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Jeep Grand Cherokee (WJ Grand Cherokee)

WJ Grand Cherokee

Make: Jeep

Model: Grand Cherokee

Released: Jan 1970

Discontinued: May 2005

Jeep logo1 Jul 1999

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

DaimlerChrysler gave us a virtually all-new Grand Cherokee in 1999.

It may have looked surprisingly like the outgoing model but, according to Jeep, there are no significant carry-over parts.

What it does have, at the top end of the family tree, is a muscular 162kW/390Nm 4.7-litre V8 paired at first with a four-speed automatic gearbox but then, from early ’03, a five-speed automatic unit.

A 140kW/295Nm 4.0-litre OHV V6 was also carried over from the older ZG, albeit in modified form.

It too used a four-speed auto transaxle. The separate-chassis Grand Cherokee uses a clever four-wheel drive system that looks close to impossible to bog.

But like most big 4WDs, it is thirsty and generally uncommunicative, in terms of driver feel and enjoyment, on the road.

The mildly respecified WG model took over from November ’00, followed by another small makeover in early ’03 and ’04.

The model range read: Laredo, Limited and luxury Overland. In March ’03 a 2.7-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel arrived as a more economical engine option, emitting 120kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

In January ’04 DaimlerChrysler unveiled the all-new third-generation Grand Cherokee at the Detroit Motor Show, with Australian sales slated for a 2005 introduction.

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