The history of the Jeep Grand Cherokee
An overview of the iconic Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a mid-size SUV that first went into production in 1992. The actual design of the vehicle dates back to 1983 when American Motors engineers were designing a follow up to the Jeep Cherokee (XJ). The Cherokee was also the first Jeep model to feature the Chrysler badge, the vehicle was originally slated to be released in the late 80s but development of Chrysler minivans pushed the release date back. The Grand Cherokee makes use of monocoque or unibody construction, the company did this to compete with the Explorer which was another popular SUV on the market.
The first generation models, know as ZJ, were manufactured between 1992 and 1998. The model came in three variations: Base, Laredo and Limited. These three packages all featured different levels of luxury interiors and technology with Base offering the least and Limited being classed as the premium model. The vehicle also utilised a quadra-coil suspension system that was also offered in an ‘Up Country’ version. This features more heavy duty German gas shocks and taller coil springs for even tougher suspension. In 1995 Jeep released the Ovris edition of the Grand Cherokee, this was a limited edition package that featured a unique moss colour scheme and paint accents on the road wheels. The model came with a 5.2 V8 engine as standard but a 4.0 inline 6-cylinder was also available. Following this, in 1997 the Grand Cherokee TSi was released onto the commercial market. This model featured sport tuned suspension, fog lights and a 4.0 litre I6 engine.
The most recent Grand Cherokee, the WK, is available with a series of engines including the 3.7 PowerTech V6 and 3.0 L OM642 V6 CRD. This particular model is the first Jeep that includes Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive. The new design focuses more on power and luxury with rear-seat DVD players being an available option.