Each Friday on the Jeep® Blog, we explore the Jeep brand’s iconic heritage by highlighting a different historical vehicle. This week’s vehicle is the Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ).
Few vehicles burst onto the scene – quite literally – like the Jeep Grand Cherokee did. By crashing through the convention glass at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Grand Cherokee debut guaranteed people would be talking about it. But by creating the ideal mid-sized luxury SUV, the Jeep brand set a standard that it still claims today.
Replacing the Wagoneer, the Grand Cherokee featured a 105.9-inch wheelbase, taking Cherokee’s refinement to a new level. The Grand Cherokee was the first SUV with a driver’s side airbag, setting the standard for on-road ride, handling and comfort in an SUV.
The Grand Cherokee featured a new Quadra-Coil™ suspension with coil/multilink configuration and optional 5.2L V8 engine as well as a Dana 44 rear axle, available on some models.
The three original trim options for the Grand Cherokee were Base, Laredo and Limited. Upon the ZJ’s refresh in 1996, additional trim options became available. The Orvis specialty model, offered for the first time in 1995, featured a Limited with a hunter green exterior color, accented by gold striping. The two-tone green and champagne seats were complemented by red accents and Orvis badging.
Another ZJ – the 1993 Jeep Grand Wagoneer – was also available. It has a unique place in modern Jeep brand history, so we’re going to give that vehicle its own feature next week.
We’re finally rip-roaring into the Jeep brand heritage of the 1990s in our weekly series. Be sure to check back next week!