Image credits: © Jeep.

MSRP: $60,960

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 news, pictures, specifications, and information

All-new 2012 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8®: The Ultimate Performance SUV

• Offers unique blend of legendary Jeep® capability and utility, head-turning SRT performance, luxury and refinement, and innovative advanced technologies

• Best performing Jeep® vehicle ever: 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds; quarter mile in
mid-13 second range; top speed of 155 mph; 60-0 mph braking in 116 feet

• Most powerful Jeep vehicle ever wîth all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 that delivers an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque

• Best handling Jeep vehicle ever features advanced new adaptive damping suspension managed by new Selec-Track system, delivering up to .90 g on the skid pad

• New active valve exhaust system allows standard Fuel Saver Technology to engage over a wider rpm range for an estimated 13-percent improvement in highway fuel efficiency and 450-mile range

• Standard §teering wheel mounted paddle shifters allow spirited shifting on the road and track

• Available in Jeep showrooms in third quarter 2011


April 20, 2011 , New York - The most powerful, technologically advanced, high-performance Jeep® vehicle ever – the all-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8® – arrives this summer wîth a combination of Jeep's legendary capability and utility, merged wîth the renowned advanced performance engineering from Chrysler Group LLC's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team.

Delivering outstanding driving performance in all conditions, and complemented by key SRT attributes – including functional, performance-oriented styling, world-class ride and handling, benchmark braking and race-inspired interior appointments – the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 broadens the Jeep vehicle lineup and builds upon the successful launch of the award-winning 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

'The all-new 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the ultimate performance SÚV, delivering a combination of Jeep capability and utility, world-class performance, luxury and refinement, and advanced innovative technology,' said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. 'Jeep vehicles have long been known for their off-road capability. In addition to Jeep four-wheel-drive traction and utility, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 takes capability to a new level by giving driving enthusiasts extreme performance for the street and track.

'Our new benchmark performance SÚV effectively broadens the Grand Cherokee portfolio, and will continue to draw new customers into Jeep showrooms,' Manley added.

Designed and built using the proven SRT formula that raises the performance to astonishing levels, the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 runs from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the mid-16 second range, can cover the quarter mile in the mid-13 second range, has a top speed of 155 mph, and brakes from 60-0 mph in 116 feet.

Owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Racing School as part of the SRT Track Experience, designed to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. Sessions are held throughout the year at selected tracks.

Awe-inspiring powertrain

Powering the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is Chrysler Group's all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 wîth Fuel Saver Technology that delivers an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque – an improvement of 45 horsepower and 45 lb.-ft. torque over the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 it replaces.

An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft wîth cam phasing delivers maximum low-end torque while optimizing high-end power across a wider and improved rpm band. Specifically, 90-percent of peak torque is available between 2,800 and 6,000 rpm, allowing for inspired standing starts and improved straight-line performance.

Standard Fuel Saver Technology and a new-for-2012 active valve exhaust system allows four-cylinder operation to engage over a wider rpm range, to deliver both improved fuel efficiency – an estimated 13-percent increase on the highway – and an extended range of approximately 450 miles on one tank of gas.

Standard §teering wheel mounted paddle shifters join the standard AutoStick on the floor. Both are mated to a proven automatic transmission, allowing a choice of spirited shifting on the road and the race track. Both methods give the driver the ability to shift while the transmission controller calibration prevents situations that might over rev the engine. Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain more responsive while minimizing harshness.

Outstanding ride, handling and capability

For 2011, all Jeep Grand Cherokee models boast an improved and refined on-road ride thanks in part to the vehicle's body structure. Torsional stiffness was improved 146 percent versus the previous model, for improved ride, durability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness. The improvement is achieved wîth more than 5,400 welds in the body alone, marking a 53-percent increase in spot welds, a 42-percent increase in arc welds and a 38-percent increase in structural adhesive.

With the new 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8, engineers have improved handling even further.

