Growing up in the '90s in the UK, you didn't see too many Jeeps on the road. You had a few models for sale but they tended to be a bit overpriced compared to rivals, such as the Mitsubishi Shogun or Land Rover Discovery. If you owned a Jeep, you tended to be someone that was a major fan of the brand and not purchase it on pure quality merit.
In America, fuel is so cheap that it doesn't matter that a little Wrangler has a 4.0-litre engine. You can fill it up with the change in your bloody pocket. Whereas the UK tries to bankrupt the entire nation with crippling fuel prices. This made Jeep a luxury car choice. However, my perception all changed when my dad brought a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee home. I was fully smitten.
Over the years, Jeep have produced some of the most rugged and ready cars to tackle the everything the wilderness has to throw at them. Here are my top 7 coolest Jeeps of all time:
7) Jeep Wrangler YJ
The YJ takes me back to the pinnacle of the '90s… Jurassic Park. The best (or worst if you watch the film) way to avoid a T-Rex is a YJ.
6) Jeep Wagoneer
One that escaped the UK market, the Wagoneer is just an American flag on wheels. I love it.
5) Jeep Cherokee XJ
Probably the most common Jeep on UK roads in the '90s, the Cherokee was basically America stamping their authority on the UK. Here's a boxy 4x4 that has the worst mpg in the world, but you'll buy it in your droves you peasants.
4) HEMI Jeep Commander
The Jeep Commander has a nice eco-friendly engine, perfect for the UK roads. It is a HEMI 5.7-litre V8. Just enough power to get up those little British hills.
3) Willy's Jeep
The one that kickstarted it all, the Willy's Jeep still holds its cool levels in the modern day. It may be driven more by frat-boys rather than army commanders today, but that'll never kill its spirit.
2) Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition
Here is the magical model that first turned my head to Jeep. My dad bought a 1997 Grand Cherokee and it blew my mind. It had a huge 'computer' in the centre console like the Matrix. Black screen, green writing and completely pointless, but in 1997 it was straight out of a sci-fi film.
Hands down the best fact (rumour) was that from 40-70mph, this car was faster than a Porsche 911. I love the specificity of the fact. They'd looked through every little performance detail and found one that sounded good. Marketing at its finest.
1) Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The Trackhawk is just utter madness.
- 0-60mpg in 3.7 seconds
- 179.6mph top speed