2015 Jeep Wrangler vs 1995 Wrangler: Old vs New Tech Off-Road Mashup Review [Video]

1995 YJ vs 2015 Rubicon
Left: 1995 Jeep YJ Sahara; Right: 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock

The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock has been pulling duty as the Motor Mountain USA road trip machine. It is one of the most off-road-worthy vehicles on the market. But Jeeps have had a reputation as premier off-road vehicles from the beginning, so how would today’s Wrangler fare against one from 20 years ago? Or vise versa?

The old Jeep in question is a 1995 YJ Sahara originally purchased in Canada, where it was named the YJ and not the Wrangler. It has the venerable 4.0-liter straight-six engine mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. Apart from a lift kit and oversize tires, this YJ is pretty much as it was when it was new.

The Rubicon (“Ruby” to Jeep fans) needs no introduction to those familiar with TFLcar’s Motor Mountain USA road trip series. It’s been to the highest point of a handful of Western states already and has battled sand, mud and snow along the way.

The old YJ has light weight, a shorter wheelbase, and a lifted suspension, but is saddled with that old-school transmission and open differentials, not to mention the absence of many of the creature comforts that have become commonplace, even in Jeeps. The Ruby is a large, lumbering vehicle with stock suspension, but has a host of electronic aids and locking differentials, not to mention luxuries like air conditioning and heated leather seats.

So which one can tackle the TFLcar dead-end mountain road better, and which one is more fun? Check out the full video to find out: