For all intents and purposes, the original Jeep Wrangler YJ (manufactured in 1986-1995) is not a direct descendant of the WWII-era Willy’s CJ civilian Jeep. Although the CJ and the first-generation YJ Wrangler are both equipped with rigid live axles in the front and rear, flared fenders for added wheel clearance, a fold-flat windshield, and body-on-frame construction, the production Wrangler YJ is engineered to be safer and more comfortable in urban driving.
The YJ Wrangler is the first generation model. It came with leaf spring suspension and live rigid axles in the front and rear. It also features the trademarked rectangular headlights and part-time 4WD.
The TJ Wrangler is the second-generation Jeep which is sold in 1996-2006. It is the first production Jeep to be equipped with front coil springs from the factory. Furthermore, the Wrangler TJ came with the familiar round headlamps similar to the classic CJ Jeep.
The third-generation JK Wrangler was sold from 2006-2018. It is considered an all-new model even though it retained the familiar rugged styling of the TJ and YJ. The Wrangler JK came with upgraded and modern amenities to keep up with the competition.
The all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is the fourth-generation model. It may still look the same as the previous JK, but it is miles ahead in terms of refinement. And since the new JL is larger and longer than the JK, it also offers more room for passengers and cargo.