The car that made ” ‘Merica “

A review about the American Jeep

More stories from Tanner Cook

All of my reviews have been about foreign car manufacturers, but now I’ve decided to review a truly “ ‘Merican “ car: Jeep.

Jeeps are known for their off-roading heritage and any car guy that loves big SUV and trucks wants a Jeep. Now a lot of people like Jeeps, but only Jeep CJ’s and Wranglers. So is there a problem with all the other Jeeps, or are some people just spectacle about Jeeps that are not just for off-roading?

Jeep started in 1941 at the wake of World War II. A vehicle was need to get troops anywhere, anytime. The Willy’s Jeep 4X4 was made to do just that. After the war, General Patton credited the Willy’s Jeep by saying that the war would have been lost without the Jeep. While most Jeeps were on the battlefields of Europe, Africa, and the Pacific Islands, others were being sold to the public. You could buy a Willy’s Jeep for everyday use, but it could still be used off road just like the military jeeps. By the end of WWII in the 50’s, Jeep had entered the recreational vehicle market. Jeep fans help to start the Jeep Jamboree, with still goes on today where Jeep owners come together and go off-roading to promote Jeep.

Sales soared with seven unique models in the 1960’s. Jeep soon came out with the Waggoneer, a Jeep for the family man/woman, and is one of the most iconic Jeeps in history. Jeep soon had another seven new models, used for everything from offroading, to daily commuting, to recreation, and luxury. The 1970’s brought about the birth of the Cherokee, Jeep’s sporty model, with stole away several 4WD of the year awards.

Jeep also had many other first in the automotive industry. The were the first to have a UniFrame construction, first compact, four door SUV, and first full time 4X4 systems with shift-on-the-fly capability. In 1987, Chrysler bought out AMC (with owned Jeep). In 1993 Jeep came out with the Grand Cherokee, with set a new standard in off roading luxury. The Wrangler replaced the CJ (with little to no design change) in 1997. In 1999, the Cherokee was marketed as the most capable off roader, and with these Jeep triple threat of awesomeness. Jeep sold over 629,000 cars in the 1990’s.

Recently, Jeep has introduced the Wrangler Unlimited, a  four door model of the Wrangler, and the Compass and Liberty, the first sum compact Jeeps. In 2014, the Cherokee was reintroduced to replace the Liberty, and finally the Jeep empire is back at its highest.

Now, I know every time I write a review, I talk about how much I like at brand (read the Toyota and Kia reviews) and how reliable they are, but if given the choice, I would choose a Jeep. I have a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Country, and I love it more the Kia and Toyota I have (which are driven by my parents).

Now I’m not going to say that Jeeps are perfect cars, because they aren’t. First of all, my Jeep has had to have the lights fixed, radiator flushed, and it drips oil on cold mornings, and I’ve only had it six months!!! Also, most Jeeps ride very ruff. I drove a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and I felt like I was sitting on a rock. My 1996 model has more comfortable seats then that! Also, Jeep has a few quality issues, but not as many as you would think. But if you’re going to own a classic Jeep, you may want to have a parts car because it will break. Jeeps are also getting very, very expensive. You can get a Wrangler Unlimited for as much as $75,000 dollars!

Okay, so Jeep’s are tough off-roading machines that are built like tanks but will have problems. Jeeps are not for the faint of heart and are responsible for many other off roading brands. But without Jeep, the world of cars would be different. Jeeps are responsible for the founding of the company Land Rover after the founder of Land Rover decided to make a British version of his Willy’s Jeep.

Without the Jeep, all the great 4X4’s ( Toyota Land Cruiser, Range Rover, etc.) would have never happened. Off roading may have not happened without the need for a big, four wheel drive monster to get soilders placed. Without Jeep, we as Americans would not have our big off-roading SUVs. Without Jeep, the world would be a dull, non-off roading place to live.