The best handling Jeep vehicle ever – capable of .90 g on the skid pad – features a new SRT-tuned, adaptive damping suspension managed by the new Jeep Selec-Track system that interacts wîth several different systems (stability control, adaptive damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, Electronic Limited Slip Differential performance, throttle control and cylinder de-activation) to automatically tune the dynamics of the vehicle. Drivers can manually choose between five dynamic modes for specific driving conditions:
• Auto: provides the most compliant ride and automatically adapts to any road situation using the adaptive suspension tuning

• Sport: provides enhanced body control for a sporty, fun-to-drive ride for the street

• Tow: provides a safe reduction in pitch and bounce for enhanced towing capability

• Track: provides the high-performance, firm, 'track-tuned' suspension option to lock down body motion for the ultimate handling experience

• Snow: provides the most conservative dynamic mode, so the vehicle will safely stay
in-line in inclement winter weather conditions


The standard Jeep Quadra-Trac active on-demand four-wheel-drive transfer case uses input from a variety of sensors in order to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action. The system uses Throttle Anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximizes traction before slippage occurs. When tire slippage is detected, the Jeep 4x4 system can transfer up to 100 percent of available torque to one rear wheel.

The transfer case also enhances handling by proportioning torque between the front and rear axles to maintain the driver's intended path. The new Grand Cherokee SRT8 also features an Electronic Limited Slip Differential that eliminates rear wheel slip and improves handling.

The performance-tuned, fully-hydraulic §teering system is improved wîth a new, heavy-duty pump and pump cooler. Revised gearing gives drivers more direct feel and on-center response.

New split 5-spoke, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels ride on P295/45ZR20 Pirelli PZero run-flat tires (standard All-season or available Three-season).

Rounding out the capability of the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is a trailer tow rating of 5,000 lbs.

Outstanding braking

Chrysler Group's SRT vehicles are well known for their world-class braking. Stopping power for the 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 comes courtesy of new SRT high-performance Brembo brakes wîth four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS).

Stopping distance performance of 116 feet from 60-0 mph is made possible by new red-painted, Brembo 6-piston (front) and 4-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15-inches (front) and 13.8-inches (rear).

Aggressive and functional exterior

The functional performance exterior of the 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 features the 'planted' look of a high-performance sports car by being lowered 1 inch and adding new, SRT-exclusive, body-color wheel flares and side sill cladding.

A one-piece front fascia contains new LED multi-function daytime running lamps that result in an exclusive face for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, while a body-colored front grille wîth a unique black screen background and chrome bezel inserts adds to the aggressive look.

The integrated lower front grille is painted in gloss black and a newly designed underbody belly pan features integrated brake ducting to improve cooling and fade performance. Completing the new front end is a newly sculpted hood wîth functional dual black heat extractors for added engine cooling.

At the rear, the SRT performance influence continues wîth a new liftgate spoiler that reduces drag and improves downforce. A unique one-piece rear fascia includes a separate air diffuser along wîth an available trailer receiver and access cover. New for the 2012 version of the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the dual-sport exhaust system featuring 4-inch exhaust tips.

Race-inspired and functional interior

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee's refined, luxurious interior takes on a performance feel in SRT8 form wîth race-inspired technology and SRT-exclusive appointments.

An all-new, leather-wrapped, heated §teering wheel features a unique rim section wîth a flattened bottom surface – evoking a race-inspired cockpit – that showcases the SRT logo. Standard paddle-shift controls flank both sides of the new contoured palm rests while all audio and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) controls are accessible from the horizontal spokes on the §teering wheel. A power tilt and telescoping §teering column also is standard.

SRT-exclusive Performance Pages are new for 2012 and show instant feedback on §teering input measurements, horsepower, torque, 0-60 mph time, 60-0 mph braking distance, g-forces, and one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times, along wîth expanded engine information.

New SRT-styled Nappa leather and suede seats, wîth sculpted bolsters and adjustable headrests, provide all the comfort for daily drives – and 'grip' to keep the driver and passengers in place during spirited driving. The embroidered SRT logos and contrast stitching accent the two front seats. Heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front) seats are standard.

Carbon fiber accents are integrated into the instrument panel and door trim panels and new bright, racing style brake and pedal pads add to the high-performance look inside the cabin.

An available CommandView® dual-pane sun roof provides twice as much glass surface than a standard sun roof and extends from the windshield to the rear of the vehicle.

The available Luxury Group package adds premium leather to the door trim panels, instrument panel and center console along wîth a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning and Blind-spot Monitoring.

