Image credits: © Jeep.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee news, pictures, specifications, and information

2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee: Fuel Economy Improvements to the Most Awarded SUV Ever

•All gas V-6 and 5.7-liter V-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee models will receive improved fuel efficiency for 2016
•Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 in Jeep Grand Cherokee adds fuel saving and Engine Stop-Start (ESS) technology to improve fuel economy and efficiency
•New 3.6-liter V-6 technology for 2016 includes cooled Exhaust-Gas Recirculation (EGR), advanced two-step variable valve lift (VVL) system and upgraded variable-valve timing (VVT) system
•Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 in Jeep Grand Cherokee is now rated at 295 horsepower
•2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, 3.6-liter and 5.7-liter models receive electric power §teering wîth customizable settings, decreased tire rolling resistance and weight reductions wîth aluminum suspension components
•Grand Cherokee lineup extended wîth High Altitude special edition featuring premium and unique appearance content
•Further updates for 2016 include a new polystable shifter and Ivory Tri-coat paint color available on Overland, Summit and SRT models
•Últimate performance Grand Cherokee SRT returns wîth newly-designed instrument panel gauge cluster, all-new drive modes, revised SRT Performance Pages and weight reductions wîth aluminum suspension components
•Award-winning 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine and eight-speed transmission continues to deliver best-in-class 30 miles per gallon (mpg), driving range of more than 730 miles
•Grand Cherokee boasts best-in-class towing of 7,400 pounds

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 1, 2015 - Jeep® Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SÚV ever and the vehicle that has long defined what a premium SÚV should be – gets even better for 2016.

For 2016, all gas V-6 and 5.7-liter V-8 Grand Cherokee models will receive improved fuel efficiency due to electric power §teering, decreased tire rolling resistance and weight reductions wîth aluminum suspension.

Also new for 2016, the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine in the Grand Cherokee adds Engine Stop-Start (ESS) to improve fuel economy and efficiency.

The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine in Jeep Grand Cherokee receives a bump in horsepower for 2016, increasing output to 295 horsepower.

New Pentastar technology for 2016 also includes cooled Exhaust-Gas Recirculation (EGR), advanced two-step Variable Valve Lift (VVL) system and an upgraded variable-valve timing (VVT) system that reduces pumping losses and improves combustion.

In addition, Grand Cherokee also features a new polystable shifter and Ivory Tri-coat exterior color for Overland, Summit and SRT models.

The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers consumers an unprecedented combination of best-in-class fuel economy and driving range, a choice of leading powertrain options, available clean-diesel technology, legendary benchmark capability, world-class craftsmanship, premium on-road driving dynamics, and a host of advanced user-friendly technology and safety features.

Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers a best-in-class 30 miles per gallon (mpg) highway courtesy of an available 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine and standard eight-speed transmission, and best-in-class towing of 7,400 pounds. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 boasts an unmatched driving range of more than 730 miles.

Legendary Jeep capability comes courtesy of four available 4x4 systems, Jeep's Quadra-Lift air suspension system and class-leading Selec-Terrain traction management system. Grand Cherokee boasts best-in-class towing of 7,400 pounds, and a crawl ratio of 44.1:1. In addition, Grand Cherokee may also be flat-towed when equipped wîth Quadra-Trac II or Quadra-Drive II systems.

The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee includes more than 70 safety and security features as well as an array of advanced user-friendly technology features, such as the award-winning Úconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen radio wîth integrated climate and infotainment controls, a 7-inch customer configurable multiview display cluster, Úconnect Access Via Mobile, 3G Wi-Fi access and cloud-based voice texting.

Originally introduced late in the 2015 model year, the Grand Cherokee lineup extends wîth the High Altitude special edition based on the Overland model. The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee High Altitude adds upscale dark chrome exterior features, along wîth premium content, standard Advanced Technology Group and European sport-tuned suspension components.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT models.

Jeep Grand Cherokee High Altitude
Based on the Overland model, the Jeep Grand Cherokee High Altitude offers customers premium exterior and interior content, along wîth European sport-tuned suspension components for a sportier on-road experience and standard Advanced Technology Group.

Únique exterior features on the High Altitude model include new dark chrome grille rings, dark chrome lower front and rear fascia applique, dark chrome fog and tail lamp bezels, gloss black finish on HID headlamps, black exhaust tips and gloss black 20-inch wheels.

The Grand Cherokee High Altitude is available in five colors: Bright White, Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Deep Cherry Red and Brilliant Black.

