Jeep Cherokee History

24 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Jeep Cherokee History
Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee


The early history of Jeep Cherokee. In 1962 Jeep introduced the Wagoneer. It was the beginning of the “Cherokee” line. The Cherokee name would not come about until 1973-1974 when a sportier 2-door version of the Wagoneer appeared and it was given the name Cherokee Chief (a 4-door version of the Cherokee was available by 1977).

By 1975 there were two body styles of Cherokee: the Cherokee Chief Wide-Track which had a 3-inch wider axle and fender flares and the Cherokee with normal size axles and no fender flares. In 1976-1977 a 4-door model appeared. The Jeep Wagoneer-Cherokee line was the first vehicle of its kind with full-time 4WD and an automatic transmission.

Debuts of the Cherokee series and models

The full-size Wagoneer was in production until 1991. Also there was a luxo version called the Grand Wagoneer. It was made from 1984-1991. In 1983 the current Cherokee (XJ series) was debuted as an ‘84 model.

It was a bit smaller than the senior Wagoneer-Cherokee and featured a unibody frame as opposed to the traditional body-on-frame style. Cherokee was the only compact SUV to offer a 4-door model. In 1991 Jeep came out with their “HO” (high-output) version of the 4.0L engine.

The XJ remained basically unchanged until 1995 when it got a driver’s side airbag.

1985 brought the Laredo trim level to the Cherokee family. Standard on the Laredo were most of the features of the Pioneer with upgrades such as plusher interior materials, pinstripes, alloy wheels and chrome grille treatment. Changes to the Cherokee in general included the addition of front headrests and passenger assist handles.

From 1963 to 1987 pickup truck versions called the Gladiator, J-10 and J-20 were produced. They suit for civilian and military use. From 1967 to 1969 Jeep produced the M715, a 1-1/4 ton militarized J-Series utility truck.

Also there was a pickup version of of the downsized Cherokee, called the Comanche (MJ). It was produced until 1992.

The ZJ series was introduced in 1993 to replace the Wagoneer as a mid-sized luxury SUV. ZJ series vehicles got the name Grand Cherokee. In 1996 Grand Cherokee got a new design of front fascia and wheels.

Cherokee History. But in 1999 the Grand Cherokee was completely redesigned and was redesignated the “WJ”. It is bigger and had more power and improved steering geometry for better ride and handling.

Also it has a 3-link rear suspension.

Modern Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee

Cherokee History 2005. In 2005 the new WK Grand Cherokee replaced the WJ Grand Cherokee . It was redesigned from the ground up (in 1999 WJ was redesigned from the ground up too). Also Jeep introduced the SRT8 model of the WK producing 415 horsepower.

SRT8 WK rockets from 0-60 in under 5 seconds, so it is the fastest production SUV on the planet.

In 2000 Cherokee got a more refined version of the 4.0-liter inline six. Introduced the previous year in the Grand Cherokee, the revamped engine ran quieter and cleaner. A new five-speed manual gearbox with improved shift quality was mated to the new six in SE and Sport models, and a four-speed automatic was standard on Cherokee Classic and Limited.

The Limited traded its monochromatic appearance for a flashier appearance this year. Chrome highlights on the grille, headlight bezels and rear license plate brow along with silver alloy wheels served to further distinguish the Limited from the other Cherokees.

Production for XJ-Cherokee ended in 2001. It was replaced by the Liberty (KJ). It is the most controversial Jeep ever produced because of IFS (Independent front suspension). Jeep used IFS before, but in this case IFS will eventually be used through the line-up.

In 2005, the KJ’s outside appearance was redesigned.

In early 2008 Jeep released the third-generation. Dubbed the KK, it replaces the 2001-vintage KJ series, with an all-new body and interior, sitting on a significantly modified ladder-frame chassis that is now wider and longer in track and wheelbase than before.

Under the skin the KK Cherokee is closely related to the recently released Dodge Nitro.

Jeep Cherokee
Jeep Cherokee

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