The Jeep Wrangler has been and continues to be the best regarded 4X4 off-road vehicle as well as a fun choice for everyday driving. Since its inception in 1987, it has undergone 3 major design revisions from the YJ in the early years, to the long lasting TJ, and since 2006, the JK. Through the changes the wrangler continues to prove itself as the gold standard of off-road vehicles
Chrysler has continued to add more features targeted at maximizing comfort to expand the appeal of the jeep wrangler beyond the off-road world. So whether you are a die-hard off-road fan looking for a durable vehicle with vast customization options or a city dweller looking for a fun and well recognized vehicle just for getting around, the jeep wrangler is worth a look.
The 2008 & 2007 Wrangler JK is very similar to the 2006 model (the first year of the JK redesign). The JK is longer, wider, and has more space than its predecessors. Jeep targeted the on-road market as well as the off-road with this model, but in the process disappointed some enthusiasts with the changes. The 2008 and 2007 model has three trim options: the X, Sahara, and Rubicon. All three trims come equipped with the 3.8 L V6 that produces 202hp standard horsepower. The Sahara and Rubicon models include 17-inch wheels vs. the 16-inch wheels standard on the X. They also have additional body trim and styling and interior features.
“…it's still popular because it fills a need like no other vehicle. Despite its inherent design limitations (we won't call them flaws), primarily balance and storage, the Wrangler delivers inimitable fun. Challengers have not been able to steal from the allure of the Jeep.” -- New Car Test Drive
“...no other convertible lets you take off the doors and fold down the windshield.”-- Auto Reviews
“...up-to-date technology... has improved ride and handling... [while maintaining] rugged and distinctive profile of an American icon.”-- Popular Mechanics
“It's the right choice for perilous off-road treks like California's Rubicon Trail. But it's also fun for cruising around the neighborhood.”-- New Car Test Drive
Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler came to market in 1987 and was a successor to the Word War II Jeep Vehicles. The 1987 YJ model was in production until mid-1996 when it was replaced by the TJ. The stock engine until 1991 was the 2.5 L AMC I4 and there was an optional upgrade to a 4.2 L AMC 258 I6. In 1991, a 4.0 L AMC 242 replaced the 4.2L I6 improving the horsepower from 112 to 180 hp. Through it’s tenure, the YJ sold nearly 700,000 units.
In 1997, the TJ replaced the YJ model. The TJ went back to the round headlights from the World War II era CJ Jeeps from the square headlights featured on the YJ. It was equipped with a 2.5 L I4 engine until 2003 and was then replaced with a 2.4 L DOHC V4 engine. The TJ also had an unlimited model that was 10” longer than the standard wrangler. The TJ was in production until 2006 and continues to very popular on the road and trails. With vast customization options owners were able to maximize the off-road experience beyond the base model. In 2006 the wrangler was redesigned again into the JK which is the current production model. Wikipedia has an article that provides some additional insight on the Jeep's rich history.
The Wrangler’s popular four-door counterpart maintains the same iconic styling, but adds extra length and interior space. The idea behind the Wrangler Unlimited is fairly simple – take the 2007 Wrangler and add extra length and two extra doors, and poof we have kept the classic look and feel but expanded the appeal beyond the 2-door wrangler’s niche market. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited still possesses off-road and go-anywhere capability, but has a feel slightly more geared toward suburban assault vehicle with more room for the soccer team and a slightly less rugged feel.
With the extra 20+ inches of wheelbase, the Unlimited may lose a little of the rugged off-road capabilities, but adds more interior capacity and comfort for everyday functions. The unlimited wrangler also maintains the convertible option; in fact it has several configurations with the 3-piece modular “Freedom Top” feature. So you can take it to the mountains in the morning, pick the kids up at soccer in the afternoon, and cruise Miami Beach with the top down at night.
The Unlimited model has been very well received and may be hard to get your hands on one – word was that Chrysler hadn’t accurately anticipated the heavy demand that the 2007 received and they have had some supply issues.
See more details here: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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