Jeep Grand Cherokee Overview
From dirt roads to city streets, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a staple in the mid-size SUV segment since its beginning. While over the years this vehicle has transitioned its focus from off-road to pavement, there are enough models and trims of the Jeep Grand Cherokee to satisfy almost every driver. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and see the evolution of the Jeep Grand Cherokee through the years.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Through the Years
- The 1989 Jeep Concept 1 foreshadowed the basic design of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, designed to be a successor to the popular Wagoneer.
1st Generation (1993 – 1998)
- The first Grand Cherokees were all powered by a 4.0L 6-cylinder engine, producing 190 hp.
- Later in 1993, a 5.2L V8 engine was optional, producing 220 hp.
- Initially available with either an automatic or manual transmission, Jeep dropped the manual option in the US in 1994.
- This Jeep was available with either RWD or 4WD
- In 1998, Jeep created a Grand Cherokee Limited powered by a 5.9L V8.
- With the 5.9L V8, Jeep dubbed the Grand Cherokee as the world’s fastest SUV, with a 0-60 time of 7.3 seconds.
2nd Generation (1999 – 2004)
- The Jeep Grand Cherokee was redesigned with softer sculpting and a more rounded overall appearance.
- This generation was characterized by improved interior space and comfort.
- An updated version of the 4.0L inline 6 was still available, alongside a new 4.7L V8
- 1999 was the vehicle’s best sales year ever, with over 300,000 sold.
3rd Generation (2005 – 2010)
- Jeep added a few modern design touches to the Grand Cherokee, rounded headlamps being the most noticeable change.
- An independent double-wishbone setup replaced the live-axle suspension, shifting the focus toward on-road performance rather than off-road.
- The new base engine was a 3.7L V6 engine, replacing the 4.0L straight 6 from previous generations.
- Initially, the top dog in the engine lineup was a new 5.7L HEMI V8 that produced 325 hp.
- The 3.7L and 5.7L engines were both improved to achieve more power mid-generation.
- Released in 2005, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 with a 6.1L V8 HEMI packed around 420 hp.
- Other notable, new features included rear-seat DVD player and Quadra-Drive II 4WD.
4th Generation (2011 – )
- The 2011 redesign was significant, shifting toward typical modern SUV design while maintaining its Jeep DNA.
- This SUV now featured 4-wheel independent suspension.
- A new 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine was standard, followed by a 5.7L Hemi V8 engine.
- The Grand Cherokee SRT-8 now features a 6.4L Hemi V8 engine producing around 470 hp.
- Jeep added an EcoDiesel V6 in 2014 that achieves up to 30 mpg highway.
- Safety features like backup camera, blind spot monitors, and forward collision warnings are all available.
- There are currently 7 Grand Cherokee models to choose from.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Fast Facts
- Jeep CEO Michael Manley confirmed that a 6.2L Hellcat V8 engine will be installed in the Grand Cherokee by the end of 2017. This engine produces over 700 hp in the Dodge Charger and Challenger. This will certainly be one of the most powerful SUVs available.
- Tom Brady and Justin Timberlake have both driven Jeep Grand Cherokees.