Current Jeep 4×4 Systems

Current Jeep 4×4 Systems

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When they were first introduced during WWII, the design of the 4x4 drivetrains on Jeeps were relatively simple affairs. Today, many different designs exist and keeping up with them isn't easy. In this article, we break today's Jeep's 4x4 systems down into basic systems and explain each type.

Active Drive Systems

The simplest system is Jeep's Active Drive I system. It is basically a Front Wheel Drive (FWD) system that sends power to the rear wheels when it's needed. The Active Drive I system requires no input from the driver, it comes with a set of sensors that determine when to send additional power to the rear wheels. Jeep Active Drive I systems are available on the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass. Geared towards more serious off-roading, the Trailhawk trims also feature an Active Drive Low 4×4 System - a system that has a lower gear for off-road driving. As for the Jeep Cherokee, it is sold with various Active Drive Systems, including Active Drive I, II and Active Drive Lock. As we discussed above, Active Drive I features a system that automatically engages four-wheel-drive when necessary. Active Drive II has all the same features as Active Drive I plus a bonus low mode. Additionally, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model features a standard Active Drive Lock system complete with a mechanical rear axle lock.

Command-Trac & Rock-Trac Systems

Specifically designed to be optioned with the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep's Command-Trac and Rock-Trac systems deliver 4x4 drive without differential action in the central transfer case. These systems are engaged manually and it is not recommended that the system be used for pavement driving, just for extreme weather and off-road activities. The Rock-Trac system is similar to the Command-Trac and is exclusive to the Wrangler Rubicon trim as it offers a 4:1 gear ratio for those doing extreme off-roading, such as rock crawling.

Quadra-Trac & Quadra-Drive Systems

As the top of the lineup, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers various Quadra-Drive and Quadra-Trac systems. Hold on to your hat, here's the list: With the Grand Cherokee, you can get the Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II,  Quadra-Trac SRT or Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system. The Quadra-Trac I system is similar to Active Drive. This means no driver input is required to distribute traction among the axles. The Quadra-Trac II system offers the same features but includes the Selec-Terrain system and a two-speed low transfer case. The SRT trims such as the Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk come standard with the Quadra-Trac SRT system - a full time 4×4 system that can send up to 100% to any wheel. Lastly, the Quadra-Drive II system is optional for the Limited, Overland, and Summit trims. It offers an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential (ELSD) and can be mated to an air suspension system for improved off-road ability.

For more information

Whether you're a dedicated lifelong "Jeeper," a weekend off-roader, or just interested in embodying Jeep's spirit of adventure, the Jeep lineup offers something for everyone. For more information, visit and your local Jeep dealer.

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