different jeep wrangler models

Difference Between Jeep Wrangler Models

The Jeep Wrangler is the iconic Jeep model that has been around since 1986. Ever since that time, it has served as the benchmark for off-road performance. It is the leader that everyone else is chasing. What is the difference between the Jeep Wrangler models?

The Jeep Wrangler has had 4 generations starting with the YJ from 1987 to 1996, the TJ which ran from 1997 to 2006, the JK which ran from 2007 to 2017, and then the 4th generation JL which ran from 2018. It also comes in different options being the Sport, Sahara and Rubicon.

The year and option you eventually settle on are based on your particular needs as a Jeep owner. Some are made to seamlessly merge off and on-road ability while the Rubicon is made with the off-road trail in mind.

The Jeep Wrangler has been in production since 1986 and has had different upgrades and modifications made to it over the years.

Though this is a vehicle that was designed to be a rough and rugged beast made to conquer the outdoors, it has gradually gained appeal in the more mainline car market meaning that they had to incorporate a higher degree of comfort as well as electronic to appeal to this market more.

Jeep also has a strong aftermarket. There are a lot of independent companies that manufacture different Jeep modifications ranging from simple aesthetics to very complex engine and body components.

Which Jeep Wrangler model is the best?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. It’s all based on what the individual Jeep owner is looking for. The die-hard off-roaders will tell you that the 1997 JK is the best because of its ruggedness and overall quality.

A lot of this model is still on the road to this day. It doesn’t rank highly in terms of ride comfort as well as the electronics.

In fact, it barely has any electronics unless it was modified later on. It is a beast on the trails as well which is the biggest reason that it rates as the best. If you ask the modern day “city and mall crawlers” you may find that they prefer the more modern JLs which offer a lot of bells and whistles in the electronics department.

The LED control panel has become standard now. They have done their best to keep the box shape of previous Jeep models in the JL while giving it a few curves in order to make it more aerodynamic.

Jeeps are notorious for being fuel guzzlers and the aerodynamic design addresses this without really taking away from the look and feel of a traditional Jeep.

What are the levels of Jeep Wranglers?

The Jeep Wrangler model comes in the Sport, the Sahara, and then the Rubicon. The Sport focuses mainly on making the Wrangler look great on the outside with a matching performance package under the hood. It comes in both 2 and 4 door versions. The Sahara also comes in 2 and 4 door options.

It has an 18-inch wheelbase at stock giving it a higher ride height than both the Sport and Rubicon. The Sahara comes with powered windows and doors in the 4 door versions. It is the ideal option for an everyday driver because it’s better catered to meet the comfort requirements and overall needs of the family or worker.

The Sahara has a 3.6 liter V6 VVT engine. It also comes with 285 horsepower. The Rubicon is named after the Rubicon trail in California.

It is recognized in the off-road world as one of the most challenging trails in the world. Just like the Sahara, the Rubicon is fitted with a 3.6 liter V6 24 valve VVT engine giving out 285 horsepower. The Rubicon comes ready made for off-road action. It comes with skid plates already fitted, 17-inch wheels. It comes with rock rails and front sway bars.

What is the best Jeep Wrangler trim?

It all comes down to the purpose for which you want to use your Jeep Wrangler. If it is solely based on engineering, the Rubicon is definitely the one which is feature packed.

It boasts a lot of ability especially when it comes to being trail ready. You don’t need to add any extra modifications to it for you to get the most out of it.

For those who want the Jeep experience with an added level of comfort, the Sahara is the best option for you while the Sport is great for those who want a really cool looking Jeep with a good performance package.


The Jeep Wrangler definitely is an iconic Jeep within the stable. It is the flagship Jeep model around which all the others were developed. Initially designed to meet the needs of off-road enthusiasts, it has grown to cater to the needs of everyone else.