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Special edition 2021 Jeep models celebrate the birthday of the long-running nameplate

Jeep has debuted a lineup of models that celebrate the company's 80th anniversary.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The 2021 Jeep 80th Anniversary Editions are a special lineup of models that celebrate a birthday few nameplates reach. The 80th Anniversary Edition grade adds a host of equipment with commemorative enhancements to each model in the Jeep lineup.

2021 Jeep Wrangler 80th Anniversary Edition

2021 Jeep Wrangler 80th Anniversary Edition

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Jeep is making the Wrangler 80th Anniversary Edition available in Granite Crystal, Bright White, Hella Yella, Black, Firecracker Red, Sting Gray, Sarge, and Snazzberry paint colors.

The exterior enhancements to the model include Neutral Grey Metallic grille bezels, headlamp rings, and fog lamp bezels as well as body-color fender flares, and 80th Anniversary commemorative badging. Each 80th Anniversary model rides on 18-inch Granite Crystal-painted wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Dueler 255/70R18 all-terrain tires.

Inside, the model has black diamond embossed cloth seats with an 80th anniversary tag. Light Tungsten interior accent stitching, Anodized Gunmetal dash mid-bolsters, and Light Tungsten accent stitching on the Berber floor mats add color to the model.

The Wrangler has remote start, an 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 80th Anniversary Edition has a starting price of $35,990 for two-door models and $39,490 for four-door SUVs. Each comes with an additional $1,495 destination charge.

​2021 Jeep Gladiator 80th Anniversary Edition

2021 Jeep Gladiator 80th Anniversary Edition

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Buyers can get their special edition Gladiator with a Granite Crystal, Bright White, Black, Firecracker Red, Hydro Blue, Sarge, or Snazzberry paint job.

It has a similar features list to the Wrangler, which includes 18-inch wheels painted in Granite Crystal and Bridgestone Dueler 255/70R18 all-terrain tires. Neutral Grey Metallic grille bezels, headlamp rings, and fog lamp bezels sit at the front while body-color fender flares grace the sides of the truck. Each model comes with 80th Anniversary commemorative badging.

The interior features list is the same too. It has black diamond embossed cloth seats with an 80th anniversary tag, light Tungsten interior accent stitching, Anodized Gunmetal dash mid-bolsters, and Light Tungsten accent stitching on the berber floor mats.

The Gladiator has remote start, an 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio.

The starting MSRP of the Jeep Gladiator 80th Anniversary edition is $41,740. Each model also comes with a $1,495 destination fee.

​2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee 80th Anniversary Edition

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee 80th Anniversary Edition

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 80th Anniversary Edition will only be sold as a 4x4. It is priced at $44,335 plus a $1,495 destination fee.

The model is available in Granite Crystal, Walnut Brown, Bright White, Diamond Black, Slate Blue, Sangria, and Velvet Red paint jobs. it rides on 20-inch wheels that have a Granite Crystal finish. The exterior also features 80th Anniversary commemorative badge.

Each Grand Cherokee 80th Anniversary Edition model features leather seats and Light Tungsten interior accents. The SUV has an 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio.

It also gets Jeep's ProTech II Package, which includes full-speed forward collision warning with active braking, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and advanced brake assist.

2021 Jeep Cherokee 80th Anniversary Edition

Like the Jeep Grand Cherokee 80th Anniversary Edition, the Jeep Cherokee 80th Anniversary Edition will be sold just in a 4x4 drivetrain. It will be priced at $33,805 plus a $1,495 destination charge.

Jeep will sell the model in the buyer's choice of Granite Crystal, Slate Blue, Hydro Blue, Olive Green, Spitfire Orange, Sangria, Velvet Red, Light Brownstone, Bright White, and Diamond Black paint colors. 80th Anniversary commemorative badging is on the SUV.

Each special edition Cherokee rides on 19-inch wheels with a Granite Crystal finish.

