1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee

By Bob McHugh

Jeep has been synonymous with four-wheel-drive since it first carried GI’s to battle almost sixty years ago. In fact, there was a time when it seemed like anything that went off-road was called a Jeep. Ironically, Jeep were a little slow to capitalize on the growing off-road, sport utility craze, but in 1992 it cashed-in ‘big time’ with the introduction of an all-new (1993 model year) Jeep Grand Cherokee.

A sales success right from the start the ’93 Grand Cherokee came in Base, Laredo and Limited trim levels, plus a wood-clad Grand Wagoneer. It was the first sport utility to have an air bag (on the driver’s side) and unlike other truck-based SUV’s the Grand Cherokee has a rigid unit-body structure, like a passenger car.

Initially the base in-line 4.0 litre six-cylinder was the only engine available. Based on an old, but good, engine, the six has ample power for this size of vehicle. However, part way through ’93 Jeep added a 5.2 litre V8 engine as an option and production was set-up for an 80/20 % split in favor of the six cylinder. That turned out to be a mistake as orders for the more powerful V8 outpaced the more fuel-efficient six and within two years the production schedule was reversed – so much for fuel conservation!

As the popularity of the Grand Cherokee rocketed so did its price tag – see the price chart below! However, buyers did get some extras including rear seat head restraints and side impact intrusion beams in ’94. An outdoors-guy special ‘Orvis’ edition was added in ’95. And a passenger side air bag was included in ’96.

The Grand Cherokee comes in an amazing variety of drivetrain configurations. The two basic transmissions are a 5-speed manual and a 4 speed automatic. In addition there are three 4X4 transfer cases: a part-time (Command-Trac) 4WD, a full-time 4WD (Select-Trac) and an all-time 4WD (Quadra-Trac).

The Quadra-Trac is a sophisticated permanent all-wheel-drive system and also the easiest to use. The choice of high or low range is the only decision the driver has to make. Fuel consumption with the six-cylinder engine is 15.8 L/100 km (18 mpg) in the city and 11.2 L/100 km (26 mpg) on the highway.

Lots of recalls on this Jeep. The ’93 can have problems with the front disc brake rotors, front suspension cam bolts and the steering column shaft. The park brake release button can pop-out on the ’95. The ’96 has two possible sources of electrical shorts, one at the alternator circuit fuse and the other in the power seat wiring (a potential bun-burner!). And the front axle can overheat on vehicles equipped with Quadra-Trac if the temporary space-saver spare tire is used with either: 225/70/R16, 225/75/R15 or 245/70/R15 size tires. The ’97 may have an air bag that can accidentally deploy and a fuel gauge that indicates more fuel than is actually in the tank.

One of the ‘in’ vehicles to own these days, the Jeep Grand Cherokee appeals to a broad range of buyers. Whether it’s a rugged company work-truck, a go-anywhere vehicle for the sport enthusiast or a roomy, family hauler, the Grand Cherokee is always up to the challenge and best of all – it’s a Jeep!

Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.

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