The Grand Cherokee was the first Chrysler-badged Jeep product. Development work for the new model continued and Chrysler employees (after the 1987 buyout of AMC) were eager for a late-1980s release date; however, then-CEO Lee Iacocca was pushing for redesigned Chrysler minivans, thus delaying the Grand Cherokee's release until late 1992 as an Explorer competitor.
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.
}} 4.0 L Power Tech I6
}}5.2 L Magnum V8
5.9 L Magnum V8
2.5 L 425 OHV I4 | transmission = 4-speed Aisin AW-4 automatic
5-speed Aisin AX-15 manual
4-speed 42RE automatic
4-speed 46RH automatic
4-speed 44RE automatic
4-speed 46RE automatic | length = 1993-95: 176.7 in (4488 mm)
1996-98: 177.2 in (4500 mm) | width = 1996-98: 69.2 in (1758 mm)
1993-95 2WD: 69.3 in (1760 mm)
1993-95 4WD: 70.7 in (1795 mm) | height = 64.9 in (1648 mm) | weight = 3614 lb (1640 kg) | wheelbase = 105.9 in (2690 mm) }} The ZJ models, manufactured from 1993 to 1998, originally came in three general trims, the Base, Laredo, and the Limited. The Base model offered basic features such as full instruments, cloth interior, a standard five-speed manual transmission, while soon gaining the moniker SE name in 1994. Creature comforts like power windows and locks were not standard equipment on the SE, although conveniences like these were finally included in 1995; a somewhat contrasting pricetag with minimal production numbers resulted with low consumer demand and dropping the now-uncommon bare-bone model indefinitely. The Laredo was the mid-scale model (essentially becoming base model after 1996), standard features included added body cladding power windows, power door locks, and cruise control; exterior features displayed a medium grey plastic lower body paneling and five-spoke aluminum wheels. The Limited was the premium model, with the lower body paneling being the same color as the vehicle color. The Limited also boasted standard features such as leather seating, optional power sunroof, mirrors, seats, and remote keyless entry system; heated mirrors, and heated seats, a basic onboard computer; and waffle-like cast aluminum wheels.
In 1995 the performance of the V8 engine was upgraded to from 285 previously. 1996 brought cosmetic changes ranging from improved body modeling (grille, bumpers), and integrated foglights; interior features added dual airbags and increased fabric quality for seating. At the same time, the "Grand Cherokee" fender emblems in the American Motors-typeface were replaced with the typeface used on other Chrysler vehicles. The AMC 4.0 L straight-6 engine, able to tow 5,000 lb, was also refined, through minimal loss in horsepower but gained more torque and presented quieter operation. Limited models that year and onward had more luxury items such as driver placement memory, remote radio control from the steering wheel, and variable assist while driving and parking.
Between 1996-98, the export Grand Cherokee Laredo (marketed for Japan) had the optional Aspen package (source: The Story of Jeep).
The Grand Cherokee 5.9-Liter Limited was produced in limited numbers only for the 1998 model year, having more luxury and performance than that of the regular Limited and sold under the trim '5.9 Limited'. A similar trim was introduced in Europe under 'LX' trims (not 5.9L). There are only 15000 worldwide. Although it is not very expensive in North America, it is significantly pricer in the Middle East and Asia because of the low quantity. It housed a Magnum 5.9 L V8 engine displacing 360 cubic inches with an output of and of torque, going from zero to in only 7.3 seconds (Motor Trend measured this at a significantly faster 6.8 seconds see Motor Trend, January 1998, page 51.), making it the quickest SUV available that year. The straight-line performance of the 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 has been surpassed by Jeep only with the 2006 introduction of the 6.1 L SRT8 HEMI Grand Cherokee. The 1998 Grand Cherokee was Motor Trend's 4x4 of the year in 1998. Their rarity and performance make them highly sought after (see, e.g. the Grand Cherokee Forum on www.jeepforum.com and JeepsUnlimited.com, as well as the Speed Freaks Forum on JeepsUnlimited.com)
Other features separated the 5.9 from the standard Limited model including:
The Grand Cherokee 5.9 further included additional performance-enhancing features including:
The 5.9 Limited was not available in all the regular Limited colors. It was available only in Deep Slate, Stone White, and Bright Platinum.