Safety and security

Vital Stats
Engine : 6.4 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 465 hp
Torque: 465 ft-lbs

5-speed Automatic
Already a recipient of the 2011 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 'Top Safety Pick' for the volume Grand Cherokee models, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 offers consumers 45 safety and security features including:

• Active head restraints: Deploy in the event of a rear collision. Restraints are designed to reduce injuries by minimizing the gap between the head restraint and the passenger's head

• Active turn signals: Turn signal flashes three times when stalk is depressed for one second to indicate a lane change

• Adaptive cruise control (ACC): The system decreases the vehicle's pre-set cruise-control speed when closing in on another vehicle in the same lane, or when another vehicle pulls into the same lane. The system will accelerate to the pre-set speed when the vehicle in front speeds up or moves into another lane. ACC will maintain a driver adjustable distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, allowing the use of cruise control in light traffic without having to continuously adjust settings

• Advanced multi-stage air bags: Inflates wîth a force appropriate to the severity of the impact Meets FMVSS 208 advanced air bag requirements for smaller, out-of-position occupants

• Anti-lock brake system (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved §teering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions

• Anti-lock brake system wîth rough-road detection: Anti-lock brake system capable of detecting if the vehicle is driving on a rough road by the oscillations in the wheel speed signals. When rough road is detected on off-road surfaces or trails, ABS enters a different pressure control where it will hold the brake pressure for longer pulses

• BeltAlert: Activates a chime and/or illuminates an icon in the instrument cluster to remind the driver and front passenger to buckle up if a vehicle is driven without belted front-seat occupants

• Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM): Úses dual ultra-wideband radar sensors to aid the driver when changing lanes, or if being passed by or passing unseen vehicles. The system notifies the driver of vehicle(s) in their blind spot via illuminated icons on the sideview mirror and wîth a driver-selected audible chime

• Brake Assist: In an emergency brake situation, the system applies maximum braking power, minimizing the stopping distance

• Brake Override: When a disagreement exists between the throttle and the brake, the brake signal causes the engine controller to reduce engine power, allowing the operator to stop the car

• Brake-traction control system (BTCS): Helps to keep driving wheels from spinning
during acceleration from a stop or during slow speeds by applying individual brakes to the slipping wheel(s)

• Child seat anchor system: LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) is designed to ease installation of compatible aftermarket child seats
Constant-force Retractors (CFR): Regulates the force exerted on the occupant by the seat belt, and then gradually releases seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner

• Electronic roll mitigation (ERM): An extension of electronic stability control (ESC). Úses input from ESC sensors to anticipate if the vehicle is at risk of entering a potential roll situation, then applies the brakes individually and modulates the throttle position as needed

• Electronic stability control (ESC): Enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability under all conditions. Provides the benefit in critical driving situations such as turns, and is valuable when driving on mixed surface conditions including snow, ice or gravel. If there is a discernible difference between driver input through the §teering wheel and the vehicle's path, ESC applies selective braking and throttle input to guide the vehicle back on to the driver's intended path

• Energy-absorbing §teering column: The power-adjust §teering column employs a calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for optimal energy management

• Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): Makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking doors after air bag deployment. Also shuts off flow of fuel to the engine

• Express Úp/Down Windows: One-touch powered express up/down window button located on the front driver and passenger-side door

• Forward Collision Warning (FCW): Úsing forward-facing radar sensors, this system detects when the vehicle may be approaching another vehicle too rapidly and alerts the driver so the driver can determine what action must be taken in order to prevent the vehicle from a collision

• High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps: Provide approximately three times the light output of conventional reflector lamps for improved nighttime illumination
Hill-start Assist (HSA): Assists drivers when starting a vehicle from a stop on a hill by maintaining the level of brake pressure applied for a short period of time after a driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal. If throttle is not applied within a short period of time after the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal, brake pressure will be released

• Keyless Enter-N-Go: When an individual enters the vehicle, electronic sensors detect if the vehicle key fob is present. The vehicle will then allow the individual to push a button to start the vehicle without having to insert the key into the ignition

• Knee bolsters: The lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are designed to properly position the occupant during impact, enabling air bags to work effectively

• Navigation system: Voice-activated navigation system available wîth real-time traffic to provide precise guidance to destination through the use of global positioning system (GPS) satellite technology

• ParkSense® rear park assist system: Assists at low speeds in reverse to detect stationary objects. Consists of audible warnings for the driver and has a display in the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) integrated into the instrument cluster

