The Superbly Named Grand Cherokee

June 30th, 2017 by

Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is an iconic vehicle available everywhere, especially at Faricy Used Cars in Colorado Springs. We stock many of the best built used Jeeps available right here at our Colorado Springs used car dealership. Produced since 1992 with the first model year 1993, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been called by many, the best SUV ever built, and it is still on the road. Considering the Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV of all time, it is no wonder that people are still saying that today. Labeled as a luxury mid-sized SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has always been manufactured utilizing a unibody chassis, contrary to similar suvs of the past.

Grand Cherokee Shatters In

The first model Jeep Grand Cherokee was unveiled at the 1992 Detriot North American Auto Show. The Grand Cherokee’s beginning was exciting thanks to an attention-grabbing marketing stunt by the then President of Chrysler, driving the mayor of Detroit from the assembly plant via police escort, up a set of stairs and then through a plate glass window.


Before Chrysler bought out The “Jeep” name and unveiled the first Grand Cherokee, The Jeep Cherokee XJ, (which was smaller than the Grand Cherokee,) was produced by a now long forgotten company called AMC or the American Motors Company.

AMC was created by a merger in 1954 and produced cars, buses, delivery vehicles, SUV’s home appliances, military vehicles, commercial refrigeration as well as lawn car products.

AMC had been producing and manufacturing it’s Jeep Cherokee XJ since 1983 and sold it available in a front engine rear-wheel drive/ four-wheel drive configuration. TH XJ was available in either a 2-door, or a 4-door body style, and was produced in the United States until 2001. The XJ, some say, was the first SUV. Originally termed as a “Sportwagon,” at the time, it was built right here in the USA in Toledo, Ohio. It was also manufactured in other facilities worldwide, for international markets such as China, Egypt, and Venezuela.

AMC had a management team that had to think quickly to compete with lower budgets available to them when compared to the other auto manufacturers at the time. Labeled as the “Big Three,” Chrysler, Ford, and GM had vast amounts of resources available at their disposal compared to AMC. AMC devised a business model now called “product lifecycle management,” or PLM, which enabled the company to better manage and facilitate the creation and production of their new vehicles.

Chrysler purchased AMC in 1987 and implemented AMC’s PLM throughout their entire organization.

Chryslers first

The Jeep Grand Cherokee which originally had undergone it’s design and inception back in 1983 under AMC as the XJC project, was not sold until 1992. The Grand Cherokee became Chrysler’s first sold Jeep model or the Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ. The production ran from 1993 until 1998. The tree trims initially offered were the SE, or base model, the Laredo, and the Limited.

The Base offered a standard 5-speed transmission and the 4.0 l straight six capable of 190 horsepower. The base trim was eventually discontinued.

The Laredo was the mid-level trim offering standard power windows, locks, and model year 96 additional features such as ABS, driver-side airbag, cruise control, and leather steering wheel.

The Limited offered a fully loaded package with leather seating, front power seats, heated mirrors, keyless entry, and gold accented exteriors. Driver info center, compass, and by 96 the 5.2L were available.

Chrysler added a higher level trim to the Jeep Cherokee Limited in 1998 by offering the 5.9 Limited. A 245 horsepower OHV V8 gave the Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited the title of the fastest sports utility vehicle in the world at the time. A 10 speaker Infinity Gold sound system, as well as other bells and whistles, like a low profile roof rack and 16” Ultra-Star wheels, gave the Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited the 4X4 of the year title from “Peterson’s 4-wheel & Off-Road magazine. Over 14,000 of these unique Jeeps were manufactured.


The second generation Jeep Grand Cherokee AKA the WJ model was produced for model years 1999 to 2004. It was a completely redesigned Jeep from the ground up. The spare tire was removed from the rear cargo are and placed under the floor. The 4.0 L straight six was updated to gain 195 horsepower, and a 4.7 L V8 was offered which received 235 horsepower.

Chrysler introduced its Quadra-Drive 4-wheel drive transmission in 1999. The transfer case was controlled with three settings. In 4-All time the power was all sent to the rear axle unless the rear axle started to spin faster than the front. When this occurred, the power was transferred to the front axles until both axles were in spinning unison. The neutral mode was intended for towing the vehicle, while 4-Lo locked the front and rear axles together.

The “four-speed” automatic was actually a 5 speed with a sixth unused gear ratio until 2001 when Chrysler reprogrammed the same transmission to be a six speed.

The WJ had Heated seats, a rear tailgate with an independently opening glass, expanded rear passenger/cargo space and larger rear doors.

The WJ Limited had an automatic dual-zone climate control as well as an optional 10 CD Infinity sound package.

Over 70% of the WJ’s underbody utilizing its UniFrame contr stiction is made from high-strength steel.


The third Gen Jeep Grand Cherokee ran from 2005 until 2010. Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive, a 5.7L Hemi V8, and a 3.7L V6 were available. Jeep focused on the on-road driving cultivation in this model by installing independent double wishbone suspension. Chrysler wanted to improve the vehicles abrasive noise, vibration, and harshness due to the market’s demand for an SUV focusing less on off-road capabilities. The models available were base, Laredo, Laredo X, and of course the Limited. The 4.7L was tuned to put out more than 300 horsepower, and an SRT-8 Grand Cherokee was offered by the model year 2006 which came with a 6.1L Hemi with a 420 horsepower output. 2008 Grand Cherokees added slight features while the ‘09 model had an optional 5.7 Hemi with 357 horsepower.