The Jeep CJ-7 featured a wheelbase 10 inches longer than that of the CJ-5, with its curved side entry cutouts partially squared up to accommodate hinged doors. It was introduced for the 1976 model year, with 379,299 built during 11 years of production.
The CJ-7 was also available in Renegade and Laredo models. Distinguished by their different body decals, the Laredo model featured highback leather bucket seats, a tilting steering wheel, and a chrome package that included the bumpers, front grill cover, and side mirrors. An optional Trak-Lok rear differential was available, too. Axle ratio was typically 2.73, with 3.13 as an option (standard in high-altitude regions).
From 1976 to 1980, the CJ-7 came equipped with a Dana 20 transfer case, Dana 30 front axle (27- or 31-spline), and a 29-spline AMC 20 rear axle, while later years, Laredo packages added tachometer, chrome bumpers, tow hooks, and interior upgrades including leather seats and clock. In 1980, the Laredo was first fitted with an AMC 20 rear axle until mid-1986, when it was equipped with a Dana 44, and all 1980 and newer CJ-7s came with the Dana 300 transfer case.