, get the panels’ sheetmetal stamped with “Oscar Mike,” which in militarese, is phonetic shorthand for On Mission. Works for us. Jeep, which turns 80 this year, makes a $250 donation to the USO for every Freedom-package rig it sells, and further offers an active-duty or recently retired members of the armed services a $500 Military Cash Bonus with any new Jeep purchased.