Off-road capable SUVs continue to win the hearts of drivers as enthusiasts turn to larger cars. Jeep has established itself as perhaps the best-known brand in the automotive industry since the 1950s. Jeep has created many outstanding models over the years, but the Wrangler has stood out from the crowd.
Updated November 2022: Jeep has gone wild over the years, bringing us memorable Wrangler models year after year. The Wrangler models have become more technologically advanced with Jeep even introducing a powerful Wrangler Rubicon with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 and a plug-in hybrid 4xe version. Below is an updated list highlighting the best Jeep Wrangler models ever made.
First launched in 1986, under the “YJ” moniker, the Wrangler marked its place in history not only as the first of its kind, but also as arguably the most controversial Jeep model ever produced. From the quintessential military truck to one of the most iconic modern off-road SUVs, here are some of the best Jeep Wrangler models to ever see the light of day.
10/10 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ
Despite being criticized for its square headlights, the Wrangler YJ is extremely popular and a unique part of the automaker’s history. Jeep designed the model for its off-road capabilities and appeals to more casual daily drivers. They lowered the ground clearance from the previous models and improved the comfort and experience in the cabin.
The original model used a 2.5-liter or a 4.2-liter AMC engine that produced 112 hp. Jeep later updated the 1995 YJ to a more powerful 4.0-liter V6 that generated 180 hp. One thing that makes it so iconic is that it was the last year of its production.
9/10 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ
Jeep introduced the Wrangler TJ as its second generation wrangler in 1997. The Wrangler TJ successfully integrated on-road capability into the Wrangler brand when it hit the showroom floor. This meant that on-road handling was just as responsive as when driving on the trails.
Under the hood, the 1997 Wrangler TJ packed a 2.5-liter engine that generated 120 hp. Although enthusiasts were used to the round lights, some TJ drivers did not appreciate the high fuel consumption.
8/10 2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ
Jeep decided to end production of TJ models in 2006 before launching the JK line the following year. It used the standard 2.4-liter that produced 147 hp and a maximum trailer weight of 1,000 pounds.
Despite the not so big engine, the 2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ did a good job maneuvering over boulders. Customers who preferred a more powerful TJ could have opted for the 4-liter 12-valve SMPI Power, capable of producing a whopping 190 hp. This variant had a maximum permissible weight of 2000 pounds.
7/10 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK
Jeep introduced the JK model in 2007 and also debuted the 2-door and 4-door unlimited editions. The Unlimited edition offered significantly more space in the cabin as one of its perks. It had a 20-inch longer wheelbase compared to its predecessor. The 2007 Wrangler Unlimited JK became as popular as Jeep’s first four-door. Enthusiasts can now add another family car demographic to their road-hungry dirt bikes.
The 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK had a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produced a whopping 205 hp.
6/10 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Ten years after its launch in 2003, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon became a legend. Its agility, dexterity and tough rock climbing skills gathered off-road fanatics all over the world. Jeep created a model that suited the most hardcore enthusiasts when it turned 10 years old.
A 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 beast engine powered the 2013 Wrangler Rubicon. This provided the necessary power for this tiger to claw its way up terrain that would frighten other off-roaders. With both 2-door and 4-door designs, this monster trail runner can comfortably offer both family rides and rugged terrain cruising.
5/10 2013 Jeep Wrangler JK Sport
Jeep introduced the JK Sport for enthusiasts who preferred a Wrangler with a sportier look. It boasted silver-style 16-inch steel wheels, a manual sunroof, cloth upholstery and ABS traction control.
Under the hood of the 2013 Jeep Wrangler JK Sport was a 3.6-liter v6 engine that generated a whopping 285 hp. On the highway, drivers were able to get 21 MPG and 17 MPG in the city.
4/10 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler JK
The 2014 Willys Wheeler JK model appeals to Jeep enthusiasts, as it represents the military Jeeps that carried the troops into battle. The Jeep offers pure functionality and robust features in a unique package that acknowledges the brand’s great history.
Under the hood, the special Wrangler packed the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that generated 285 hp and 260 ft-lb of torque. The Pentastar used a standard six-speed manual transmission or an available five-speed automatic transmission.
3/10 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL
Jeep launched its fourth generation in 2017 for the 2018 model year Wrangler JL, which boasted several new features. This Jeep offered a modern interior, from new zipperless soft seats to a simpler folding windshield.
The 2018 Wrangler JL was available in both 2-door and 4-door model versions. Powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, the Wrangler JL got 18 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway.
2/10 2018 Wrangler Rubicon
Jeep named the 2018 Wrangler Rubicon after one of the most popular off-road trails in the world. The name “Rubicon” represents the toughest and most rugged of the Wrangler fleet. Under the hood is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that generates up to 285 off-road hungry horses. It offers a great blend of both usability and driveability. The fitted 33-inch wheels also provide plenty of ground clearance.
The interior isn’t too shabby either. With solid gas mileage, the 2018 Wrangler Rubicon is one of the best vehicles you can buy today.
1/10 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited North Edition
Let us present the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited North Edition to conquer cold climates; snow, wet and ice. Based on the Sahara model, this Jeep features the Selec-Trac 4×4 system and a removable 3-piece hardtop to help keep you warm and dry.
Other features include Bridgestone All-Terrain tires, anti-spin rear differential axle and tow hooks in case you need to pull a fallen driver’s car from a cold, icy ditch.