Which do you think was the "best" Wrangler?

the "best of the rest" Wrangler?


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Kllrbee

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Id almost make it a tie between JL and TJ. The JL is a massive improvement over the JK. Just as the TJ was over the YJ. The JK was a step back (a large step) from the TJ. The only reason Id give the nod to the TJ is how incredibly easy they were to work on. They were pretty much the last mass produced vehicle that was a throwback to the times when we could do ALL the wrenching on our rigs. Dont get me wrong, we can still wrench on the JL, but its much more complicated. I admit Im better with a wrench than a tuner so the above statement might not be true for all.
Plus, that 4.0 was an absolute BEAST!!
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aldo98229

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Looking at the poll results, if we adjust for the fact that this forum is heavily biased towards JL, it would seem that TJ is the “best” Wrangler of all time.

TJ had many firsts:
  • First Wrangler to use QuadraCoil suspension —still in use today
  • First Wrangler to offer factory lockers —i.e., Rubicon
  • First use of the Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer case —still in use today
And carried over many legendary Jeep elements:
  • The legendary 4.0L in-line six
  • The indestructible Command-Trac first introduced on SJ
 

Walker Texas Wrangler

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I had a TJ Sahara 4.0 from '99 that I loved and am a bit nostalgic for. But my JL is much much better overall to me. I didn't get the allure of the YJ, my buddy had one and it was a piece of crap. I felt like we were delivering mail every time we were in it. I test drove a JK unlimited when they came out because we had a newborn and a 4dr would have been a great compromise. There was just something about it that couldn't lure me back like the JL did. I knew instantly the JL was released that I wanted back into a jeep. I will say that I couldn't go with a gladiator because I remember the gladiator concept that was based on the TJ. The current gladiator doesn't have the allure that the TJ version had.

My honest opinion:
If you want a 2 door the TJ was the best.
If you want a 4 door the JL is the best.
 

Morejeeps

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I had no plans to get rid of my jku but when I drove a jlu I traded within a month.

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IdahoJOAT

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The problem is the poll is subjective. The best wrangler in what sense? Iconic? Creature comforts? Off-road ability?

I initially voted TJ, as it was what I would consider the first modern Wrangler. As @aldo98229 puts it:

Looking at the poll results, if we adjust for the fact that this forum is heavily biased towards JL, it would seem that TJ is the “best” Wrangler of all time.

TJ had many firsts:
  • First Wrangler to use QuadraCoil suspension —still in use today
  • First Wrangler to offer factory lockers —i.e., Rubicon
  • First use of the Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer case —still in use today
And carried over many legendary Jeep elements:
  • The legendary 4.0L in-line six
  • The indestructible Command-Trac first introduced on SJ
Then I thought more on it for a moment and changed my vote to the JL.

Because to me, and I think many others, Jeeping is about more than power, or lockers, or two doors versus four.

It's about putting that top down, having those doors off, and enjoying life. It's about driving something that puts a smile on your face.

That's why I want Camp Jeep to come back in force. It'd be a blast to spend a weekend with CJ-1As to 2021 392 JLUR XRs.
 

omnitonic

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I think I have to go with the JL, because it's the first Jeep I ever bought, but not the first Jeep I ever considered. I came closest to getting a JK, but still balked. The older Jeeps had a lot of downside as daily drivers.
 

MrMischief

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The "best Wrangler" has to be the TJ. For what I view a "wrangler" to be the TJ is it. Seems to me that it was a huge improvement on the YJ without compromising any off road capability. It was not the best car you could buy, but it was the best Jeep. With the JK, and now the JL, even the two doors have a lot more compromises for emissions, and safety, on road performance, and modern features which make it a nicer car than the TJ, but tend to work against what was core to the Wrangler brand.
 

gerlbaum

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The CJ7, fuel pump bolted to block, carburetor, power/ steering, brakes, primitive, but I could ALWAYS get home.
That said, the JL is the first "Wrangler " fit to be a DD ; capability, comfort, frugal, fun, safe.
I was gonna say, can I vote for a CJ7?
 
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desmo2

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I shouldn't have worded it "best". "Iconic" was more what I was thinking.

I love my JL. Better in every way than my TJ. But, even with all that 'better', there was just something about the TJ. I think it was the perfect balance of simplicity, size and capability. Mine was a '97, before the Rubicon package was introduced. At Camp Jeep 2002 we were among the first of the general public to get to drive the brand new Rubicon TJ...albeit on a closed course, with a rep in the passenger seat, in 1st gear, 4-low, with lockers engaged.

I would love to be able to afford/justify having a Rubicon TJ along with my JL.
 

JeepFiend

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I shouldn't have worded it "best". "Iconic" was more what I was thinking.
Yeah, it was also limited, imho, as a "Wrangler". I remember as a kid wanting to by one of the crate Willy's, the true "Iconic" jeep. They'd send you a crate with all the parts to put your own General Purpose vehicle together. To be honest, if I could get one, I'd still get one today. But the more I learn about the JL, the more I'm considering canceling my order and looking for '93-95 YJ or TJ or maybe even another XJ. Frankly, when AMC sold out, the Jeep has only declined, and now that it's with Fiat, it's well....a Fiat.
 

grimmjeeper

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I was gonna say, can I vote for a CJ7?
I vote for the CJ7 with the Wrangler option package.

For me a 1978 CJ7 with the 304ci V8, T18a 4 speed with granny low first gear and a Dana 20 transfer case is hard to beat.
 

viper88

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I owned a TJ, JK, JLR. Every newer generation was a better version. Much more refinement and efficiency with every new model. The JL hit it out of the park for a few reasons. Though the 2-door does not get many of the options, the Unlimited has a lot of choices. Available engine choices, XR package, gearing options. The ZF 8-Speed changed the game. The ZF-8speed really is a great automatic transmission that transforms how the JL drives. More power and better mpg than the TJ and JK. Steering has gotten better with every new generation also.

Prices for Wranglers have gotten really expensive though. Who would have thought we would see a $80K+ Wrangler from the factory? But again, who would have thought there would be a Hemi or 4xE? Times are changing for sure.

The TJs were nice though. I see the appeal. No frills. They are smaller and pretty basic. Cheap and easy to fix.
 
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aldo98229

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I never owned a TJ, but I was selling Jeeps when TJ came out: it lured a ton of first-time Jeep buyers into showrooms.

Wrangler’s appeal has always be strong, but people were reluctant to get one for one reason or another —e.g., too small, lack of four doors, etc.

TJ brought adequate levels of comfort and a relatively modern, livable interior. That was enough to convince many to take the plunge.
 
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