For 1993 alone, Jeep carried over 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 in the Jeep lineup. Having all the features of the Limited, it featured a simulated wood grain body cladding, along with special Grand Wagoneer badging, and a unique leather interior. This Jeep was the most costly of the line up, and was produced in limited numbers.
The Orvis (1995-1997) was a Grand Cherokee Limited package that featured an exterior color scheme of either Deep Hunter Green, or (less commonly) Light Driftwood, with red and gold side strip accents (1995). Green paint accents on the road wheels (matching the deep hunter green body color) and the special "Orvis" brand badging were the only significant exterior visual differences. In performance, the 5.2 V8 engine became standard, but was available with a 4.0 inline 6 cylinder engine. Also, all Orvis editions were installed with tow hooks and the Up-Country suspension group. However, the interior was special. Two-tone green and tan leather seats were complimented with red accent piping and Orvis insignia. Because it was an additional luxury trim package to the Limited, the Orvis Edition (when fully optioned) became the most expensive of all the Grand Cherokee versions until 1998 when the 5.9 Limited was introduced.
Production numbers of the Orvis Editions are:
An available "Up Country" package was offered. The suspension package included heavier duty gas charged shocks, along with various other suspension components improved.
It was also Petersen's 4x4 of the Year in 1993, 1996 (with the redesigned NV249 transfer case), 1998 (with the newly available 5.9L V-8), 1999 (with its acclaimed 2nd generation model), 2001 (with the new 5-speed transmission), and 2005 (with its 3rd generation model).
|1993–1998||2.5 L Diesel||425 OHV I4||114 hp (85 kW)||221 ft·lbf (300 N·m)||export|
|1993–1995||4.0 L (242 CID)||AMC I6||190 hp (142 kW)|
|1996–1998||4.0 L (242 CID)||AMC Power Tech I6||185 hp (138 kW)|
|1993–1998||5.2 L (318 CID)||Magnum V8||230 hp (164 kW)||300 ft·lbf (407 N·m)|
|1998||5.9 L (360 CID)||Magnum V8||245 hp (183 kW)||345 ft·lbf (468 N·m)||Limited|
The redesigned WJ 1999 Grand Cherokee shared just 127 parts with its predecessor. The structure was stiffened by Porsche Engineering for sharper steering and lighter weight. The spare tire was relocated from the side of the cargo compartment to under the floor to great relief of owners. The two heavy pushrod V8 engines were replaced by chrysler's first clean sheet V8 since the 60's (SOHC aluminium heads, plastic intake), Chrysler's then-new PowerTech. Although this engine produced less torque than both previous V8s, it was lighter and got much better fuel economy and provided similar on road performance figures. The Inline 6 engine was also updated in 1999. 10 Horsepower was added by redesigning the intake manifold. The manual transmission was dropped with this model.
While other Jeep vehicles used the Mopar 5 x 4.5 bolt circle, this was the first Jeep following the 1987 Chrysler buyout to receive a wider bolt pattern — 5 x 5. The 5 x 5 bolt pattern (also 5 x 127 mm), although common to GM rear wheel drive vehicles and light duty trucks/vans, has spread beyond its use with GM (and Ford with their 1973 to 1978 LTDs and Lincolns). Chrysler first used the 5 x 5 pattern on full-size half-ton Dodge Ram pickups and Dodge Ramcharger SUVs in 1986.
A notable feature available in this generation was the automatic four wheel drive option called Quadra-Drive II. With three viscous clutches, it was one of only a few four wheel drive systems at the time with triple locking differentals, joining the contemporary Mercedes Gelandewagen, Mercedes Unimog and Magna Steyr Pinzgauer, and the only one of the four with fully automatic operation, although the axle differentials could not be manually locked like in the other three vehicles.
