19th Oct 2008, 18:41
You are correct that the TJ is more comfortable & has better articulation than a stock YJ. However the YJ is a least as reliable and in my opinion (I've owned both) more reliable than the TJ.
For example, the electronic glitches with the instrument panel is a problem in the TJ (Chrysler electrics), but I haven't seen it in a YJ.
I can honestly say that as a Jeep owner & enthusiast, I would certainly agree that the TJ is a better vehicle to use as an everyday vehicle, especially for commuting with its better highway ride and comfort (It is certainly more car-like than the YJ) However I steadfastly believe the the YJ a better built 4x4. I don't feel that Chrysler has improved the Wrangler - as much as it has made it more appealing to the masses.
When AMC replaced the CJ with the YJ, a bit of off-road prowess might've been lost (in stock form), however with a wider track (axles from the Cherokee) as well as the improvements in ride, handling, instrumentation & interior upgrades - the evolution was a good one. When the 4.0 liter
engine became available in the YJ it was even better.
I personally prefer the YJ's design over the TJ's, however I certainly can understand those who prefer the TJ.
My specific likes in the YJ begin with the instrument panel layout - it is far easier to work on and doesn't look like it was lifted out of a mini-van - (changing bulbs in the dash is a snap). I prefer the seats (the seating position is higher than in later TJ's), I prefer having vent windows on the doors. I don't mind the stiffer leaf-sprung suspension (but I also like the old fashion AC unit mounted below the dash. I like the fact that it doesn't pretend to be a car.
And as I've already stated - I believe the YJ is more reliable.
On the TJ's side, the coil sprung suspension does give it a more comfortable ride.
The top latch system on the TJ is a more convenient system (two latches at the top of the windshield instead of the YJ's screws)
The AC unit is integrated into the Heating/Defrost system - where in the YJ it is a separate unit mounted below the dash.
I certainly don't like the fact that Chrysler no longer offers the Wrangler with the 4.0 liter in-line six, instead replacing it with the 3.8 V6 (mini-van engine).
I'm just glad that there are plenty of CJ's, YJ's & TJ's out there for Jeep enthusiasts to enjoy - whichever you prefer!