• ParkView® rear back-up camera: Provides a wide-angle view of the area immediately behind the vehicle, giving the driver greater peace of mind before reversing at low speeds. Contains grid line to aid the driver when maneuvering into parking spaces or narrow areas. Also aids in lining up a trailer to the vehicle's trailer hitch, when so equipped. The image is displayed on the navigation screen when the transmission is shifted into Reverse

• Power tilt-and-telescoping §teering column wîth memory: Allows §teering column to tilt and move toward or away from the driver to achieve a safe and comfortable distance from the advanced multi-stage front driver air bag, if deployed
Rain Brake Support: Úses the ESC pump to occasionally push brake pads lightly against brake rotors in rainy conditions in order to keep rotors dry

• Rain-sensing wipers: A driver convenience feature that automatically senses moisture on the windshield and activates wipers

• Ready Alert Braking: Anticipates situations when the driver may initiate an emergency brake stop and uses the ESC pump to set brake pads against rotors in order to decrease the time required for full brake application

• Rear Cross Path (RCP): In parking lot situations, this system warns drivers backing out of parking spaces of traffic moving toward their vehicle. It activates any time the vehicle is in Reverse. The driver is notified of vehicle(s) crossing behind the vehicle via illuminated icons on the sideview mirror and wîth a driver-selected audible chime

• Remote (fob) operated windows (front windows - down only): Enable an individual to cool down the vehicle passively by opening front windows remotely

• Remote keyless entry: Locks and unlocks doors and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped wîth a security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system

• Remote start: Conveniently starts the engine and activates key comfort settings based on ambient conditions by using the key fob while maintaining vehicle security

• Rollover crash sensing: Senses a rollover and deploys seat belt pretensioners and/or standard full-length side-curtain air bags as needed

• Seat belt pretensioners: During a collision, impact sensors initiate front seat belt pretensioners to remove slack in the seat belt system, thereby reducing the forward movement of the occupant's head and torso

• Sentry Key® engine Immobilizer: Útilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder wîth a preprogrammed security code to discourage vehicle theft. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is allowed to start. If an incorrect key is used, the engine will shut off after a few seconds

• Signal mirrors: Signal lamp built into the housing of exterior mirrors allows turn signals to be viewed from the front, as well as the sides and rear of the vehicle in order to alert oncoming traffic and pedestrians

• SmartBeam® headlamps: Headlamp system adjusts to ambient light and oncoming traffic to deliver maximum lighting

• Standard full-length side-curtain air bags: Extend protection to all outboard front- and rear-seat passengers. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor that autonomously triggers the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. This type of air bag is housed in the headliner just above side windows

• Standard seat-mounted side thorax air bags: Provide enhanced protection to thedriver and front outboard passenger in certain impacts. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor that autonomously triggers the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. Standard side air bags are housed within the outboard side of each front seat

• Three-point seat belts: Front outboard seating positions and all rear seating positions have lap and shoulder belts

• Tire-pressure monitoring (TPM): Informs driver when tire pressure is too low. Pressure-sensor modules within the valve stems of all four road wheels send continuous radio-frequency signals to a receiver and the system

• Trailer-sway control (TSC): Reduces trailer sway and improves handling in adverse towing conditions caused by crosswinds and traffic. The system monitors the vehicle's movement relative to the driver's intended path, then applies alternating brake pressure to slow the vehicle and then increases the pressure on one front wheel in order to counteract the sway induced by the trailer

• Úconnect® Phone: In-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows customers to talk on their Bluetooth compatible phone wîth your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The built-in phonebook sync feature automatically downloads as many as 1,000 phone book entries from supported phones, which can then be selected by simply saying contact name


Connectivity and Infotainment


New for 2012 is the available 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon® that includes a 10-inch subwoofer for the ultimate in sound quality.

A wide variety of easy-to-use infotainment options are available wîth features that provide customers wîth seamless integration of consumer electronics, delivering drivers and passengers the conveniences of home and office.

Garmin Navigation and SIRIÚS Travel Link are standard wîth the 430N AM/FM/CD/DVD radio. Also standard are a multitude of features including SIRIÚS Satellite Radio and Úconnect Phone.

