In 1987, the Jeep Wrangler debuted. Compared to the Jeep CJ, the YJ Wrangler was a lighter and better driving replacement.
In response to market demands for small four-wheel-drive vehicles with more daily comfort features, Jeep discontinued the CJ series and replaced it with the Wrangler.
Like the CJ, the Wrangler retained a body-on-frame setup.
To improve handling, the YJ Wrangler's suspension featured track bars and antiroll bars.
At launch, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 121 horsepower and 135 pound-feet of torque served as the base engine. A 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder was also available with with 112 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque.
In 1991, an upgraded 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder replaced the 4.2-liter as the available engine upgrade.
The 1989 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Concept based off of the YJ.
The Islander option package included body-color wheel flares and side steps, sunset graphics on the hood and lower body and Islander logos on the front fenders and spare tire cover.
Laredo models of the YJ Wrangler included a chrome grille, bumpers, trim, body color fender flares and alloy wheels.
The Renegade decor package included exclusive wheels, a full-size spare tire, fog lamps, power steering and off-road shocks.
More than 630,000 YJ Jeep Wranglers were produced. The YJ generation was the only Wrangler to feature square headlights.