Modern Jeep offerings are some of the most capable mass-market vehicles available. Now, as for whether you’re using one as a mall crawler or an off-road beast isn’t any of our business. But if you’re treating your Jeep unit like the latter, there’s good a good reason your ride is as versatile as it is today.
This is because your truck or SUV is the descendant of one of the most bare-bones, spartan, no-nonsense off-roaders ever created: The iconic Willys Jeep. No Willys, no Wrangler, no Gladiator.
To pay tribute to the iconic little ride for its 80th birthday, TopGear.com is pitting an OG Willys against a current-day Wrangler equipped with all the bells and whistles you’d expect to find in a modern SUV. Watch:
By the looks of it, the old-school Willys is still pretty capable of holding its own off the beaten path—even when tackling mud, mounds, and puddles alongside a shiny new Wrangler.
The lesson here? Respect your wartime off-roaders like you do your elders. They went through hell to keep our generation alive and free.