The Jeep Wrangler is both a compact and mid-size 4-wheel drive off-road and sport utility vehicle which is produced by American carmaker Chrysler under the Jeep brand name. This vehicle is in its third generation right now and is a direct descendant of the Willys MD from the World War II era. The Wrangler was first introduced in 1986 as a revised version of the Jeep CJ-7 with a whole new design by 2006. This vehicle has undergone many different changes throughout the years and was launched with an incredibly positive response from consumers.
The Jeep YJ, which was sold under the Wrangler nameplate, replaced the very popular Jeep CJ in 1986 which was manufactured in Brampton, Ontario, Canada until the plant was forced to close in April of 1992. Production of this vehicle was then transferred to Toledo, Ohio where the Willys Jeep was also manufactured during World War II. The YJ had a 2.5 liter AMC 150 I4 as well as an optional 4.2 liter AMC 248 I6 which lasted until 1991. That same year, a fuel-injected 180 HP 4.0 liter AMC 242 replaced the 112 horsepower 4.2 258 CID straight-6.
The YJ model which later led to the TJ for their 1997 model was released in the spring of 1996. This new Wrangler received quite a few updates, including a coil-spring suspension which was taken from the Jeep Grand Cherokee so that the vehicle had a better overall ride and superior handling. There was also a return to the classic CJ’s round headlamps with this vehicle and the engine remained the same 2.4 liter DOHC 4-cylinder that was used in the Chrysler PT Cruiser. There was a right hand drive version of the TJ sold to certain markets and it was offered in the United States as well, but only to U.S postal carriers that traveled rural routes.
There were many different trim levels available for the Jeep Wrangler TJ, including the SE which spanned from 1997 to 2006 and came with a standard 2.5 liter and 2.4 liter as well as a 4.0 liter optional from 2005-2006. There was also the Sport edition which was launched in 1997 and came with a 4.0 liter engine and the Dana 35 rear axle. The Dana 44 rear axle was optional and could be upgraded with a Trac-Lok limited slip differential case.
The Jeep Wrangler JK premiered in 2007 and is still being made today. The chassis for the TJ uses the new JK platform and is significantly wider than its predecessors with a 3.4” wider track. There is also a larger factory tire size of 32” available with this vehicle and the breakover ankle on the Rubicon has been increased from 22.6 to 25.4 degrees. When the JK Wrangler was first released, it came in two different models, including the short-wheelbase 2-door as well as the long-wheelbase Unlimited 4-door model which was also available in Sahara, X, and Rubicon trim levels.
The Wrangler X can be purchased with factory-installed right-hand drive and was initially targeted at U.S mail carriers who had to deliver to homes in rural areas and needed a vehicle that could handle the harsh terrain. The JK Wrangler has a number of new safety features, including stability control which has made a huge difference in the way this vehicle drives as well as preventing rollover accidents. The anti-lock braking system and traction control system also contribute to the overall safety of this vehicle. The Jeep Wrangler has undergone many changes over the years but continues to be a favorite among American consumers and a top-seller for Jeep.