The 45RFE and 545RFE automatic transmission in the WJ was notable. It included three planetary gear sets rather than the two normally used in a four-speed automatic. This gave it six theoretical speeds, and it would have been the first six-speed transmission ever produced in volume, but it was programmed to only use five of these ratios. Four were used for upshifts, with a different second gear for downshifts. Although five of the six ratios were used, Chrysler decided to call it a "4-speed automatic". In 2001, the programming was changed to make use of all six ratios. Rather than have six forward gears, the transmission was programmed to act as a five-speed with the alternate second gear for downshifts. The RPM at 70 miles per hour on a 545RFE is 2000 RPM, 200 RPM less than the 45RFE programming. 1999 and 2000 model year WJ owners can have their 45RFE transmission's programming flashed to enable the extra gear as both transmissions are physically the same. The 42RE 4-speed automatic remained the transmission for the Inline 6 engine. It was not changed from the previous model Grand Cherokee's.
The interior was also completely redesigned in 1999. The redesign allowed for larger rear doors, and more space for rear passengers. Controls for various items like headlights, heated seats, and rear wiper were moved to more convenient locations. The electronic Vehicle Information center was moved from below the radio to above the windshield, and was standard on all 2000 and up models. Limited models included automatic dual-zone climate control. A 10 CD-Changer was also available with the Infinity Audio package.
The Grand Cherokee received a minor facelift for 2004.
These specialty models appeared for a brief time, The Sport was slightly more equipped than the Laredo and offered a very discrete two-tone black trim interior for style. The Special Edition was introduced offering the same quality of the Limited, differences include 4.7 L V8 engine and slightly revised, Special Edition came with premium interior details, Plush Leather seats, AM-FM, In-Dash CD/Cassette along with ten disc CD changer stowed in a well thought location in within cargo space. Special Edition Trim package from bumper to bumper was presented with a fully polished, non-textured finish. Front grille debut was standard issue on the Special Edition. The Overland (appropriated after the former Jeep parent, Willys-Overland) was the top-of-the-line alongside the Special Edition the 4.7 L High Output engine V8 initially debuted as the standard motor. Alongside a wealth of standard features such as plusher interior trim with "Overland" badging, mid-2003 came a revised strong black two-tone trim interior and Built-in GPS equipped with the model. Front and side-curtain airbags, an Infinity sound system with 10-disc changer, heated/power front seats, integrated rock rails, power sunroof, wood/leather steering wheel and 17 in alloy wheels were also standard. The Columbia Edition offered the usual features of the other specialty models besides a strong unique two-tone interior with "Columbia Sportswear" badging, with the 4.7 L H.O. engine and GPS optional.
Beijing Jeep Corporation, Ltd. had been producing the XJ classic Cherokee since 1984, and in 2004 they bought the old tooling for the WJ Grand Cherokee when the WK was introduced for the USA as a 2005 model. After some tooling up time, the WJ was introduced in 2006 for the Chinese market as the Jeep 4000 and 4700 Grand Cherokee (for the 4.0 I-6 and 4.7 V8, inc. HO, models respectively).
It was their flagship model and nearly identical to the 2004 Grand Cherokee Limited in looks and equipment, including the solid axle suspension, choice of 4wd systems, body color cladding, alloy wheels, Chrysler sound systems, and Chrysler automatic climate controls. This is unlike the XJ Cherokee that was significantly modified by Beijing Jeep for the Chinese market.
The current model is now sold in China.
|1998–2004||4.0 L (242 CID)||Power Tech I6||195 hp (145 kW)||230 ft·lbf @3000 rpm|
|1999–2004||4.7 L (287 CID)||PowerTech V8||235 hp (175 kW)||290 ft·lbf @3200 rpm|
|2002-2004||4.7 L (287 CID)||High Output PowerTech V8||265 hp (198 kW)|
|1999-2001||3.1 L Diesel||531 OHV Diesel I5||138 hp (103 kW)||283 ft·lbf (384 Nm)||available in Europe|
|2002-2004||2.7 L Diesel||OM647 Diesel I5||161 hp (120 kW)||295 ft·lbf(400 Nm)||available in Europe and Australia only|
The all-new WK Grand Cherokee debuted in 2004 for the 2005 model year. Features available for the first time in a Jeep included Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive, rear-seat DVD player and optional 5.7L Hemi V-8.
