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Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is a series of compact and mid-size (Wrangler Unlimited and Wrangler 2-door JL) four-wheel drive off-road SUVs, manufactured by Jeep since 1986, and currently in its fourth generation. The Wrangler JL, the most recent generation, was unveiled in late 2017 and is produced at Jeep's Toledo Complex.

The Wrangler is arguably an indirect progression from the World War II Jeep, through the CJ (Civilian Jeeps) produced by Willys, Kaiser-Jeep and American Motors Corporation (AMC) from the mid-1940s through 1980s. Although neither AMC nor Chrysler (after its purchase of AMC in 1987) have claimed that the Wrangler was a direct descendant of the original military model — both the CJ Jeeps and the conceptually consistent Wrangler, with their solid axles and open top, have been called the Jeep model as central to Jeep's brand identity as the rear-engined 911 is to Porsche.[1]

Similar to the Willys MB and the CJ Jeeps before it, all Wrangler models continue to use a separate body and frame, rigid live axles both front and rear, a tapering nose design with flared fenders, a fold-flat windshield, and can be driven without doors. Also, with few exceptions, they have part-time four-wheel drive systems, with the choice of high and low gearing, and standard are open bodies with removable hard- or soft-tops. However, the Wrangler series was specifically redesigned to be safer and more comfortable on-road, to attract more daily drivers,[2] by upgrading its suspension, drivetrain, and interior, compared to the CJ line. The suspension on all Wranglers included trackbars and anti-roll bars, and, from the 1997 TJ onwards, front and rear coil springs instead of the previous leaf-springs.[3]

From 2004 on, the Wrangler has been complemented with long-wheelbase versions, called Wrangler Unlimited (until the release of the JK generation). 2004-2006 models were longer versions with 2 doors. In 2004 only automatic transmission equipped “Unlimited” versions were sold. In 2005 both an automatic and manual 6-speed (NSG-370) were offered. Since 2007, the long-wheelbase Wranglers were four-door models, offering over 20 in (508 mm) more room. By mid 2017 the four-door models represented three quarters of all new Wranglers on the market.[4]

Jeep Wrangler
2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited au SIAM 2018.jpg
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Rubicon edition
Also calledJeep YJ, Jeep TJ, Jeep JK,Jeep JL, Jeep J8 (Military version) Jeep Sahara, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Body and chassis
ClassCompact SUV (Wrangler 2-door models), Mid-size SUV (Wrangler Unlimited and Wrangler 4-door models)
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
RelatedAIL Storm
PredecessorJeep CJ
ProductionMarch 1986–December 1995 (Canada; USA)
1989–2001 (Iran)
Body and chassis
Body style2-door convertible
2-door SUV
RelatedAIL Storm I
ProductionJanuary 1996 – July 2006
Body and chassis
Body style2-door convertible
2-door SUV
RelatedAIL Storm II
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited front 20080521.jpg
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara (JK, Germany)
ProductionAugust 2006 - April 2018
Body and chassis
Body style2-door convertible
2-door SUV
4-door convertible
4-door SUV
RelatedJeep J8
2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4-door front 6.10.18.jpg
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S
ProductionNovember 2017 – present
Body and chassis
Body style2-door convertible
2-door SUV
4-door convertible
4-door SUV
4-door SUT
Wheelbase96.8" (2 door). 118.4" (4 door)
Length166.8" (2 door). 188.4" (4 door)
Curb weight4,439 LBS (Rubicon Unlimited)


Outwardly strongly resembling the Jeep CJ-7, the first Wrangler, which was formally announced in February 1986 at the 1986 Chicago Auto Show, was based on a new set of design parameters. "The product philosophy behind the two vehicles" François Castaing (AMC VP of Product Engineering) explained, "is completely different".[5] Although the 1987 Wrangler YJ continued to use a separate body and frame, with the same wheelbase as the CJ-7, and still solid axles both front and rear, it was a significantly new design, that borrowed its suspension, drivetrain, and interior from the 1984 Cherokee (XJ) model.[6] The new car had a wider track, slightly less ground clearance, more comfort and improved handling. The YJ still had leaf spring suspension similar to that of the CJ – however the springs were wider, and the first Wrangler sported trackbar suspension links and anti-roll bars for improved handling and safety, making it less easy to flip by untrained or unwary drivers.[7]

