It’s a cool idea, but it’d be hard to execute.
Automakers despise discussing future products. There’s no reason to let the enemy know what you have brewing, right? But sometimes, a proposal is so preposterous that there’s no harm in commenting on it. That’s what Brandon Girmus, Jeep Gladiator’s senior brand manager, did recently, telling Muscle Cars and Trucks that the brand is not “going to make a minivan.” Well, put that in your pipe and smoke it, minivan fans.
Whatever the future does bring for the brand, though, Girmus said, “it’s still going to be a Jeep.” The brand has certain characteristics that a minivan just isn’t suitable for, even if imaginative renderings can create a compelling-looking concept we’d love to pilot in the wilderness for a week. However, for a Jeep to be a Jeep, Girmus says it must be off-road capable and Trail Rated. The minivan platform isn’t the most capable out there, and checking all those boxes with a boxy family hauler wouldn’t be easy.
Gallery: 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe: First Drive
Jeep has greatly expanded its offerings over the last few years, the Gladiator being one of the brand’s stand-out introductions as of late. The brand offers an array of crossovers and SUVs that range from the compact Renegade to the beastly Grand Wagoneer that’s coming soon. The company is not short on family vehicles, even if it lacks a minivan in its stable. That’s a segment designed for Chrysler to dominate.
While there are no hopes of an off-road minivan coming from Jeep, Girmus said the brand is keeping its eyes peeled for “new ideas” and “new directions.” Jeep has dove into offering hybrids, putting the powertrains inside several models, including the coveted and iconic Wrangler. We might not see a minivan, but what comes next could be just as exciting, or even more so. There’s likely something brewing, but that’s something Girmus and company aren’t commenting on.