If you are a Wrangler fan, I am sure that you have no problem spotting the differences between the models. However, if you are a normal person who just started to become interested in the subject, then you should know a thing or two if you want to identify each Wrangler car. So, let’s begin.
What is a Jeep Wrangler
Before moving to more specific details, I want to present some background details.
So, Jeep Wrangler represents a series of compact off-road SUVs that are being produced by Jeep ever since 1986. Today they are at their 4th generation of cars and their most recent is the JL model that was released in 2017. We will come back later to this, but until then let’s find a little more about their history.
You probably know that in WWII Jeeps were already on the market and the army used them. So, the Wrangler was just a normal progression from them through the Civilian Jeeps (CJ) that were produced from the 40s to the 80s.
Similar to the ones before it, Wrangler cars use a distinct body and frame, firm live axles in both the front and the rear, a sharp nose design with widened screens, a fold-flat shield, and of course, can be handled without doors.
Even though there are a lot of similarities, the Wrangler series are redesigned to be more reliable and more suitable to drive on normal roads. This was done by improving their suspension, drivetrain, and also their interior.
When it comes to suspensions, all Wranglers include trackbars and anti-roll bars. Also, starting with 1997 the Jeep Wrangler TJ parts incorporate front & rear coil springs rather than the previous leaf-springs.
Ever since 2004 on, the Wrangler also has long-wheelbase versions. They are known as Wrangler Unlimited.
Wrangler Models so Far
Now that you know how Wrangler became what it is today, let’s see all the models produced so far.
The YJ Model (1987–1995)
This was the first model ever. It was first launched in 1986 by Renault. However, in 1987 it received a new owner in the name of Chrysler.
So, this model had square headlamps that were really different from the ones that the CJ jeeps had that were round.
It had an open body, part-time 4WD, live rigid axles that were on leaf-springs, in both the front and the rear.
This model was embraced by Israeli and Egyptian military forces.
The TJ Model (1997-2006)
The next model of Wrangler was the TJ one and it was presented in 1996 as a car that would be launched in 1997. This generation of Wrangler brought back the round headlamps that the classic Jeep models had. The main engine used was an AMC 242 4.0L inline 6. As I’ve previously said, starting with the TJ model and onwards, all Wranglers were provided with coil-spring rather than the leaf-spring suspension.
The TJ generation had a wonderful life up to 2004 when the long-wheelbase model known as “Unlimited” was first presented.
The JK Model (2006-2018)
This is the 3rd generation of Wranglers that was presented in 2006 as a 2007 model.
It was created under the DaimlerChrysler ownership and it was te first Wrangler that received a totally clean-sheet perspective of body, frame, and also suspension. The new features added on the Wrangler constituted power windows, navigation, remote power door locks, and also electronically detachable sway-bars.
The traditional model was in 2 doors, but an Unlimited model in 4 doors was released. They offered more space due to the over 20 inches longer wheelbase.
This model represented such a success that in 2017 their 4 doors model were three-quarters of all Wranglers on the market (new models).
The JL Model (2018 – up to present day)
This is the latest generation produced by Wrangler. So their 4th generation was presented in 2017 as a 2018 model. What the JL model brings as new features are the following:
- extra powertrains over Pentastar V6;
- an easier fold-flat windshield;
- a redesigned transmission;
- a more modern interior;
- new zipperless soft tops.
The Powertrains of the 2018 generation includes a 2.0L Turbo I4 and also a 3.6L Pentastar V6 gasoline engine. Moreso, in Europe, you can even choose a 2.2 I4 Turbo Diesel.
There are so many other aspects that are worth mentioning but I don’t want you to get bored, so I will only mention just some short extra aspects.
For example, I think that you should know that in 2007 the Jeep Wrangler entered the Guinness World Record as the 4-wheeled vehicle that attained the highest altitude.
So, with that in mind, let me know if you know any other fascinating facts about Jeep Wrangler. You can do this using the comment section.