1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Available in 6 styles:  Grand Cherokee 4x4 shown
Asking Price Range
$559–$4,071
Estimated MPG

14–16 city / 18–21 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 3 of 4

By 

IndyStar.com
If the next 50 years is as good as the last 50 years, Chrysler Corp.'s 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee is going to come home a winner.

It was a little more than 50 years ago that the pugnacious little Jeep of World War II began making an indelible mark on the pages of automotive history books. Today, the Grand Cherokee launches the Jeep name on a new path.

The model will be introduced formally today at the New York Auto Show in that city's Jacob K. Javits Center. The occasion marks a sharp departure from the earthy little vehicle that won the hearts of servicemen everywhere.

The Grand certainly is better looking than the original model, and far better equipped to provide creature comforts to driver and passengers.

Ready for rough terrain

But Chrysler retained the rugged go-anywhere ability associated with Jeep vehicles of the past, and the automaker feels that this model will continue to further the Jeep tradition.

Of course, with its design, the Grand Cherokee obviously is going to do it more comfortably than the bone-rattler of more than 50 years ago.

The Grand is a new approach to a sport-utility vehicle, not just a warmed-over version of past Jeep utility vehicles. It can be driven into society with aplomb.

Its design began in 1986, a year before Chrysler acquired American Motors Corp. The development team's goals were to create a vehicle that had a carlike ride, performance and handling; upscale appearance and appointments, and the ruggedness of legendary Jeeps.

No small order, but one that was attainable with innovative thinking and the use of modern technology both in engineering and manufacturing.

Built in Detroit

The Grand Cherokee is being built in Chrysler's new Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, part of the automaker's $1 billion investment to develop the vehicle.

The Grand is being offered only in a four-door body style, and at the moment only as a shift-on-command part-time or full-time four-wheel drive. A two-wheel-drive version will be available around next January.

There are, however, three 4WD models, the Base, Laredo, and Limited. The engine in all three is Jeep's 4.0-liter in-line 6. And there are two transmissions available depending on the model, a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic. All models contain a driver's side air bag and an anti-lock braking system.

Dealers have vehicles

Although the formal introduction is in New York, Chrysler has shipped a limited number of vehicles to its dealers. "I have a couple of Laredos," said Jon Hale, new- car sales manager for West Indy Jeep-Eagle. "But I don't have any Limiteds. I won't get any of those for about a week."

It goes without saying that a utility vehicle, even a sports one, is not a paragon of aerodynamic efficiency. But even with a body structure that fundamentally punches a square hole in the air, the Grand has made improvements in that area.

The corners are rounded and the hood slopes down and forwar d into a self- contained front-end sector. The bumpers, front and rear, are integrated into a bumper/fascia unit. The windshield is raked rearward at a greater angle than any previous Jeep. And semi-flush glass is used on all side doors as well as the tailgate.

As a result, the vehicle has a 0.44 co-efficient of drag.

Looks like a Jeep

"We knew we had to retain the distinctive appearance of a Jeep," said Trevor Creed, Chrysler's director of Jeep/Truck and Interior Design. "We didn't want to blend into the Grand Cherokee the suggestion of any other sport vehicle out there."

Chrysler has gone with a known power plant for the Grand. Its engine, updated last year, produces 190 horsepower and 225 foot-pounds of torque. That gives some real muscle for towing. It also boosts acceleration.

You can't really consider the Grand a drag machine, but 0-60 miles per hour comes in at 9.7 seconds with the five-speed manual transmission and l0.7 seconds with the automatic.

Performanc e will be even better later in the year when an optional 5.2-liter V-8 is available. Preliminary ratings on the V-8 are 220 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of torque.

"The V-8 will give a towing capacity of 6,500 pounds," Hale said. "That's as high as anything (in sport- utilities) is rated at. In fact, I think the highest is 6,000 pounds."

Confortable ride

Drivers of early-day Jeeps will remember that one of the most lasting impressions the vehicles made was on their respective backsides. Not this new one.

While front and rear axles are solid for off-road ruggedness, suspension is by multilink and coil springs on all four corners. It has the ride and handling characteristics of an automobile.

And a moderate to fairly expensive automobile at that. Hale says the base Grand Cherokee model is expected to run around $20,000.

"The Laredos we have are at 22 ($22,000)," he said. "And I expect the top-of-the-line Limited with leather interior and all the options will run about 28 ($28,000)."

Chrysler's marketing thrust is toward professionals who were lured away to the Ford Explorer, due in part to differences in size and a new body. "We lost some business to the Explorer," Hale said. "But this new Grand Cherokee is going to bring them back. We'll rule the market again."

While the '93 Grand Cherokee is slightly shorter than the standard Cherokee, 176.5 inches compared to the 168.8 inches, it has a longer wheelbase, 105.9 inches to 101.4 inches.

The Grand's design provides considerably more interior room, and the doors are a limousine type that open into the roof for easier entrance and exit.


    Expert Reviews 3 of 4

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