Which model exemplifies everything "Grand Cherokee" by generation - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-09-2017, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
alan_r
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Which model exemplifies everything "Grand Cherokee" by generation

Let me throw this up here and see where it goes. Semi hypothetical, if you had to choose one particular model or set of options to represent the very best that is "Jeep Grand Cherokee" within each generation, what would you pick?

The versions I'm thinking are:

1993 thru 1995 ZJ

1996 thru 1998 ZJ

1999 thru 2004 WJ

2005 thru 2008 WK

2009 thru 2010 WK

2011 thru current WK2

What I mean by the best is a model that with his particular set of options or trim represents the pinnacle of its generation. A combination of on and off road performance, efficiency and comfort. If you had to choose one Jeep to show someone who had never seen a Jeep before, this Jeep GC would be the one that represents the line.

For example, for the 96-98 ZJ, many would simply say 5.9 limited. Yet in my opinion, while awesome, compromises were made to make it the fastest SUV. In stock form, the 5.9 does not cool as well as the 5.2. So in my opinion, the 5.2 makes for a better representative because it offers great performance and better reliability.

So let's have at it, six Jeep Grand Cherokees to represent the whole genre. What would you show up with and why?

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post #2 of 10 Old 09-10-2017, 10:33 PM
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I believe the 2008 wk ecodiesel is a great candidate. Some may cry heresy...
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-12-2017, 11:40 AM
RoysJeep
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I'm a little biased when I say this, but I'm going WJ. Last GC offered with front and rear solid axles, comfortable interior (imo), had the option of the proven 4.0 I6.

After that, it boils down to what you're going to do with your GC.
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2004 WJ Laredo, 4.0, 197,xxx miles and counting, 3:55 gears, D30/D35c. Stock for now
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-13-2017, 12:16 PM
Jeeples
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2004 Overland

-4.7 HO, more HP and only 10 ft. lbs less TQ than the 5.9 Limited engine

-Front and rear LSD's

-Comprehensive skid plate package, including the only rock rails ever offered on a Grand Cherokee from the factory

-Opulence, it has it. Two tone leather interior, real wood trim dash pieces and steering wheel, factory nav, factory available bluetooth calling, power adjustable pedals, heated seats, auto climate control, auto dimming rear view and side view mirrors and available rear seat entertainment option

You really get it all with a WJ Overland, solid front and rear axles, luxury items that at the time were typically found on vehicles costing significantly more money, and real off road capability.

I'm a die hard Grand Cherokee guy and like all of them, but to me the WJ Overland was the pinnacle of Jeep balancing on road luxury/comfort and off road capability. Every Grand Cherokee since then has been more of compromise towards on road drivability.
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It is what Jeeples has *PARTIALLY* stated.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-13-2017, 01:21 PM
ChrisHager
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The two above me said it best!
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~Chris
His: 2004 WJ - OME HD 'Kolak' Lift -
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-15-2017, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
alan_r
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Damn Hurricanes! I never got to finish and post my own opinion.

In my opinion, for the first generation:

1996 Jeep Laredo with 4.0, leather seat option, Selec-Trac NV242, luxury option group that has alarm, auto headlights. Power seats. Standard HVAC and no sunroof.

Reasoning: First year of refined body and improved interior. 4.0 has plenty of power in the ZJ, easy to fix and maintain. Taken care of will really run forever. No cooling issues. Luxury options provide just enough comfort and convenience without taking away from the driving a Jeep experience. Selec-Trac is a great compromise for daily on road and the kind of trails most GC's see. No sunroof= no leaks from a rarely used option. Standard HVAC is simple and works.

Basically for a ZJ, this version embodies everything I think of when I think Jeep Grand Cherokee. Rugged and capable yet just posh enough that you can take a group out to dinner in it. The updated body and interior over the 1995 create a very timeless profile. I've been told that they don't age and don't extrude "vintage" when taken care of. It's the perfect combination of parts that result in a true, do everything truck.


For the WJ, I hadn't thought of the Overland. I remember it had a better 4.7 than my 99'. I'll have to come back with my opinion on the WJ.

For the WK, I think the 2009 due to the interior changes and engine upgrades. I'll fill in the details soon.

Pretty interesting subject to think about. Imagine if you had a five car garage and could have five GC's in it from each generation. Ideally I think a Grand Wagoneer and a TJ should take up two of those spaces but I didn't want to over complicate things....
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-16-2017, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by alan_r View Post
Pretty interesting subject to think about. Imagine if you had a five car garage and could have five GC's in it from each generation. Ideally I think a Grand Wagoneer and a TJ should take up two of those spaces but I didn't want to over complicate things....
J10, TJ, and WJ all at the same time - I've found they all have their place. My favorite daily was easily the WJ. It's turn key and holds the family. The TJ is great for a cruise or when it's just the wife and I. The J10 works for cruising, hauling, and the occasional truck show but isn't really practical for a daily driver for a family of 4.

I wouldn't ever pick a "favorite". I think everyone should have 5 different jeeps. Haha!

We are actually about to list the TJ. The biggest flaw we've found with it is carrying two youngsters around. It really doesn't work in that aspect. For everything else (less towing), it's a great vehicle.

~Chris
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-20-2017, 11:41 PM
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2004 Overland

-4.7 HO, more HP and only 10 ft. lbs less TQ than the 5.9 Limited engine

-Front and rear LSD's

-Comprehensive skid plate package, including the only rock rails ever offered on a Grand Cherokee from the factory

-Opulence, it has it. Two tone leather interior, real wood trim dash pieces and steering wheel, factory nav, factory available bluetooth calling, power adjustable pedals, heated seats, auto climate control, auto dimming rear view and side view mirrors and available rear seat entertainment option

You really get it all with a WJ Overland, solid front and rear axles, luxury items that at the time were typically found on vehicles costing significantly more money, and real off road capability.

I'm a die hard Grand Cherokee guy and like all of them, but to me the WJ Overland was the pinnacle of Jeep balancing on road luxury/comfort and off road capability. Every Grand Cherokee since then has been more of compromise towards on road drivability.
Seconded, with just a mild lift and tires these things are insanely capable right out of the box. The 4.7 H.O really is a gem of an engine as long as its taken care of but tends to get in my opinion an undeserved bad reputation. My only gripe is the lack of low end torque which the 5.2/5.9/5.7 have tons of. This generation of GC needs lots of special things so anyone running one should be prepared for the expense. If you're handy with a wrench then its not such a big deal.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-28-2017, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Agree fully on the capability of the WJ. Something interesting to consider when looking at the WKII, the WK equipped with the Quadra Drive II employs electronic ELSD in both the front and rear axles. However the WKII, 2011 plus, only has it in the rear.

One thing I miss greatly when comparing my WK to the XJ and especially the ZJ was maneuverability. I really felt the ZJ was incredibly nimble and you could really place it easily where you wanted it to be. For example, when spotters are unavailable and you have to kind of lean out the window to see the tires, the WK feels huge by comparison. I?m really having a hard time coming up with an opinion on the WK WKII line because they all are so different based on how they are equipped. It?s difficult to pick one that embodies what a Grand should be because it really depends on from which angle your basing your decision from. Luxury or capability. Obviously the new TrailHawk trim kind of defines that for the WKII but it?s too new to judge.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-03-2017, 04:18 PM
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I have a lowered tuned wk hemi for the street and a long armed 5.2 zj on 35s for the trail.
The WK is longer, wider, and much more complex than the ZJ.
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