History The YJ Wrangler gave way to the TJ for the 1997 model year (note that there was no 1996 model year; the 1997 TJ was released in Spring 1996). Some updated features include: Coil-spring suspension (based on that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee) providing better ride and handling, and a return to the CJ's iconic round headlamps. The engine is the same 4.0L AMC Straight-6 used in the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. A 2.5L AMC 150 Inline-4 motor was available on entry-level models until 2003 when the 2.4L DOHC Neon 4-cylinder engine replaced it. This model of the Jeep was the first Wrangler to have airbags. The TJ's coil-springs were questioned upon its introduction.
Other changes included; 1999: Additions of a (larger, standard) 19 gallon fuel tank, and rotary climate controls (replacing sliding levers). 2000: Child seat tethers added to the rear seat, and the 6-cylinder engine earned modifications aimed at smoother operation. The Sport's standard AM/FM radio added a cassette player, and the Sahara exchanged a cassette player for a CD player. The optional tilt steering wheel in SE and Sport was now the same leather-covered unit that was standard in Sahara. 2001: Got standard intermittent windshield wipers, a revised center console, an optional subwoofer, and a plastic instead of metal Add-a-Trunk storage compartment. 2002: The new X model joined the lineup for 2004. Sport, Rubicon, and X also get a standard CD player this year. 2003: The AMC 2.5 engine is replaced with a dual-overhead-cam 2.4 liter shared with Jeep's Liberty SUV. This new engine makes 147 hp. The 6-cylinder is unchanged, but optional on both engines is a new 4-speed automatic transmission. Also redesigned front seats, LATCH-type rear child-seat anchors, and an available rearview mirror with temperature and compass display. 2004: Tilt steering wheel became standard on the Wrangler. 2005: The availability of a 6-speed manual transmission.