The Jeep TJ is unchanged for 2006, save for two exterior paint changes: Solar Yellow replaces Electric Lime Green, and Midnight Blue replaces Patriot Blue.

The TJ is available in two lengths: the short-wheelbase TJ, in SE, Sport and Rubicon trim, and the long-wheelbase TJ Unlimited, in Base, Premium and Rubicon. The SE uses a 2.4-litre four-cylinder; all other models carry a 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic.

The SE includes soft top, vinyl seats, CD player with four speakers, full-steel doors with roll-up windows, engine immobilizer, fold-and-tumble rear bench seat, sport bar padding, Dana 30 front axle and Dana 35 rear axle, skid plates, gas-charged shock absorbers and 15-inch full-face steel wheels.

The Sport adds cloth seats, courtesy lamps, full console with lockable storage, four cupholders, 15-inch aluminum wheels and bodyside steps.

The Rubicon is intended for off-roading, and adds locking differential, diamond plate sill guards, four-wheel disc brakes, Dana 44 heavy-duty front and rear axles, 4.11 axle ratio, monotube shocks, heavy-duty part-time 4WD transfer case with 4:1 low range and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Half-doors with soft windows are optional.

The Unlimited base model includes four-wheel disc brakes, Trac-Lok differential, 3.73 axle ratio, Dana 30 front axle and Dana 44 heavy-duty rear axle, 15-inch aluminum wheels, skid plates, Command-Trac transfer case, full steel doors, soft top with sunroof, CD player and high-back bucket seats.

The Premium adds body-colour fender flares, bright chrome grille, seven-speaker audio system with subwoofer and premium cloth seats. The Unlimited Rubicon carries the same off-road package as the short-wheelbase version.

This is the Jeep that won the war and, save for some creature comforts, its spirit hasn’t changed. It’s still pretty rough-and-tumble, but you can’t expect a luxury ride in a vehicle that can crawl over rocks. There are other manufacturers making small 4×4 SUVs, but if you want to take off the roof and conquer the wilderness in anything other than a Hummer H1 (and you can’t get that in Canada anyway), this is the only game in town.

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