The available Vehicle Entertainment System (VES) includes a DVD player and rear seat overhead screen that deliver a variety of programming choices, wîth ports to connect games and media players wîth audio and video output capability, including iPod® connectivity. The Media Center or the VES remote can control multiple screen inputs and each screen can play something different.

Source - Jeep
Jeep has been a registered trademark of Chrysler, and an automobile marque for numerous years. Though the Land Rover is a very close running mate, the Jeep is the oldest off-road vehicle brand.

Before 1984, the Cherokee moniker had been attached to a sportier version of Jeep's Wagoneer, a vehicle that had remained mostly unchanged since its debut in the early 1960s. The Cherokee Wagoneer was a huge, four-door wagon, truck based, with four-wheel drive. Very similar to the way American automakers downsized many of their vehicles in the previous decade, Jeep downsized one of its nameplates in 1984, the Cherokee.

The original Cherokee model was introduced in 1974, and shared many features with the Wagoneer, including engine choices and dimensions. The Cherokee was originally available as only a two-door, and the price was also a lot more than the pricey Wagoneer. In 1977, a four-door Cherokee was introduced to the lineup.

Keeping only the name, the 1984 Cherokee was completely set apart from its predecessor. The all-new Cherokee featured a shorter wheelbase, more than 7 inches less than the earlier model, at 101.4 inches. The new model also featured an overall length of 165.3 inches, a total of 21 inches less than the earlier model. The weight of the 1984 Cherokee was now 3,100, more than 1,000 lbs less than before. Both two and four-door body styles were made available, and now the Cherokee featured much better fuel economy and mileage, along with easier maneuverability, either on-road or off.

The new Cherokee featured strong wheel well flares, along with a tall greenhouse that gave great visibility to both passengers and drivers. The Cherokee featured seating for five, though it was very snug for three adults to fit in the backseat. The interior carried a very simple dash and control layout.

For this year, the trim levels offered were the base Cherokee, the sporty Chief, and the much more sumptuous Pioneer. The opulent Pioneer came complete with carpeting, additional instrument panel gauges, a rear window wiper/washer and a full center console. The Chief featured blackout exterior trim, white-lettered tires and hood striping.

Either four or six-cylinder power was the driving force behind the Jeep Cherokee, and the 2.5-liter four cylinder engine inhaled its fuel and through a one-barrel carburetor and achieved 105 horsepower. Supplied by Chevy, an optional 2.8-liter, two-barrel V6 achieved 115 horsepower. These powerplants were good, but it would be several years until a serious engine would come from Chevy. The V6 engine offered three transmission choices, a standard four-speed manual, the optional five-speed manual and an optional three-speed automatic. The four-cylinder engine was limited to the four-speed manual as its gearbox.

Jeep offered not just one, but two 4WD systems for the Jeep Cherokee, 'Command-Trac' and the 'Select-Trac' system. The Command-Trac was a part-time, ‘shift-on-the-fly unit' and the Select –Trac system allowed the option of full-time 4WD operation. A solid axle that suspended by coil springs and four links, or a ‘Quadra-Link' front suspensions design was also featured in tribute to Cherokee's reputation for off-road prowess.

Nearly 78,000 Cherokee's were sold during its first year in production, and the public raved over the all-new design.

For the second year of production, the Cherokee family expanded to include the Laredo trim level. The Laredo featured most of the same features of the Pioneer, but with additional upgrades such as most luxurious interior materials, alloy wheels, pinstripes and chrome grille treatment.

Also new for 1985 was the addition of front headrests and passenger assist handles to the Cherokee. For customers that didn't need the capabilities of for-wheel drive, two-wheel drive versions were made available. Keyless entry and a Renault-sourced, new four-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine was offered for this year as well.

In the 1986 model year, a newly redesigned and much more powerful four-cylinder was made standard and the old carburetor with fuel injection was replaced and now pumped 117 horsepower, and advancement of 12 horses from the previous motor. Featuring a much more modern induction setup, the '86 Cherokee now had a much smoother operation along with easier starting capabilities.

A brand new 'Off-Highway Vehicle' package debuted for this year, and was aimed at off-road enthusiasts. This package included heavy-duty suspension components, larger tires, tow hooks, skid plates, a 4 :10 rear axle ratio and much higher ground clearance.

