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Jeep: A Brief History

JEEP CJ: 1976-1986

The first major update of the CJ design in 20 years came with the introduction of the CJ-7 for 1976. The CJ-7 has a wheelbase 10 inches longer than the CJ-5, allowing room for an automatic transmission. (Production of the CJ-5 continued until 1983.) The CJ-7 was the first Jeep to offer an optional molded plastic top and steel doors.


A pickup alternative to the CJ-7, the Scrambler is built on a longer 103-inch wheelbase with a longer rear overhang to increase cargo capacity. Known internationally as the CJ-8, the Scrambler is mechanically similar to the CJ-7 -- although a V8 engine was never available. The open-top pickup was offered with either a soft-top or a hardtop. Only 30,000 Scramblers were built, making it popular among collectors.

 JEEP CHEROKEE (XJ): 1984-2001
As interest in SUVs continued to grow in America, cJeep debuted the all-new compact Cherokee for the 1984 model year. The 1984 Cherokeehas a unibody chassis rather than a traditional body-on-frame design. It is 21 inches shorter, 6 inches narrower, 4 inches lower and 1,000 pounds lighter than the full-size Grand Wagoneer. The XJ features a Quadra-Link coil front suspension, and was offered with two different all-wheel-drive systems: the part-time Command-Trac and full-time Selec-Trac. Cherokee was originally offered with either a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 2.8-liter V6 engine until the highly-regarded 4.0-liter inline 6-cylinder arrived for 1987. A new Jeep Wagoneer based on the Cherokee was offered 1984-1990, featuring quad headlights and vinyl woodgrain side trim for the Wagoneer Limited.

  JEEP COMANCHE (MJ): 1986-1992

A pickup version of the Cherokee, the Jeep Comanche is also a unibody vehicle, which was unique for a pickup truck at that time. Comanche is mechanically similar to the Cherokee and was offered as either the short-bed Comanche Sport or the long-bed Comanche Chief. Later models offered the full-time Selec-Trac 4-wheel drive or Command-Trac.

  JEEP WRANGLER (YJ): 1987-1996

The Jeep Wrangler replaced the long-running Jeep CJ for 1987, and although it retained a similar profile to its predecessor, the new Wrangler shares few mechanical components with the CJ-7 and has more in common with the new Cherokee. The new design features a wider track, an angled grille and rectangular headlights. On the inside the WRangler looks more modern and offers more creature comforts to appeal to a broader audience. More than 600,000 Wranglers were sold. In August 1987 American Motors Corporation was sold to Chrysler Corporation and Jeep became a division of Chrysler.


An all-new midsize SUV for 1993, the Jeep Grand Cherokee set new standards for ride, handling and comfort in an SUV. The first SUV with a driver's side airbag, the Grand Cherokee features Quadra-Coil suspension, an available 5.2 liter V8 engine and a choice of all-wheel drive systems. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer -- based on the Grand Cherokee -- was offered for 1993 only, with all available Grand Cherokee options and vinyl woodgrain side trim. The Orvis special edition was offered 1995-1997 with green paint and gold striping outside and two-tone green and champagne leather inside. Grand Cherokee was updated with over 40 major changes for 1996 and the Grand Cherokee 5.9L Limited was added for 1998.

JEEP WRANGLER (TJ): 1997-2006

Redesigned for 1997 with a retro-look that was closer to the CJ-7 than the previous-generation Wrangler, the new design returned to round headlights and retained a fold-down windshield, removable doors and a choice of a soft-top or a removable hardtop. On-road handling improved via the Quadra-Coil suspension, which replaced standard leaf springs. Off-road capability also improved with more ground clearance and more aggressive approach and departure angles.


The Wrangler Rubicon was added for 2003 -- the best equipped production Jeep for off-road capability up to that time. It has push-button locking front and rear axels, 4:1 low-range Rock-Trac transfer case, 32-inch tires and other options not previously offered on a production Jeep. The Wrangler Unlimited was added for 2004 with a longer wheelbase, 13 inches of additional cargo room and 2 inches of additional rear-seat room.


The first complete redesign for the Grand Cherokee, the 2005 model features better ride and handling the addition of a 4.7-liter V8 engine and a new Quadra-Drive 4x4 system. While the exterior design remains very similar to the orginal, there are very few components carried over from the previous model. Inside the ergonomics were improved and the level of luxury is increased to meet the demand for more refinement in luxury SUVs.

