Jeep Grand Cherokee Reviews, Information

4 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Jeep Grand Cherokee Reviews, Information

Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Development

The Grand Cherokee was a spinoff of the notably smaller Jeep Cherokee. Based on the Jeep Concept 1 (1989), the Grand Cherokee’s origins date back to 1983 when American Motors engineers were designing an XJ Cherokee successor. The first generation (ZJ) was the first Chrysler-badged Jeep product since AMC came up with the concept; the AMC engineers/designers behind the project, later Chrysler employees (after the 1987 buyout) were pushing for a late 1980s release date; however, then-CEO Lee Iacocca was pushing for redesigned Chrysler minivans, delaying the ZJ’s release until late 1992.

The Grand Cherokee debuted in grand fashion at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Then-Chrysler president Robert Lutz drove Detroit mayor, Coleman Young up the steps of Cobo Hall and through a plate glass window to show off the new vehicle. Production of the Grand Cherokee started shortly afterward in the purpose-built Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit, Michigan and has remained there since.

ZJ (1993–1998)

The ZJ models, manufactured from 1993 to 1998, originally came in 3 general trims, the Base, Laredo, and the Limited. The Base model (also known as SE) offered basic features such as full instruments, cloth interior, and a five-speed manual transmission; The SE model was dropped in 1996 in favor of the Laredo.

The Laredo is the mid-scale model, features included added body cladding, fancier seats, power windows, power door locks, and cruise control; exterior features display a medium grey plastic lower body paneling and five star spoke aluminum wheels. The Limited is the premium model, with the lower body paneling being the same color as the vehicle color. The Limited also boasts features such as leather seating, optional power sunroof, mirrors, seats, and remote keyless entry system; a basic onboard computer; and waffle-like cast aluminum wheels.

1996 brought cosmetic changes ranging from improved body modeling (grille, bumpers), better wind aerodynamics, and integrated fog lights; Interior features added dual-airbags and increased fabric quality for seating. At the same time, the American Motors-fonted Grand Cherokee fender emblems were replaced with a font style used on other Chrysler vehicles (e.g. Sebring, Breeze).

The AMC 4.0 L I6 engine was also refined, though receiving slightly less horsepower but gained more torque and presented quieter operation. Limited models that year and on had more luxury items such as driver placement memory, remote radio control from the steering wheel, and variable assist while driving and parking.

Specialty models included the Orvis (1995-1997); a Grand Cherokee Limited package that featured an exterior color scheme of deep hunter green with red and gold strip accents (1995), 96-97 Orvis exteriors were of hunter green tone with basic gold striping; the interior was a two-tone green and champagne seats complimented with red accents and Orvis company badging. A sporty TSi model (1997-1998) briefly debuted, exterior features included single color body paneling, with a light blue striping accent.

TSi packages came equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, 225/70R16 tires, leather seats and premium sound system. The 5.9 Limited was produced only for the 1998 model year, having more luxury than that of the regular Limited. It housed a powerful 5.9 L V8 engine with an output of 245 hp and 345 foot-pounds of torque, going from zero to 60 mph in only 7.3 seconds, making it the quickest SUV available that year.

Other features separated the 5.9 from the standard Limited model, such as mesh grille insert, unique five-spoke alloy wheels, improved premium stereo, and softer leather trim.

For 1993 alone, Jeep resurrected the Grand Wagoneer name for a special luxury version of the Grand Cherokee with the 5.2 L V8, this marked the last appearance for the Grand Wagoneer from the Jeep lineup.

4WD systems included Command-Trac, a part-time unit offering temporary 4-wheel assistance; Command-Trac was dropped from lineup in conjunction with the SE trim in 1996. Select-Trac had the option of either full-time or part-time operation; Both shift-on-the-fly Command-Trac and Select-Trac were already available for the Cherokee XJ lineup, and were adopted to the ZJ platform.

Exclusive to the Grand Cherokee was the introduction of Quadra-Trac having all-time four-wheel assistance only, this was standard on all Limited and specialty trims and optional for Laredo models alike. Two-wheel-drive models were sold though only for Laredo trims in late 1993, it wasn’t until 1994 when 2WD was available for Limited; and in 1997 5.2 L V8 engines were sold along with 2WD.

The Grand Cherokee V8 was on Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list and was Motor Trend magazine’s Truck of the Year for 1993.

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