The Wrangler debuted in 1986 as a new model after discontinuance of the famous Jeep CJ series.[8] It was revised in 1996, and completely redesigned in 2006. In addition to the model name Wrangler, each model received a designation corresponding to its generation: YJ (1986–1995), TJ (1997–2006), TJU's (commonly known as LJs- 2004–2006 Unlimited models, or YJL, in the Egyptian owners manual.), JKU (2007–2017 Unlimited models) and JK (2007–2017), and the latest JL model, introduced for the 2018 model year. Foreign military versions of the Wrangler have carried the J8 designation which was initially dubbed TJL when first produced at Arab American Vehicle's Egyptian plant.[9]

Jeep YJ models were manufactured between 1986 and 1995 at Brampton Assembly, and subsequently at the Toledo South Assembly plant.[10] A major difference in the 1987–1995 models were the rectangular headlights, which reverted to rounded ones in the TJ and then JK versions. In 2006, Wrangler production was moved to Toledo Complex.[11] Post-2006 Wranglers were set apart from their predecessors by the angle of the grille. In all previous models, the grille was flat and even with the front fenders. The newer Wrangler was constructed with a grille which angled out from the top, and then continued in a straight line from the midway point, toward the bottom. This decreased the hood length, while increasing the length of the fenders. In more recent models, this angle has been lowered more toward the bottom of the grille.

In Egypt, the YJ was produced as well as a long wheel-base version, dubbed LJ (or labeled as YJL in Egypt's Owners Manual), and which has retained the 2-door design. The YJL is considered as the first predecessor of the JK's long wheel-base by continuing as TJL (aka J8) which has directly inspired the JK's 4-door.

There is a Wrangler-based pickup truck, the Gladiator, which began production in 2019 for the 2020 model year.[12]

YJ (1987–1996)

Up-armoured AIL Storm I, ("Sufa")

Up-armoured AIL Storm I, ("Sufa")

Although introduced in 1986 (under control of Renault), and by 1987 (the first model year) under new ownership of Chrysler, the first-generation Wrangler had still been developed by American Motors Corporation. It featured rectangular headlamps, differing from the round ones on its predecessors, the CJ Jeeps. Although continuing many essentials, such as an open body with only minor modifications, on a separate frame, with the same wheelbase, part-time 4WD and live rigid axles on leaf-springs, both front and rear, just like the CJ-7 – the new 'Wrangler' was promoted by the manufacturer as a significantly new design with a wider track, slightly less ground clearance, more comfort and improved safety and handling.[13]

Israeli military carmaker Automotive Industries Ltd. introduced its first generation of the AIL Storm, the workhorse off-road vehicle of the Israeli Security Forces, as a variant of the 1991 Wrangler YJ, but on the 103.5 in (263 cm) CJ-6 / CJ-8 wheelbase. AIL builds the whole vehicles themselves, save for various externally sourced engines. Long and short wheelbase versions were also available for civilian purchase.

Aside from this, there was a Jeep-managed production line in Egypt, whose jeeps are used by the Egyptian armed forces – but this was absorbed into the AIL Storm production after it closed in 1995.[14]

TJ (1997–2006)

Israeli AIL Ltd. Storm II Commander

Israeli AIL Ltd. Storm II Commander

TJ Wrangler Unlimited, a plus 10 inch (25.4 cm) LWB soft-top, as of 2004

TJ Wrangler Unlimited, a plus 10 inch (25.4 cm) LWB soft-top, as of 2004

Introduced in 1996 as a 1997 model, the second-generation Wrangler reintroduced the round headlamps from the classic Jeep models. The main engine was the AMC 242 4.0L inline 6. From the Wrangler TJ onwards, all Wranglers were fitted with coil-spring instead of leaf-spring suspension.

Late in the TJ's life cycle, in 2004, a long-wheelbase "Unlimited" model was introduced for the first time. Furthermore, starting 2006, Israeli Automotive Industries Ltd. produced the first five-door Jeep Wrangler derivative, built under license from Chrysler, for the Israel Defense Forces, based on a 2,931 mm (115.4 in) wheelbase Wrangler (TJ)

JK (2006–2018)

The third-generation Wrangler was released in 2006 for the 2007 model year. Developed under ownership of DaimlerChrysler, the JK was Jeep's first Wrangler that was a completely clean-sheet design of body, frame and suspension. New features for the Wrangler included power windows, remote power door locks, navigation, as well as electronically detachable sway-bars on some models.