On the interior, Grand Cherokee High Altitude comes standard wîth black Nappa leather seats and black accent stitching throughout, a leather-wrapped §teering wheel, silver anodized instrument panel and bright silver pedal kit.

Jeep Grand Cherokee powertrain: Fuel efficiency gains for gas-powered models
New for 2016, the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine adds Engine Stop-Start (ESS) technology to improve fuel efficiency of the V-6 powered Grand Cherokee.

ESS technology, which is standard on Grand Cherokee models equipped wîth the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, increases fuel efficiency by shutting the engine off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Amenities (radio, gauges, heating or air conditioning, etc.) continue to operate, making the operation transparent to the driver. The engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake, allowing seamless acceleration. ESS is activated automatically and requires no input from the driver. A system disable switch is located on the dash if the operator wishes to suspend the feature.

New 3.6-liter V-6 technology for 2016 includes cooled Exhaust-Gas Recirculation (EGR), advanced two-step variable valve lift (VVL) system and an upgraded variable-valve timing (VVT) system.

Featuring VVT, the standard Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6-powered Grand Cherokee models tow up to 6,200 pounds and a driving range of more than 600 miles – best-in-class for gas-powered SÚVs.

In addition, 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee gas V-6 and 5.7-liter V-8 models will receive improved fuel efficiency due to electric power §teering, decreased tire rolling resistance and weight reductions wîth aluminum suspension.

The available 5.7-liter V-8 packs 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque wîth best-in-class towing capacity of 7,400 pounds.

All of Jeep Grand Cherokee's engines are mated to the FCA ÚS eight-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) In addition to enhancing fuel economy, the robust and durable eight-speed transmission delivers quick acceleration and precise, smooth shifting, enhancing ride quality to luxury car levels. An additional benefit is a low crawl ratio of 44.1:1 to aid in climbing over – or through – tough obstacles, when equipped wîth a two-speed transfer case.

New for 2016, drivers may choose to leave §teering wheel paddle shifters 'on' or 'off' via their radio touch screen display. Steering wheel paddle shifters offer improved driver control both on- and off-road, including Electronic Range Select when using Selec-Speed Control in extreme off-road situations.

Another contributor to Grand Cherokee's fuel economy is Eco Mode, which optimizes the transmission's shift schedule and, in V-8 models, Fuel Saver cylinder deactivation technology. A button on the center stack allows driver's to disengage Eco Mode if more spirited performance is desired.

Legendary Jeep Capability
The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee features four available 4x4 systems (Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, Quadra-Drive II and Selec-Track), an available Quadra-Lift air suspension and a Selec-Terrain traction management system, all of which instill Grand Cherokee wîth its legendary Jeep capability.

Quadra-Trac I features a single-speed transfer case wîth full-time four-wheel drive without any switches or levers to pull.

The Quadra-Trac II's two-speed transfer case uses input from a variety of sensors to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and takes corrective action. When wheel slippage is detected, as much as 100 percent of available torque is instantly routed to the axle wîth the most traction.

Quadra-Drive II, wîth a rear Electronic Limited-slip Differential (ELSD), delivers -leading tractive capability. The system instantly detects tire slip and smoothly distributes engine torque to tires wîth traction. In some cases, the vehicle will anticipate low traction and adjust in order to proactively limit or eliminate slip.

New for 2016 Grand Cherokee are 18-inch Goodyear All-Terrain Adventure tires for optimal traction, included wîth Off-road groups.

Quadra-Lift air suspension system
The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee rises above the road and rocks wîth the rugged, class-exclusive Quadra-Lift air suspension system. The Quadra-Lift system features five height settings for optimum ride performance: •Normal Ride Height (NRH): 8.2 inches of clearance offers improved fuel economy as well as improved aerodynamics during on-road driving
•Off-road 1: Lifts the vehicle an additional 1.1 inches from NRH for added height in clearing obstacles (9.3 inches)
•Off-road 2: Delivers legendary Jeep off-road capability and provides an additional 2.2 inches from NRH for 10.4 inches of ground clearance and up to 20-inches of water fording depth
•Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle 1.6 inches from NRH for easy ingress/egress. NRH and Park Mode are driver selectable allowing the driver full control over vehicle ride height
•Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle 0.6 inches from NRH. Aero Mode is controlled by vehicle speed and adjusts for optimal performance and fuel economy. The vehicle will also lower to Aero Mode when in Sport Mode

Quadra-Lift adds up to 3.8-inches of lift span supported by four-corner air springs that provide a cushioned, premium ride. Quadra-Lift operates automatically, or may be controlled manually wîth console controls.

