There seems to be some interesting action over in the Jeep camp lately and I can’t wait to see the end results. Perhaps the biggest news is that they’ve finally come to grips with some branding issues that have gone on for years.
Years ago, the Jeep marketing boys in the US decided that the CJ should become the Wrangler. Up here in Canada, they continued to sell the truck with the CJ name. Later versions were sold up here as the YJ & more recently the TJ. Along with the announcement of the 2007 Wrangler Unlimited, we heard that the new model would be called Wrangler north of the border as well.
I must admit that I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for the Jeep since I was a kid. Maybe it’s the memory of a neighbour cruising around town in an early Denim Edition with the top off, or maybe just the cool factor of a vehicle with removable doors and a folding windshield. Even when I worked in a Chrysler/Jeep dealership in the early Nineties, the cool factor of the YJ stood out more than the shoddy quality. I wanted one then & to be honest I still want one. That’s right, I would risk buying a piece of domestic crap because of the Jeep cool factor.
Enter the 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Forget all the other new Jeep models that claim to be be “trail rated”. This is the machine with the heritage. It has the tradional look, complete with the removable hard top and the off road capability. But wait…there is something new here. For the first time, a Wrangler comes with 4 doors. The first pictures I saw were just a teaser, showing me a rear seat with a 60/40 split, hinting at a 3 passenger rear seat. Not until I saw the full specs did I believe for certain. A real Jeep that seats 5! At last, a true off road icon with a bit of towing capacity to make up for the lack of space. A vehicle that a family can really take to camp sites off the beaten path.
I’m not going to bother writing about all the techie specs in The Garage for now. Look around some of our links and you’ll find all the info you might want. The Garage is more interested in the beginning of a new era for an icon.