2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Page 1




Future Cars: DaimlerChrysler (5/15/2005)

2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee by TCC Team (9/6/2004)
Will it remain the one to beat?

Many people mistakenly believe the first American-brand luxury SUV was invented when someone at Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln division took a Ford Expedition, added every bell and whistle left over in the Town Car/Continental parts bin and christened the Navigator back in 1998. But actually, long-dead AMC and its still-kicking Jeep subsidiary had the idea first — and the timeline goes back much farther, to the 1970s, when the Jeep Wagoneer was the first American SUV to offer a vehicle with both go-anywhere capability and wooly rugs so thick you could lose your toes in them.

The Wagoneer’s modern descendant is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, a mid-size SUV that, like its forbear, continues to offer the same appealing combination of rugged off-road capability and luxury cruiser comfort. But with so many other SUVs out there also doing the Wagoneer Shuffle, something more was required to set the Grand Cherokee apart from the ever-growing crowd of well-equipped, comfortable 4x4 SUVs.

Nuclear option

How to do that?

For starters, Jeep updated the whole works, adding a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 to the Grand Cherokee’s options list. The newly available engine brings to three the number of powerplants you can choose from: a 210-hp 3.7-liter V-6 (which replaces the old 4.0-liter in-line six), and a 4.7-liter, 230-hp V-8 taking up the middle slot.

The HEMI isn’t just an option, however — it’s the Nuclear Option. This engine’s bone-gnawing 330 hp gives the Grand Cherokee a near 100-hp advantage over the V-8 Ford Explorer’s measly 239 hp, and a 40-pony jump over the Chevy TrailBlazer EXT’s 290-hp, 5.3-liter V-8. Toyota’s 4Runner and Land Cruiser can’t touch the Jeep on this score. Hello, Tokyo, are you there?