The cabin features premium leather seats with Light Tungsten accent stitching, power front seats with lumbar, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and a dual-pane sunroof. Anodized Gun Metal interior accents, a black headliner, and berber floor mats complete the look.

2021 Jeep 80th Anniversary Edition model full lineup

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

2021 Jeep Compass 80th Anniversary Edition

The Jeep Compass 80th Anniversary Edition is also available just as a 4x4. Its $29,695 price tag is lower than that of the same edition of the Cherokee. It too has a $1,495 destination charge.

Jeep is selling the SUV in Granite Crystal, Laser Blue, Jazz Blue, Olive Green, Redline, White, Diamond Black, and Velvet Red paint colors. It has 19-inch Granite Crystal-colored wheels and 80th Anniversary commemorative badging.

The interior of the Compass has leather seats with Light Tungsten accent stitching, a power driver's seat with lumbar, automatically dimming rearview mirror, remote start, 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and navigation. It also includes Piano Black and Anodized Gun Metal interior accents, black headliner, and berber floor mats.

​2021 Jeep Renegade 80th Anniversary Edition

2021 Jeep Renegade 80th Anniversary Edition

The smallest Jeep, the Renegade, also comes in an 80th Anniversary Edition variant. It has a starting MSRP of $27,595 and only comes in a 4x4 configuration. A $1,495 destination charge is also applicable.

Jeep is offering the model in Granite Crystal, Alpine White, Bikini, Black, Colorado Red, Jetset Blue, Omaha Orange, and Slate Blue paint colors. It rides on 19-inch wheels with a Granite Crystal finish and has 80th Anniversary commemorative badging.

Dual-zone automatic climate control, Anodized Gun Metal interior accents, black headliner, and berber floor mats come standard on the model. It also has an 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and navigation.

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The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is one of the Hyundai Santa Cruz's biggest rivals..

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz faces stiff competition from many vehicles that are already on the market and a few that are coming down the road. Part of figuring out what its biggest competition is, is figuring out exactly what type of vehicle it is.

Once you've done that, the deciphering gets a bit easier, but it isn't apple to apples. There's really no truck quite like it on the market today.

Subaru Outback

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: Exterior trail driving Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The utility of the rear space afforded by a wagon like the Subaru Outback isn't anything to sniff at. Make the cargo area a bed and you'll see why nostalgia plays long and hard for the Subaru Baja. The Outback and the Santa Cruz share many similar technologies, including all-wheel drive, but the Outback has something the Santa Cruz does not, a passionate built-in fan base.

Ford Bronco Sport

2021 Ford Bronco Sport rooftop tent Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Getting to the trailhead, then taking your car with you is something that the Ford Bronco Sport excels at. The surprisingly capable compact SUV delivers the capability adventurers are looking for, innovations overlanders love, and smooth ride over rough pavement.

Nissan Pathfinder

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The freshly redesigned Nissan Pathfinder was meant to be more rugged. It also has three rows of seating (to the Santa Cruz's two) and seats eight, something you usually only find in full-size SUVs. Nissan has changed out the CVT for a nine-speed automatic transmission in this new generation, upping the appeal of the already-popular midsize family hauler.

Honda Ridgeline

2021 Honda Ridgeline Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Ridgeline shares most of its interior with the Pilot but has unique tech like an in-bed speaker system. It's trunk was no doubt an inspiration for Hyundai designers. What makes the Honda so sellable is its available all-wheel drive and overall comfort - two things that the Santa Cruz has as well.

Subaru Crosstrek

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

With its two engine options, standard all-wheel drive, and gobs of cargo space, the Subaru Crosstrek is primed for use in settings urban, suburban, and beyond. It's easily modified for more rugged endeavors with popular enhancements including a lift, knobby tires, a roof rack, and a brush guard. Subaru doesn't make a Wilderness version of the Crosstrek yet, but it's safe to assume that one is coming.

Ford Maverick

What is the Ford Maverick? Well, officially we're still in wait-and-see mode, but there's one thing for sure, Ford views the Santa Cruz as Maverick competition if for no other reason than it's a compact pickup truck.

