Jeep® Heritage | 1995-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ)


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).


From 1993-1995, the Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ) was all about providing an ideal luxury mid-size SUV. This trend continued when the Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis edition was introduced in 1995. This edition featured increased torque output for the 5.2L V8 engine as well as a Quadra Trac four-wheel-drive system, tow hooks and standard four-wheel disc brakes.


One of the most notable things about the exterior of the Orvis edition was the vehicle’s signature green and tan coloring.


In 1997, the Grand Cherokee TSi edition was released. This was a sportier version of the Grand Cherokee and came standard with 16-inch wheels and an improved sound system with steering wheel–mounted control. The TSi edition was only available for one year.


In 1998, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited edition first made its appearance. This new edition featured a 5.9L V8 engine and was able to go from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. The production of the first generation Jeep Grand Cherokees ended strong in 1998 with the 5.9 Limited edition.

Be sure to check back next week as we get closer to the 2000s in our Jeep brand heritage retrospective.

8 Responses to “Jeep® Heritage | 1995-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ)”

  1. Dave Luongo

    had a 95 Grand Cherokee Laredo in medium blue for 14 years. best vehicle I’ve ever owned traded it with 181,000. Have had 2 more Compass’s since currently have a 2011 with Freedom Drive II. Love it.

  2. ZJFamilyMan

    What really has to be recognized is that major mechanical changes came in 1996 not 1995. The NP249 transfer case that was improved in 96′. An improved viscous coupling was introduced which allowed the all time four wheel drive to hold the case in a 50/50 split while the old VC allowed power to advance all the way forward or back, and on open diffs that meant the early ZJ’s could become one wheel drive with the right slip. The new Tcase was also modified so that low range locked the differentials together 50/50.

    Special addition versions aside the Grand Cherokee started seeing interior redesigns in 1996. Subtle changes to the badging and exterior claddings are also apparent across all ZJs during these years.

  3. Charley W

    I currently own a ’97 grand Cherokee Laredo 2×4 4.0L with 232,000+ miles. She’s beat up and showing her age but I love this vehicle and I hope she will last me to 300,000+ miles.

  4. I love my ZJ 98 5.2 this thing handles like a sports car! my only complaints are all the electrical problems my computer died the headlight switch and if I don’t have the battery at night it drains. other than that there’s no stopping this truck. driving it in the winter I have never ever gotten stuck unless the snow is higher than the door handles…..

  5. Alan Weinberger

    My ’98 Grand Cherokee Larado 4L ran dry on coolant. Cracked the radiator and stalled. No compression in 4 cylinders, 40-50 in the other two…Toast!! Love this car, only had 120,000 miles on it. Should I drop an engine from lowmilageparts.Com or carguru.Com for about $900 ($1600 labor) totaling $2500 or buy someone else’s for about the same price? Anyone know about those engines, or what would you do??
    Severely broke and need my Jeep back…

  6. My son is away at college and just informed me that his Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis edition 1995 has an issue with the steering wheel. It was as if it was locking up. Any suggestions?


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