America was gearing up for war, and our young nation’s military leaders needed a versatile all-terrain vehicle to effectively navigate theaters of war.
Four-wheel drive technology first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1913, 4×4 trucks designed for military use showed up on battlefields. They were slow, bulky, and easy targets. Later, engineers converted Ford light trucks to four-wheel-drive vehicles, but those improvements still weren’t enough for U.S. Army officials on the hunt for the ultimate scout vehicle.
The American Bantam Car Company sketched up a prototype known as the Bantam Reconnaissance Car, which would ultimately serve as the framework for America’s first Jeep, and the basic design Willys-Overland used to build the original MB.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Why try to rank the best Jeeps of all time, you ask? Because Jeep is 75 years old and we like ranking things. We didn’t need another reason.
Some of you will probably disagree with our list. Tell us why and maybe we’ll change our minds.
The Top 10 Jeeps
10. 1987-1995 YJ
It sometimes gets criticized for the square headlights, but the YJ is the first-ever Jeep to sport the Wrangler badge, and that’s enough to earn a spot in the top 10.
9. 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Not unlike the YJ, the 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first “Grand” Cherokee, and since it’s Jeep’s second-most-versatile model ever (but at the time, WAS the most-versatile), we celebrate it here.