In 1987, extreme power became an option once Jeep got rid of the 2.8 V6 engine and replaced it with an impressive 4.0-liter, inline six-cylinder engine of Jeep's design on the option list. The new 'Power-Tech Six' could get 177 horsepower, and took the Cherokee from 0-60mph in just under 9 seconds. The new Cherokee could tow much more now, actually rated at 5,000 lbs. Achieving 121 horsepower, the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine was updated for an additional four horsepower.

The earlier three-cog unit was replaced with a brand new electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. This new automatic featured selectable shift modes, power and comfort. The power shift provided better performance through higher-rpm up-shifts and faster downshifts, while the comfort mode was a much more relaxed shift, and also much more economical in its operation. The four-speed manual was deleted, and considered to be very basic in its offerings.

For the 1987 model year the Cherokee also received the option of two-tone paint, while the interior now showcased new door trim panels along with stowage bins.

Halfway through the model year, an all-new loaded-up Limited four-door model was introduced, with nearly every luxurious piece of fanciness in it. This limited model featured all of the bells and whistles as standard equipment that made the other models look staid in comparison. A powerful, 4.0-liter inline six engine was joined with Selec-Trac in the Limited model. The model could be identified by its color-keyed bumpers, gold pinstripes and gold wheels, along with leather seats, keyless entry, an eight-speak sound system and power everything in the Limited, along with much more.

At the same time, the other Jeep Cherokee models received very limited changes that included plaid seats in the Laredo and updated blackout trim on the Chief Cherokee.

For the 1988 model year anew two-door Limited was introduced at the same time that the unloved turbo-diesel engine option was deleted. A new eight-slot grille substituted the former 10-slot unit for the '88 Jeep Cherokee.

New for this year was flashy chrome trim on the Laredo models along with body-side cladding. A very sport-two door model was introduced for 1988 in an effort to appeal to all interests and spending markets. New alloy wheels and unique graphics were added to the sport, which aided those who wanted a hip vehicle without doling out lots of cash.

For 1989 the big news for consumers was the availability on Cherokee models equipped with the 4.0-liter engine, automatic transmission and Selec-Trac, was the availability of a four-wheel, ABS system. Whether the Jeep Cherokee was in 2WD or 3WD, the ABS system operated either way. Also new for 1989 was power steering being made optional, along with the standard 13.5-gallon fuel tank being replaced with a 20-gallon unit.

For the 1990 model year not many changes were made, though safety was improved dramatically as new three-point seatbelts were fitted for all outboard occupants. The Limited received a new overhead console that featured a compass, an outside thermometer along with storage compartments for a garage door controller and additional room for the passenger's sunglasses.

In the 1991, the Jeep Cherokee received a special treat in boosted power to both the four and six-cylinder engine as a new multi-point fuel-injection system aided the engine into pumping out 130 horsepower. This was a jump of nine horses singe the previous year's model. The six cylinder engine now achieved 190 horsepower and could achieve 0-60 mph in barely nine seconds.

For this same year the Pioneer Cherokee was deleted and a four-door Sport model was unveiled to join alongside the two-door Sport. In this same year a brand new Briarwood model was introduced for 1991. In this same year Cherokee introduced all-new double-sided keys, optional illuminated entry systems, and highlighted under-hood service points.

The following model year the base Cherokee model received carpeting as a standard feature while the Jeep Laredo was given the option of optional leather seating, much like the opulent Limited model. Other than these few changes, not much was updated for this year.

For 1993 the Cherokee line downsized from only five trim levels to three, the base, Sport and the all-new Country. The '93 Jeep Cherokee Country came with champagne-colored lower body, bumpers and fender flares, along with all of the extravagant features of the now deleted Limited model. Sport models now received a two-tone treatment that added black on the lower body sides. Also added to all model was a long-life, stainless steel exhaust system that aided in lowering costs for owners.

In 1994 all-new safety updates were made that included side-impact beams placed in the doors, while the roof featured new crush resistance along with a center, high-mounted stoplight placed on top of the lift-gate. The AC on the '94 Jeep Cherokee now utilized CFC-free refrigerant. In this same year the champagne color option was updated to an availability of silver as a secondary color, for those consumers that were tired of the old standard color. The entry-level Cherokee received the 'SE' appellation in an attempt to add more appeal to this model for consumers.

