Jeep CJ7 vs Jeep CJ5: Differences, Similarities & Unique Features of Each Ride

Starting in 1945, Jeep made a series of civilian models based on military vehicles. Famous for their durability and off-roading capabilities, the CJ5 and CJ7 are the fifth and seventh models respectively in this series. Sometimes, these Jeeps seem so similar that it’s hard to tell the difference between models unless you’re obsessed with cars. If you’re thinking about buying a Jeep CJ7 or a Jeep CJ5 but you’re not sure what separates them, here’s what you need to know.

Easy To Spot Differences Between CJ7 & CJ5

Some of the biggest differences between these two Jeeps are also the easiest to spot. CJ5s are shorter than CJ7s, and their wheels are not so far off the ground. The newer model has a U-shaped door, while the older one boasts an S-shaped opening.

Within the vehicle, the CJ7’s longer size means more room for the driver and passengers’ feet. It also boasts a bigger trunk and a more modern interior design.

Engine Differences: Differences Under The Hood

Moving beyond what you can see outside the car, the CJ5 and CJ7 have distinct features under their hoods. The older model has a six-cylinder engine, whereas the newer version has four cylinders. They use different transmissions, although Jeep produced versions of both models with manual and automatic transmissions. Because the interiors are so different, always check with your user’s manual if you’re thinking about using CJ7 accessories for your CJ5.

Similarities Between the Jeep CJ5 and CJ7

Despite these differences, both the CJ5 and the CJ7 hold four passengers, have 59-inch windshields, and run on gasoline. With manual and power braking and steering available with each model, the experience of driving these two Jeeps is very similar. Also, these models are relatively old, with the CJ5 being produced between 1955 and 1983 and the CJ7 being made between 1976 and 1986. Don’t count on these vehicles working with modern Jeep JL accessories.

Unique Features of the CJ5

For car lovers who want to hit the trails, the CJ5 is a good option. Because the wheels are lower than the CJ7’s, it’s much easier to take tight turns on rough terrain. Additionally, the CJ5’s production started over 20 years before the CJ7’s, so it looks more vintage. Keep in mind that because this model is older, it’s sometimes hard to find CJ5 parts.

Unique Features of the CJ7

Not only does the CJ7 offer more legroom than the CJ5, but it also has a bigger trunk, making it easier to go camping or take a road trip while still carrying four passengers. This newer model also has a soft-top option for a more rustic experience. Thanks to its later production and advanced mechanics, some experts argue that the CJ7 is a safer and smoother ride than its predecessor. 

Choosing a vintage Jeep requires you to understand the differences in structure and purpose between the CJ5 and the CJ7. Once you’ve learned about their distinctions and taken your lifestyle into account, you’re ready to make an educated decision.