1 Apr 1994
Chrysler returned to Australia in April 1994 after Mitsubishi’s 1980 buyout of its local operations, riding on the back of the 10-year old Jeep Cherokee series.
With its chunky good looks, city-friendly compact 4-door wagon dimensions, gutsy 135kW 4.0L 6-cylinder engine, and long list of standard features, the Cherokee was an immediate hit.
Buyers didn’t seem to mind that the 5-seater cabin was cramped for adults, the suspension used archaic leaf spring technology, and that the truck-based separate chassis construction led to ponderous on-road handling and roadholding.
Torque output was ample (rated at 290 Newton metres), and a 4-speed auto was the only gearbox available.
Both the Sport and Limited models included permanent 4WD, air-con, central locking, power steering, power windows, power mirrors and – from January ’95 – a driver’s side airbag, while the Limited added anti-lock brakes, cruise control, alloy wheels, and leather trim.
The Classic series on both models from September ’95 added a nudge bar and extra features.