Along with the traditional 2-door model, a 4-door "Unlimited" model was released, offering considerably more room, thanks to an over 20 inches (50 cm) longer wheelbase. These became quite successful sellers. By mid 2017 the four-door models represented three quarters of all new Wranglers on the market.[4]

JL (2018–present)

JL Rubicon (Geneva Int. Motor Show 2018)

JL Rubicon (Geneva Int. Motor Show 2018)

The fourth-generation Wrangler was unveiled in late 2017 for the 2018 model year. The JL features a host of new features including: additional powertrains over the Pentastar V6, a redesigned transmission, easier fold-flat windshield, new zipperless soft tops, and a more modern interior. Powertrains for the 2018 model included an 2.0L Turbo I4 and a 3.6L Pentastar V6 gasoline engines and also 2.2 I4 Turbodiesel in Europe.


The Jeep Wrangler received the 2009 Best Resale Value Award from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) in the sport utility vehicle category. In 2012 and for 2013, it was also awarded the Best Resale Value Award from Kelly Blue Book in the compact sport utility vehicle category.[15][16] The Wrangler also holds the Models to Best Hold Its Value recognition from Kelley Blue Book for 1998, 1999, 2003, 2011, and 2012.[17][18][19]

The 2011,[20] 2012,[21] and 2013[22] Jeep Wranglers have received Canadian Black Book's Best Retained Value Award for the compact SUV category.

In 2007, The Jeep Wrangler had set the Guinness World Record [56] for highest altitude attained by a four-wheeled vehicle after ferrying Matthias Jeschke and his Extrem Events adventure team up Chile's Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano on Earth (record beaten the same year by a Suzuki Samurai [23]). The trek from base camp to the world record height ran from March 7 to March 13, when the team's pair of Wrangler Rubicon Unlimiteds checked in at 6,646 metres (21,804 ft).

In 2007 and for 2013, the magazine Four Wheeler awarded the Jeep Wrangler with its Four-Wheeler of the Year Award[24][25] and in January 2010, they awarded the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon its title of 4x4 of the Decade.[26][27]

In 1997, 2007, and 2012, the magazine Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road awarded the Jeep Wrangler with its 4x4 of the Year award.

The 2008 edition of Forbes Autos lists the four-wheel-drive convertible Jeep Wrangler at number four among the top ten vehicles with the highest resale value.[28]

In May 2009, Business Week magazine named the Wrangler One of the Most Iconic Cars of the Last 20 Years.[29]

A 2018 iSeeCars.com study named the Jeep Wrangler as the vehicle with the lowest depreciation after five years.[30]

Electric Wrangler

In September 2008, Chrysler Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda unveiled a range-extended electric 4-door Wrangler along with similarly engineered Town and Country minivan and a purely electric sports car. The Wrangler would have a 40-mile (64 km) range before a gas engine starts and begins supplying additional electricity.[31] However, in November 2009 Fiat SpA disbanded Chrysler's ENVI electric car division and dropped these models from future product plans.[32]


Calendar yearUnited StatesCanadaOutside North AmericaTotal
2007[38]119,2439,834 [39]129,077
2008[40]84,61512,137 [39]96,752
2009[41]82,0447,271 [42]89,315
2010[43]94,31011,062 [44]105,372
2011[45]122,46015,636 [44]138,096
2012[46]141,66918,996 [47]160,665

See also

  • Force Motors Trax – Previously "Bajaj Tempo", simple construction, part-time 4x4 SUVs, in short and long wheelbase (India)

  • Mercedes G-Wagen – body on frame offroad car, live axles front and rear, short and long wheelbase, from 1979

  • Suzuki Jimny – one of the few other compact, 2-door, part-time 4x4 SUVs, still using body on frame, and live axles front and rear (from 1970) – also in its 4th generation

  • Jeep Jamboree: Off Road Adventure – a video game based on the then-current Jeep Wrangler YJ model


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