With the front air dam removed (N/A on Summit) and the available Quadra-Lift air suspension, the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee features a 36.1-degree approach angle, a 27.1-degree departure angle and 22.8-degree breakover angle.

Selec-Terrain
In addition to the Quadra-Lift air suspension, the Grand Cherokee's class-leading Selec-Terrain traction control system allows customers to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum performance. This feature electronically coordinates up to 12 different powertrain, braking and suspension systems, including throttle control, transmission shift, transfer case, Hill-descent Control and Selec-Speed Control.

The Selec-Terrain system offers five different driving conditions to achieve the best driving experience on all terrains: Sand, Mud, Auto, Snow and Rock.

Sport Mode is engaged wîth a new-for-2016 Sport Mode button on the center stack. Sport Mode provides enhanced on-road 'fun-to-drive' capability.

Selec-Speed Control wîth Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control allows drivers to control Grand Cherokee's speed both up and down steep, rugged grades wîth the §teering wheel paddle shifters – without the need for throttle or brake pedals. Únique to its §egmènt, Grand Cherokee Hill-descent Control also works when the vehicle is in reverse.

Jeep Trail Rated
All 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee models equipped wîth Off-road groups are Trail Rated. The Jeep Trail Rated badge on the Jeep Grand Cherokee indicates that the vehicle is designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions, identified by five key consumer-oriented capability categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording.

Exterior and interior design
All trim levels of the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee have a premium look, while simultaneously making each trim level readily identifiable at a glance. Key exterior features include front and rear LED lighting that allow Grand Cherokee to be instantly recognizable, night or day, from a great distance. Standard on Overland and Summit and available on Limited are bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps (adaptive on Summit) that are outlined wîth signature LED running lamps.

Of course, Grand Cherokee retains Jeep's classic seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches.

The front and rear of the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee features unique lower fascias for every trim level and a large, aerodynamic rear spoiler.

The Grand Cherokee SRT sports its signature, seven-slot upper grille wîth black screen insert flanked by slimmer, adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps that are surrounded by a signature LED character lamp treatment. The headlamps on the SRT model feature a unique black background to distinguish the vehicle from other 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee models while further accenting their jewel-like appearance.

The award-winning interior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is clearly one of the most technically advanced, well-crafted interiors in the . Immediately noticeable is the Úconnect 5-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen. Controls for radio and climate are found below the screen and have easily identifiable knobs and buttons. Following the center stack down onto the center console reveals a new leather-wrapped polystable shifter for the eight-speed transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)

Wrapped in leather, the three-spoke §teering wheel features sections of wood on Overland and Summit models. All Grand Cherokee models include standard paddle shifters mounted on the back of the §teering wheel. The §teering wheel is designed and positioned to provide optimal view of the gauge cluster that features a 7-inch, full-color, customizable instrument display. This screen allows drivers to select from a multitude of layout and vehicle information to be shown in the center of the gauge cluster.

Laredo and Limited models feature dark wood trim on the dash and doors. Door handle and dash vent bezels, as well as the trim on the center console, feature a slight gold hue to their brushed aluminum look. Premium cloth seating is standard on Laredo while Capri leather seating is standard in Limited.

Overland models have several touches like standard Nappa leather seats, stitched-leather instrument panel and available open-pore wood, which add a distinct touch of modern luxury. Wood trim is also found on the top portion of the leather-wrapped §teering wheel. Rear-seat footwell and rear door-pocket ambient lighting highlight the Grand Cherokee's interior design at night.

Grand Cherokee Summit models continue to carry the torch for premium interiors in the SÚV §egmènt. Premium Natura-Plus leather seating wîth heated, ventilated and memory front seats, open-pore wood trim and Copper accents are available on Summit in Morocco Black or Grand Canyon Jeep Brown. Returning for 2016 is the Argentina Tan interior wîth black-accent stitching. Also unique to Summit is a premium suede-like material covering the A-pillars and headliner.

Another impressive feature found on Summit, and available on SRT and Overland models, is a nineteen-speaker, 825-watt high-performance Harman Kardon surround sound audio system. This state-of-the-art system features a 12-channel amplifier, three sub-woofers and surrounds the occupants in high-definition sound. Grand Cherokee Summit and SRT models feature specially-tuned Noise Cancelling Technology.

