The Jeep Grand Cherokee is classified as a mid-size SUV and is manufactured by the Jeep division of American carmaker Chrysler. Although some of this company’s SUVs were manufactured with a body-on-frame construction, the Grand Cherokee has historically used a anibody chassis. While this vehicle was not released to the public until 1993, its origins can be traced back to 1983 when American Motors Corporation wanted to come up with a vehicle to succeed the Jeep Cherokee XJ model. There were three designers involved in creating this vehicle, including Larry Shinoda, Adam Clenet, and Giorgetto Giugiaro.
The first generation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee was launched in 1992 as the 1993 model. The ZJ models of this vehicle were produced starting in 1992 until 1998 and initially came in just three trim levels, including the base model, the Laredo, and the Limited. The base model of this vehicle featured full instrumentation as well as cloth interior and a 5-speed transmission. Power windows were one feature that did not come standard with the base and SE, though they were added in 1995 when this vehicle received a fairly significant facelift.
When this vehicle was initially introduced in April of 1992, it came with only one powertrain choice, which was the 4.0 liter AMC-derived Power Tech I6 engine which was capable of 190 horsepower. Transmission choices for this vehicle included a 4-speed automatic transmission as well as Aisin AX15 manual transmission. The drive train choices for the later models in the 90s included rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. Because of EPA regulations, the Grand Cherokee’s engine was reduced by 5 horsepower to 185.
A variant of the higher-end Grand Cherokee Limited was introduced in 1998 with the name “5.9 Limited”. This new vehicle from Jeep was advertised as the fastest sport utility vehicle in the world and received some major improvements, including a 245 horsepower 5.9 liter OHV V8 engine as well as a heavy-duty 46RE automatic transmission along with functional heat-extracting hood louvers and a unique wide-slot body-colored grille. The 5.9 Limited Grand Cherokee got a 150 amp alternator along with a 2-speed electric cooling fan. Some of the other features that this new Jeep boasted include a 10-speaker Infinity Gold sound system with rear- roof-mounted sound bar and a standard sunroof.
The fourth and most current generation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee went on sale in the summer of 2010 as the 2011 model. This vehicle was first introduced to the public at the 2009 New York Auto Show. This generation Jeep retained some of its classic exterior styling with a few significant changes to make it appear a bit more modern. Some of the interior changes that were made to this vehicle include leather trim and real wood accents. The 2011 Grand Cherokee has won a total of 30 awards for its off-road capabilities as well as its luxury and overall value.
The chassis on the 2011 Grand Cherokee is a steel unibody and the body design itself has undergone rigorous aerodynamic efficiency testing. One of the things that makes this model different from the others is the fact that it has a 4-wheel independent suspension in order to handle off-roading much better. This vehicle uses the WK2 platform which is heavily based on the Mercedes-Benz’s W166 series. Some of the engine choices for this new Jeep include a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 as well as a 5.7 liter Hemi V8. The 4-wheel drive systems for this vehicle include Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II. All in all, this vehicle has definitely come a long way in recent years to become a top-seller in America.