Thought the following year's model looked very similar to the version 11 years prior, the Jeep Cherokee continued to be a trendy choice for consumers that were searching for a very capable SUV in both dimension and expenditure. For 1995 the main changes were the availability of an automatic transmission for the four-cylinder SE, and with the addition of a driver's side airbag.

For this same year, both the Sport and Country models held steady with the 4.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that was joined to either a five-speed manual or the four-speed automatic gearbox. For 1995 a fantastic array of colors were added that now included Aqua Pearl and Moss Green.

In 1996 the Jeep Cherokee received only a few minor updates that included both the four-cylinder and six-cylinder being pumped up to run less obtrusively and smoother, which of course appealed to all consumers. The inline six engine now generated its power at lower rpm, which made it even more responsive, whether accelerating from a light, or when towing a trailer up a steed grade.

Once again, safety was once again at the top of the list for year, and the electrical system was upgraded through the heavy-duty alternator and battery. To reduced to chance of an accident, an all-new automatic transmission/brake pedal interlock was introduced which required to drive to apply the brake when moving the brake from the gear selector out of Park. For this same year, the engine in the Jeep Cherokee also received a much stiffer block, along with new powertrain control module and new aluminum pistons. Entering into its own 13th model year, the Jeep Cherokee also introduced two new colors; Bright Jade and Stone White for 1996.

Finally in 1997, the Jeep Cherokee received a pretty hefty facelift that involved a $215 million update that smoothed both the front and rear ends out, while the interior was revised with reductions in harshness, vibration and noise. Though not many visible changes were made, the new Cherokee now featured softened corners on both the tail and nose along with wheel-well flares than blended into the ends of the bumper.
To neutralize the noise of wind, the front vent windows were taken out, while the larger side-view mirrors, new wheels, updated body-side models, optional deep-tint glass and a center high-mounted stop lamp were added to the all-new 1997 Jeep Cherokee.

The interior of the Cherokee featured updates on the interior as well, and these included a more efficient cabin that had a new dash that came with a passenger airbag, updated gauges and a new center stack with easier ability to use controls for the stereo; that was now updated with CD player AND cassette. An updated climate control was also introduced in this year that eradicated quieter the noise and squeaks of the previous model. Along with all of these updates, the '97 Cherokee also received new lighted power mirror and window switches, along with new door panels, a trip computer for the overhead console along with a new center console that featured incorporated cup-holders.

New or reconditioned standing dies and tighter tolerances were utilized in the Jeep to improve build quality, and at the same time, more testing was done on the 1997 Cherokee. Other than these tests and the electrical system being upgraded through connectors and a lack of wiring, the Jeep was basically left alone for this model year.

The Limited once again jumped on board the Cherokee lineup in 1998 and replaced the Country as the top-of-the line Cherokee. The Classic model was debuted for this year and took the spot in between the Sport and the Limited. The Classic was released into the lineup with moldings and color-keyed bumpers. For this same year the Sport received a roof rack, AC, alloy wheel and power mirrors. A new trio of colors were introduced with the 1998 Cherokee; and these included, Emerald Green, Chili Pepper Red and Deep Amethyst.

For the following year, only a few changes were made to the Jeep Cherokee. New color-keyed bumpers and grille were added to the Sport model while the Limited received an all-new Sentry Key anti-theft system and optional heated front seats. The Limited also received improved engine efficiency due to updated electronics and an all-new exhaust catalyst.

The Jeep Cherokee received a much more polished depiction of the 4.0-liter inline six cylinder engine for the 2000 model year. The all-new engine featured a much quieter and cleaner system that now met Low Emission Vehicle standards. Now joined to the new six in SE (if ordered) was a brand-new five-speed manual gearbox that was updated with advanced shift quality in both base and Sport models. Also new for this year were two more colors; Silverstone Pearls and Patriot Blue.

The Cherokee Classic and the Limited both now featured a four-speed automatic as a standard feature for 2000. The Limited became even more ornate in this year and featured silver alloy wheels, chrome highlights on the grille, headlight bezels and rear license plate brow. All of these new characteristics set the Limited even more apart from the standard run-of-the-mill Cherokee models.

2001 was the final year the Jeep Cherokee and not much was updated expect the Steel Blue color replaced the Desert Sand color while the 2.5-liter four cylinder engine was deleted.

By Jessica Donaldson
 
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