Have you ever had this conversation with another Jeep owner? You’ve both already made the excellent decision to purchase a Jeep. Maybe it’s a Wrangler, maybe it’s an old Cherokee, or maybe you’re more for the luxury of a Grand. Everyone has their own tastes, everyone has their own opinion of what a “real jeep” is, and everyone is very vocal about it. I’ve been there. Looking down your nose at those TJ’s because you’re driving a “Real Jeep” that has leaf springs, or judging those Patriots because your jeep has solid axles. I’ve outgrown it, like a lot of us do. Some of us don’t. But I’m not writing this to show you the error of your ways.
I just wanted to share what MY Jeep is, to me. I love the YJ platform. I feel like it’s the underdog, with those square headlights (which are actually rectangular, but that doesn’t sound as good). It’s got rugged looks, and reminds me of the 90’s, when I was growing up. So for a long time I looked down on all of the other models, becuase I felt like the YJ was _the best_. It had benefits over the CJ, and i thought the TJ’s and JK’s were sissy Jeeps. After I sold my old 92, I thought when I got back into a Jeep, it’d be another YJ. But I gave in and bought a JK, which was actually a really great Jeep, and then I traded that down to an LJ! Which is what I’m driving today. In the end, I learned that convictions are great, but until you’ve experienced more, you won’t know what you’re missing.
What that really taught me was, it’s not so much the model that defines the Jeep, it’s how well the Jeep fills your vision if what a “Jeep” is. Personally, I love a challenge. I love things that engage my mind, and give me things to solve. I love figuring things out, and I love building things. I also love Freedom, and exploration. I love being able to get myself, and my family, to places that few others have been. Whether that’s on foot, on bike, or in my Jeep. The YJ was great for that when I was single, and later when it was just my wife and I, but face it, when you have a kid, or two like we do, the 2-door standard wrangler just doesnt cut it. The LJ has been a great family Jeep. The extra doors and space of the JK-U would probably do just as well, but the LJ is what I have. It fits my budget, and its similar enough to the YJ platform that I love so much that I can apply what I know about that platform to modify the LJ.
So next time you’re online, around the camp fire, in the staging area, or hanging out in the mall parking lot, remember not to judge the other Jeep’s around you. I don’t care if you’re driving a TJ, LJ, YJ, CJ, JK, WJ, XJ, or even a Renagade, if your jeep fits your needs, then I’m happy for you, get out there, and wheel what you’ve got!