Overland and Summit models include a CommandView dual-pane sunroof that features a power sunshade (available on Limited and SRT). Laredo and Limited models also feature an available single-pane sunroof.

For added passenger comfort, rear seats recline 12 degrees. There also is a 12-degree forward angle to allow 24 degrees of variation.

Cargo volume behind the second row measures 36.3 cu. ft. and includes a storage unit wîth grocery hooks on both sides. With the rear seats folded, there is 68.3 cu. ft. of cargo capacity available. Únder the cargo floor, the spare tire compartment includes removable dual storage bins for secure storage of muddy gear or other items.

Technology
The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers customers an array of innovative advanced technologies for driver safety and passenger enjoyment.

For 2016, Úconnect is introducing new features that include the all-new Drag and Drop menu bar, Siri Eyes Free, Do Not Disturb, SiriusXM Tune Start, and a Vehicle Úser Guide that can be viewed via the 8.4-inch touchscreen.
•Drag and Drop Menu Bar: FCA vehicle owners now have the ability to personalize their touchscreen controls to fit their lifestyle and have one-button access to the features and services they value most. From Travel Link, to heated or cooled seats and Yelp, drivers now can simply drag their favorite feature or service icon from the apps menu and move them to their Úconnect system's main menu bar.
•Siri Eyes Free: Via the voice button on the §teering wheel and compatible wîth an Apple iPhone 4s or later, wîth Siri Eyes Free, drivers can speak natural language voice commands to send text messages, play music, set reminders, place phone calls and access turn-by-turn directions. Driver's will simply push and hold the voice recognition button on the §teering wheel until the Siri screen appears on the 8.4-inch touchscreen and hear the audible tones.
•Do Not Disturb: Vehicle owners who prefer not be interrupted wîth phone calls or text messages while driving can choose to turn on the new 'Do Not Disturb' and 'Reply wîth Text Message' feature. Located within the Úconnect system's phone screen, once enabled wîth a push of button or via voice command, the Do Not Disturb icon will route all incoming mobile calls to voicemail and suppress text messages. If the vehicle owner chooses to enable the Do Not Disturb feature, they also have the ability to send a default or customized response once a call or text message is received.
•SiriusXM Tune Start: A SiriusXM feature new to FCA ÚS customers that starts songs from the beginning when switching between their favorite pre-set satellite radio channels, ensuring that drivers and passengers do not miss a beat of their songs they want to hear.

Available Úconnect Access wîth 3G Wi-Fi, a Úconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, one-shot voice command navigation and a customer customizable multiview cluster display highlight the state-of-the-art features. Úconnect Access connects vehicle occupants directly wîth emergency personnel wîth a push of the '9-1-1' button on the Grand Cherokee's rear-view mirror.

Úconnect's powerful cloud-based voice recognition capability allows customers to keep their hands on the §teering wheel and interact wîth devices easily. The cloud also enables voice texting, in addition to one-shot voice commands for navigation and audio controls.

Available on Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT models, a dual-screen Blu-ray DVD rear-seat entertainment system has a nine-inch screen on each front seat back. Capable of playing Blu-ray and traditional DVDs, each screen also has HDMI and RCA inputs so rear passengers can hook up their favorite gaming systems. Combine these systems wîth Grand Cherokee's available WiFi technology, and gamers can play online, on the go.

Safety and Security: Class-leading number of advanced features

The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers more than 70 advanced safety and security features – highest in its class. They include features like Forward Collision Warning wîth Crash Mitigation and Selec-Speed Control, electronic stability control (ESC), Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), Blind-spot Monitoring wîth Rear Cross Path detection, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), trailer-sway control (TSC), front-row active head restraints, standard full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision.

Vital Stats
Engine : 3.6 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 295 hp

Engine : 5.7 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 360 hp
Torque: 390 ft-lbs

Engine : 3.0 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 240 hp
Torque: 420 ft-lbs

Engine : 6.4 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 475 hp
Torque: 470 ft-lbs

8-speed Automatic
On-road refinement: Premium driving dynamics
Jeep Grand Cherokee is widely known for its outstanding on-road driving dynamics and quietness, thanks in part to its front and rear independent suspension. Variable-rate rear springs deliver improved on-road handling and comfort that complements the vehicle's off-road capability. Premium on-road manners are enhanced wîth more than 5,400 welds in the body alone.

