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What is the Trail Rated Badge?

The Mark of Off-Road Mastery in Jeep

Jeep’s reputation as a leading off-road vehicle brand is solidified through its Trail Rated® 4×4 badge, a symbol of exceptional off-road capability that not every vehicle can claim. The Trail Rated badge is not merely decorative; it represents a vehicle’s ability to perform under various challenging conditions. The Trail Rated badge is a testament to Jeep’s commitment to adventure, durability, and the spirit of exploration.

What is the Trail Rated Badge?


The Trail Rated badge is a distinction awarded to Jeep vehicles that have passed a series of grueling tests designed to assess their off-road capability. This badge assures drivers that their Jeep is equipped to handle challenging terrain, from steep mountain trails to rocky riverbeds. It’s a promise of quality and performance that sets Trail Rated Jeeps apart from other vehicles on the road and off it.

How Do Jeeps Earn the Trail Rated Badge?

Earning the Trail Rated badge is no easy feat. Jeep vehicles must excel in five key areas of off-road capability: Traction, Water Fording, Maneuverability, Articulation, and Ground Clearance. Let’s break down what each of these criteria entails:


Jeep vehicles must demonstrate superior traction on a variety of surfaces, including slippery rock, sand, mud, and snow. This is crucial for maintaining control and stability in off-road conditions.

Water Fording

Water fording capability is tested to ensure that Jeeps can safely navigate through water obstacles without damaging critical components. This includes having a high air intake and sealed body openings to prevent water from entering the vehicle.


Maneuverability is all about the vehicle’s ability to navigate tight trails, make sharp turns, and avoid obstacles with precision. This ensures drivers can confidently tackle challenging terrain without getting stuck.


A Jeep’s suspension system is put to the test to ensure that the wheels can maintain contact with the ground on uneven surfaces. Good articulation allows for more flexibility on tough trails, ensuring better traction and control.

Ground Clearance

Lastly, ground clearance is critical for avoiding damage to the undercarriage on rocky or uneven terrain. Jeeps are tested for their ability to clear obstacles without scraping or getting hung up.

The Testing Process

The testing process for the Trail Rated badge is rigorous and comprehensive. Jeep vehicles are put through their paces in a variety of real-world conditions to simulate the challenges drivers might face in the great outdoors. This includes testing at the famed Rubicon Trail in California, known for its demanding off-road conditions. Only after a Jeep model successfully meets or exceeds the standards in all five categories does it earn the right to wear the Trail Rated badge.

The Trail Rated badge is more than just a label; it’s a symbol of Jeep’s unwavering commitment to off-road excellence and adventure-ready performance. For Jeep enthusiasts, it represents a vehicle that’s been tested and proven to handle the challenges of the wilderness. Whether you’re crossing a rocky canyon or navigating a muddy trail, a Trail Rated Jeep is your reliable partner in adventure, offering unmatched capability and confidence on any terrain.

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