The design still emphasizes power and luxury, with significant work done on improving noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). However, for the first time, Jeep also emphasized on-road performance to a similar extent as the cornerstone of its brand, off-road capability.
This newfound emphasis on on-road refinement led Jeep to replace the live-axle with leading-arms front suspension (found in the ZJ and WJ) with a new design: an independent double-wishbone setup like that which debuted in the 2002 Liberty. The new Jeep changed its philosophy due to what it perceived as increasing demand in the SUV marketplace for on-road performance and decreasing demand for off-road capability, and though the new design is perceived to be more smooth over washboard-types of roads, the new front suspension was criticized by off-roading Jeep community for its inability to provide optimal axle articulation during low-speed, technical maneuvers, specifically over uneven terrain.
The Grand Cherokee received a minor facelift for 2008. The bottom part of the headlights became rounded, and the lower portion of the front bumper became removable to increase the approach angle for off-road use.
The 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with an improved 5.7-liter HEMI rated at 357 horsepower (266 kW) and 389 lb.-ft. (527 N•m) of torque. The engine uses variable valve timing to increase fuel economy.
|2005–||3.7 L PowerTech V6||210 hp||235 lbf-ft||Laredo|
|2005–2007||4.7 L PowerTech V8||265 hp||305 lbf-ft||Laredo, Limited|
|2008–||4.7 L power tech V8||305 hp||334 lbf-ft||Limited|
|2005–||5.7 L Hemi V8||345 hp||375 lbf-ft||Limited, Overland|
|2006–||6.1 L Hemi V8||420 hp||420 lbf-ft||SRT-8|
|2005 (2007 in NA)–||3.0 L OM642 V6||215 hp||376 lbf-ft||Laredo, Limited, Overland|
An SRT-8 (Street and Racing Technology V8) version of the Grand Cherokee debuted at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. Powered by a version of the 6.1 L Hemi, it also features upgraded Brembo brakes, large dual performance exhaust with polished tips (exiting out the middle of the rear), Bilstein performance gas charged shocks and modified suspension components, Mercedes-Benz NAG1 (WA580) 5-speed transmission, unique NV146 transfer case, specially designed electronic all-wheel-drive system and interior and exterior updates. A drive shaft from a diesel application, fortified Dana 44 rear differential, and 12" wide Goodyear tires in the rear (11" in the front) complement the performance package. It has a base MSRP of $40,230 USD. A road test of the 2006 model by Road & Track magazine proved that the stock SRT8 is "focused 100 percent on performance; road performance, that is” with "sports car" performance numbers, including 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and to the quarter mile dragstrip in 13.2 seconds at . Such numbers made the SRT-8 Grand Cherokee the fastest accelerating vehicle within the SRT8 lineup (which at the time included the Dodge Magnum, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300C), and second only to the Viper among all Daimler-Chrysler SRT vehicles. There is no electronic speed governor employed, leaving the top speed rev-limited (revving to redline in top gear) to just shy of 170 MPH.
To achieve superior on-road handling, off-road gear has been removed to make the SRT-8 lighter. The SRT-8 has no low range case and no limited slip or locking differentials. Its ride stance is significantly lower and the front fascia spoiler gives the vehicle of ground clearance. The Grand Cherokee SRT-8 was the first SRT vehicle to wear the Jeep emblem.
The 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is equipped with a reconfigurable display that displays performance information including longitudinal and lateral g-force, 0-60 mph acceleration time, 1/8-mile and 1/4-mile acceleration time, and speed and braking distance.
This engine is also used in the Mercedes-Benz ML320.