The Wrangler History
Jeep has been a name that Americans have grown to become accustomed to since the 1940s. Originally, Jeep gained its reputation by creating various means of transportation for the American troops during World War II. Years later, the vehicles that our troops entrusted with their traversal during one of the most unforgettable moments in our country’s history would make their way to consumer markets. These early Jeep models earned their place among American drivers as an indisputable choice due to their quality, capability, and design. How does this relate to the Wrangler?
The Wrangler itself has been in production since 1986, but its presence could be felt for decades before that. Before the Wrangler entered production, Jeep produced a vehicle called the CJ, and while anybody born in the late 1980s onwards is unlikely to have heard of it, it was quite a large part of Jeep’s business model. Designed as an SUV with a wide range of capabilities, both on the road and off the beaten path, the Wrangler quickly became a popular choice amongst drivers. In many ways, the Wrangler is the evolution of the CJ, even carrying on some of the traditional stying of the titular SUV. And within its time on the market, it has experienced a wide range of generational leaps.
There have been four generations of the Wrangler since its first release. Jeep Wrangler generations each have a distinguishing name associated with them to make it easier to identify which generation any given Wrangler is from, starting with the YJ. First released in 1987, the YJ was the first official Wrangler model, though models that harken back to the original Jeep Willys Quad like the Wrangler does had existed before this. While utilizing a distinctive styling, the first-generation Wrangler also adopted the stylistic design from the preceding CJ, both of which are unmistakably from the same classic Jeep design standpoint. This generation of the Wrangler would last for nine years, with the 1997 Wrangler bringing forth the first generational leap for the SUV.
The second generation of the Wrangler was called TJ, and along with it came increased performance, and a slightly changed exterior, more so resembling the Wrangler models that we have today. In 2004, Jeep offered a "stretched" version of the TJ Wrangler called the Wrangler Unlimited that would be around until the end of this generation. This generation of the Wrangler was received quite well, and it wouldn't be until 2007 when the Wrangler would again be redone.
In 2007, Jeep brought out the Wrangler Unlimited JK, a new four-door version of the model that put a modern-day twist on the original Willys MB design. When you’re shopping for a used Wrangler today, these are some of the best that you can get. The JK generation Wrangler lasted until 2018, and you can find plenty of these models for sale used. For the best price-to-performance along with a still relatively fresh set of features depending on the model you buy, this is the generation of Wrangler to get.
The Latest Wrangler Generation: JL
2019 marked the release of the current generation of the Jeep Wrangler: the JL. With this generation has come a series of engine upgrades, improved performance, better fuel efficiency, and of course, upgraded off-roading tech. If you want a Jeep Wrangler that has all the modern bells and whistles, then looking for one from 2019 onwards is a good choice. Also, this generation is pushing the limits of what the Wrangler can do with new models that are sure to appeal to a wide range of drivers.
First, you have the introduction of the performance-focused Wrangler Rubicon 392. The first Rubicon 392 model brought with it a large and powerful 6.4L V8 engine that produces 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. For the first time, the Rubicon 392 allowed the Wrangler to travel from 0-60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. The Rubicon 392 is well-built for off-roading with its 33-inch terrain tires and 4x4 system, so you get high levels of performance wherever you tread.
For those who are looking for a lot more fuel efficiency and environmentally friendly driving, the Wrangler 4xe is the model for you. With the release of the Wrangler 4xe, Jeep has designed a vehicle that can still perform up to par with the expectations of its fans but with a "greener" hybrid powertrain under the hood. The Wrangler 4xe still achieves 470 lb-ft of torque like the previously mentioned Rubicon 392 and has an ample 375 hp. Install a 240v charger in your home, and you'll never need to worry because the battery will be fully charged in about 2 hours. Jeep is also installing solar-powered charging stations at trailheads across the country, so you will be able to get a charge no matter where you go.