Jeep Wrangler models through the years

What are the Jeep Wrangler generations called?

What are the Jeep Wrangler generations?

Do you love the Jeep Wrangler? Did you know that it’s been around for over 30 years and through four generations? What are the Jeep Wrangler Generations? We can help you find answers to all this and more as we explore the history of the always wonderful Wrangler.

Willys CJ-7 Golden Eagle white side viewWhat came before the Wrangler?

The Jeep Wrangler is not the same thing that soldiers were rolling around in during World War II. The closest civilian model to that is the Willys CJ. Willys was the original producer of Jeep models and CJ stood for Civilian Jeep. The CJ went through nine different variations before being replaced in 1986/1987 by the first Jeep Wrangler which was then made by Chrysler.

Read More: Do Wranglers have two doors or four?

Like the CJ though, Wrangler models adopted a very similar look and even took on a two-letter naming scheme of their own to denote each new generation. Though there were nine primary variations of the CJ, it was the CJ-7 that the Wrangler was largely styled after. The history of the CJ could fill a blog post or three on its own, but we will save that for another time.

Generations of Jeep Wrangler

As we mentioned above, each Wrangler had a letter designation. Unlike the CJ though, the letters didn’t really mean much other than separating the generations. Below you can see all four of them including what model years they were produced for.

Jeep Wrangler YJ black and white front view

Wrangler YJ

1986 – 1995

Jeep Wrangler TJ purple side view

Wrangler TJ

1996 – 2006

Jeep Wrangler JK tan side view

Wrangler JK

2006 – 2018

Jeep Wrangler JL black side view

Wrangler JL

2018 – Now

You’ll notice a few things about the list above. Firstly, Jeep variations tend to stick around for about a decade before they are phased out. Also, starting with the TJ and coming forward, there was actually a model year overlap between generations. This meant that if you were buying new, for one year you had a choice between the new generation Wrangler or the last generation Wrangler.


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2018 Jeep Wrangler red and gray side by sideHow well do Jeep Wrangler models hold value?

Jeep Wrangler models hold their value astoundingly well. In good shape, you can often find Jeep models that are a few years old beating the depreciation curve while simultaneously competing with models from other generations at the same time. People love Wranglers, and everyone has their favorite generation.


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