While these five vehicles are some of the most obvious competitors, a solid list of aftermarket accessories could easily make the Santa Cruz even more competitive.

Hyundai has let it be known that they'd be into developing a more rugged version of the Santa Cruz if demand is there. What could that include? Take a look at what is on the Subaru Outback Wilderness for a good example of what upgraded off-road capability could look like. There's also some chatter about making an "N" version of the truck.

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The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a new addition to the lineup.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz combines the best-loved features of a truck, wagon, and SUV into one creating what Hyundai calls a "sport adventure vehicle'. The Santa Cruz is focused on delivering a user experience that fits into lifestyles from urban to suburban and beyond, without taking you too far off the beaten path.

The 2022 Santa Cruz has all the hallmarks of a truck - wide stance, powerful engine, and a bed. It also has a trunk, the interior from the Hyundai Tucson, and a bevy of safety and entertainment tech.

Though the front of the Santa Cruz looks like it's from the Tucson, it's merely inspired by it. The exterior of the truck is its own, with no shared Tucson elements (this is as opposed to say, the Subaru Legacy, which shares most of its body with the Subaru Outback). It is longer than the Tucson, is wider, and has a longer wheelbase.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

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Like on the Tucson, the grille of the Santa Crus has headlights hidden in its housing. When illuminated, the headlights offer a wing-like design that can be easily identified in daylight or at night. A skid plate sits at the bottom of the face while muscular shoulders give the truck a sense of proportion that helps make it unique from the Tucson and other Hyundai vehicles.

Designers have given the Santa Cruz available 20-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard; all wheel options come wrapped in all-season tires. On the over-fenders are purpose-built with designated clamp points where owners can attach GoPro cameras.

The rear bed features watertight trunk storage and a lockable, watertight tonneau cover (available) that is operated via a pull handle. Both can handle the weight of a person. Taillamp are embossed with "Designed in California" denoting the Hyundai design center's roll in the creation of the vehicle. The light of the lamp also features the logo of the design studio.

Hyundai will offer the Santa Cruz with two engine options. it comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that achieves 190+ horsepower and 180+ pound-feet of torque (exact numbers are pending). That engine is paired with an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission. Expect to have more powertrain options available soon. The platform is capable of housing an all-electric and fuel-cell propulsion system in addition to internal combustion engine and hybrid variants.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Interior

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

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A 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available. It will get over 275 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai has paired it with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Versions of the Santa Cruz equipped with this engine also get paddle shifters.

All-wheel drive is available with either engine.

The company truck's 2.5-liter four-cylinder is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds while the turbo-four, when equipped with all-wheel drive, can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Hyundai boasts that the curb-to-curb turning radius is just 20.0 feet, just one foot more than a Ford Mustang.

The interior is straight out of the Tucson, and that's not a bad thing. The two-rows of seating have room for five and under the rear seat is a storage area that can hold groceries and gear still during travel.

Riding the precedent set by the Honda Ridgeline, the Hyundai Santa Cruz brings comfort and convenience to the forefront of its cabin design. There's a standard 8-inch infotainment touch screen (a 10-inch is available) and a 10-inch digital instrument cluster. A premium Bose audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, navigation, and Digital Key are available.

Owners can use their Blue Link app to connect to the vehicle and perform a number of functions including remote start, remote door lock/unlock, and destination search.

Forward collision warning with assist, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warning come standard on the 2022 Santa Cruz. Buyers can upgrade and get blind spot monitoring with assist, safe exit assist, lane centering, 360-degree camera view, and rear cross traffic assist.

Hyundai will back each Santa Crus with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, and a seven-year anti-perforation warranty. Three years/36,000-miles of complementary maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations) is included as well.

Hyundai will produce the truck at its plant in Montgomery, Alabama, adding 1,200 jobs as a result of the addition.

Pricing is TBA. The company will offer reservations for the truck in late April. Deliveries are expected to commence by the end of the year.

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