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Jeremy Clarkson ain’t perfect. He’s insulted every type of person on the planet, and even punched a producer for no good reason. But despite his many imperfections, Clarkson—like you and I—loved AMC’s boxy little mountain goat, the Jeep XJ. And you can’t fault him for that.

In this 1993 episode of Old Old Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson gets behind the wheel of a rental Jeep Cherokee XJ from Alaska. And boy does he fall in love.


He says the Jeep “feels just like a saloon car,” and loves the fact that AMC’s little baby has “Land Rover Discovery-style power in a Sierra size package.” Most importantly, Clarkson says the Jeep “really starts to shine when the going gets tough,” a fact that I myself have confirmed time and time again.

Of course, he also says the XJ “cleaves the air with all the poise and grace of a garden shed,” but that’s a small quibble for what I consider one of the best SUVs of all time.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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