 JEEP LIBERTY: 2002-2007

The Jeep Liberty replaced the Cherokee for the 2002 model year with a new vehicle that incorporated iconic Jeep design elements such as the round headlights and 7-slot grille. Liberty features independent front suspension, a 3.7-liter V6 engine, Command-Trac 4-wheel drive and full-time Select-trac standard for Liberty Limited. For the 2005 model year a 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine and 6-speed manual transmission were offered.


The Grand Cherokee was redesigned for 2005 with a focus on combining power and luxury with a quieter, more refined ride by adding a new short/long-arm front suspension. Three engines were offered, including a 330-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI and the available full-time Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system featured front and rear limited slip differentials and a center differential lock.


Based on the same platform as the 2005 Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Commander is a seven-passenger SUV with a three-inch step up in the roof to create room for third-row stadium-style seating. The boxy design features an upright windshield and squared-off sides that look more like the 2008 Liberty; engine and drivetrain choices were shared with the Grand Cherokee.


One of Jeep's two compact crossovers, the Jeep Patriot has more of an upright traditional SUV design, while the original Compass design looks more like a hatchback. The Patriot has a classic Jeep look with round headlights and an upright 7-slot grille. It is front-wheel drive with a choice of two all-wheel-drive systems. Freedom Drive I is a full-time system designed for on-road use, and Freedom Drive II is off-road capable. Patriot is powered by a 172-horsepower 2.4-liter engine combined with a CVT.


The other of Jeep's two compact crossovers, the Jeep Compass is front-wheel drive with the choice of two all-wheel drive systems. Freedom Drive I is a full-time system designed for on-road use, and Freedom Drive II is off-road capable. The Compass was redesigned for 2011 and a new design looks a lot like the new Grand Cherokee -- a big improvement over the original design, but the drivetrain is still the same with a 172-horsepower 2.4-liter engine combined with a CVT.


With an al-new frame, exterior design, interior, engine and safety equipment, the 2007 Wrangler was large and more refined but continued as the modern descendant of the original Willy's Jeep. Signature Jeep elements include round headlights, 7-slot grille, solid axles, removeable doors, exposed hinges, a fold-down windshield and removable tops. For 2007 the Wrangler Unlimited was introduced as a 4-door with easier access to a roomier 3-passenger rear seat and the most cargo capacity ever in a Wrangler. For the 2011 the Wrangler received an all-new interior.

JEEP LIBERTY: 2008-2012

Jeep Liberty was redesigned for 2008 with a sharper-edged, more rugged design to replace the more rounded first-generation look. To improve both on-road handling and off-road capability, new independent front and 5-link rear suspension were added with an available new Selec-Trac II full time 4x4 system. Inside passenger room, cargo capacity and seats were improved and a Sky Slider Roof was offered.


The Grand Cherokee was all-new for 2011 after more than 4 million sales since the first Grand Cherokee debuted in 1992. The Grand Cherokee has a refined design, a more luxurious interior, better on-road handling and increased off-road capability with a choice of three 4x4 systems, a new Jeep Selec-Terrain system and a new Jeep Quadra-Lift air suspension. For 2014 the Grand Cherokee was updated with a shorter grille and slimmer headlights. At the rear, larger taillights include signature LED lighting, a larger spoiler improves aerodynamics and a new tailgate aids rear visibility.


The Jeep Cherokee returned for 2014 as an all-new compact SUV to replace the Liberty in the Jeep lineup. The new Cherokee features a modern, aerodynamic design and is powered by a new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine or a 2.3-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 engine, both combined with a standard 9-speed automatic transmission. Legendary Jeep off-road capability is delivered with the Cherokee Trailhawk, which includes lifted off-road suspension with skidplates, tow hooks, Selec-Terrain tractions control, Jeep Active Drive Lock with rear locker, Selec-Speed Crawl Control with 56:1 crawl ratio and aggressive approach, departure and break-over angles.


Jeep joins the growing sub-compact crossover segment for 2015 with the Renegade, a new model that is small and fuel-efficient but also offers available Jeep off-road capability. The Renegade Sport and Latitude are both powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with 6-speed
manual transmission or available 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with 9-speed automatic, which are standard for Renegade Limited and Trailhawk.

The Renegade Trailhawk offers Jeep off-road capability with Active Drive Low 4x4 sstem with 20:1 crawl ratio; Selec-Terrain system with five modes, including Rock mode; off-road suspension with 0.8-inch lift; hill descent control; 17-inch off-road aluminum wheels and aggressive tires; and red tow hooks, skidplates, off-road fascias, black accent roof and roof rails.

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6551 Pratt Rd
Directions Sodus, NY 14551

  • Sales: (888) 466-2593


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