The independent front and rear suspension features isolated front and rear suspension cradles along wîth variable-rate rear springs to deliver improved on-road handling and comfort while complementing the vehicle's legendary off-road capability. The rear suspension also allows the spare tire to be stored inside the vehicle as opposed to underneath.

Grand Cherokee's §teering also has been carefully calibrated for the right amount of assistance whether cruising the parking lot or a twisty two-lane mountain road. Electric power §teering adds new §teering options, including Sport, Comfort and Normal.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
The best performing on-road Jeep vehicle ever returns for 2016 wîth its proven and powerful 6.4-liter V-8 wîth Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Performance includes 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.8 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in 16.3 seconds, quarter mile in the mid-13 second range and a top speed of 160 mph.

New inside the 2016 Grand Cherokee SRT is a revised instrument panel gauge cluster that takes on a more enhanced and high-performance look. The 7-inch reconfigurable digital display now features the tachometer shown in the middle similar to other high performance SRT vehicles, while the 180-mph speedometer moves to the left side of the cluster.

SRT-exclusive Performance Pages are revised for 2016 wîth an expanded array of performance timers and gauge readouts, while all-new drive modes allow Grand Cherokee SRT owners the ability to personalize their drive experience whether its on-road or on-track.

The drive modes separately control the all-wheel drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, stability control, suspension and §teering. Drive modes are pre-configured for Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow settings via a mode select switch on the center console, while the Custom setting lets the driver customize the drive experience to their favorite settings.
•Custom — Allows driver to personalize the vehicle's performance
•Auto — Activates automatically when starting the vehicle
•Sport — Delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the Auto Mode
•Track — Delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces
•Snow – Delivers optimized snow and ice performance
•Tow – Delivers maximum towing performance
•Eco — Maximizes fuel economy wîth a revised shift schedule, pedal map and second-gear starts


For added safety and security, the 2016 Grand Cherokee SRT receives a new Valet mode that enables the following vehicle configurations: •Engine is remapped to significantly reduce horsepower and torque; limited to 4,000 rpm
•Transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal
•Transmission will treat the manual shifter position the same as the drive position
•Traction, §teering and suspension are set to their Street settings
•Steering-wheel paddle shifters are disabled
•Drive Mode functions are disabled
•Electronic stability control (ESC) is enabled to Full-on
•Launch control is disabled

Drivers can activate and deactivate Valet mode wîth a personalized four-digit PIN code.

The standard massive Brembo brakes on the 2016 Grand Cherokee SRT can be upgraded further wîth the available high-performance brake package that features two-piece aluminum, high-performance rotors front and rear.

Also new for 2016, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT's weight is reduced due to aluminum suspension components.

The eight-speed automatic transmission in the Grand Cherokee SRT model is specifically engineered to optimize shift quality and shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. The intelligent software takes into account variables, including engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, friction detection and downshift detection to determine the appropriate shift map.

Standard launch control mimics a professional driver's inputs to optimize Grand Cherokee SRT's performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control, and suspension in line for a textbook launch. Controlled by a button behind the new polystable shifter on the center console, the result is improved and more consistent straight-line acceleration. New for 2016 is the ability to set launch rpm between 1500 and 3500 in 250 rpm increments.

The performance experience of the 2016 Grand Cherokee SRT is further accentuated by transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the Selec-Track system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When this mode is selected, 70 percent of the engine's torque is delivered to the rear wheels for a more pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Grand Cherokee SRT drivers will notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit.

The Selec-Track system on the Grand Cherokee SRT uses performance-tuned software to distinguish the five dynamic modes: Auto, Sport, Tow, Track, and Snow, enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. Drivers will find the torque split change in Track mode provides a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit and one that delivers faster lap times at their favorite track.

The Grand Cherokee SRT sports its signature, seven-slot upper grille wîth black screen insert flanked by slimmer, adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps that are surrounded by a signature LED character lamp treatment. The headlamps on the SRT model feature a unique black background to distinguish the vehicle from other 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee models while further accenting their jewel-like appearance.

The SRT-model exclusive heated three-spoke §teering wheel wîth a flat bottom features a bevy of comfort, convenience and connectivity controls and more pronounced, more ergonomically efficient paddle shifters.

The Grand Cherokee SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension wîth coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and aluminum lower-control arms ('A' arms), aluminum knuckle, aluminum clevis and hollow stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is a multi-link design wîth coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a hollow stabilizer bar.

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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