While the Jeep Wrangler was not officially introduced to American consumers until 1986, its past reaches back decades earlier and continues into the modern day with a dedication to rugged style.
Let’s take a look at the milestones that have made the Jeep Wrangler the popular adventure SUV it is today.
World War II
The Jeep brand was founded upon the original Willys Jeeps used by American soldiers in World War II. The vehicles were chosen and created in order to help the United States’ war effort by providing a light, all-terrain vehicle.
After the war, it was decided that Jeeps should be marketed to the public, and they were met with great success.
The first official Jeep Wrangler was introduced in 1986 once the Jeep CJ-7 was discontinued. This initial version was marketed as a two-door convertible as well as a two-door truck. It featured several engine and transmission options. The Wrangler was first produced in Canada, but the factory then moved to Toledo, OH in the same plant used to produce the WWII Jeeps.
In 1990, the Jeep Wrangler Renegade became a popular option for vehicle buyers. The Renegade package included an optional hard top, a larger fuel tank, Renegade striping and numerous other features.
The Jeep Wrangler received a huge upgrade in 1997, with one of the most notable features being a new coil-spring suspension system that allowed for smoother handling, better off-road performance and an overall stiffer body.
More large changes took place until 2003, when a new gear was added to the Wrangler’s automatic transmission. That same year, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon was introduced to cater to those looking for a truly off-road capable vehicle. It remains one of the most popular Wrangler models today.
In 2007, the Wrangler’s third generation brought the option of a four-door SUV (Unlimited) and is the revamp in body style that we still see today. The Wrangler saw a substantial size increase and a standard six-cylinder engine. It’s larger size and more power was very popular with consumers.
The Jeep Wrangler has had a long and storied past. Today, the Jeep Wrangler is still one of Jeep’s most popular and longest-running models. If you’d like to make the historic Wrangler your next vehicle, check out our online inventory or drop by our new and used car dealership for a test drive.