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5 reasons to love and hate Jeep Grand Cherokee II WJ

“Big wide jeep”, “Big Indian”, “Great Che”, “Giant teal” … We associate this name with crimson jackets, “Gold with a gymnast”, showdowns and generally “roaring nineties”. But all of this applies, rather, to the first generation of the world bestseller with the index ZJ. The life of the second, WJ and WG, fell on a quieter period of “becoming stable.” And although “Vzhyk” did not earn that epic glory that it got to the first “Big wide”, many believe that this particular car was the best in the quarter-century history of the model.

Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ was officially presented to the public on June 16, 1999 in Detroit, on the Kobo Hall stage. The question may arise: why did Chrysler (more precisely, the already established Daimler-Chrysler concern) spent 28 months of hard work and millions of dollars developing a new model, while the market potential of the predecessor still did not exhaust itself (only in the USA in 1998 was sold over 220 thousand ZJ)? First, the concern intended to be more active in European markets, and for many Europeans, the first Grand was still too American. ” And secondly, to keep up, you need to stay ahead, and on the home market Grand Cherokee fiercely competed with such popular models as the Chevrolet Blazer and the Ford Explorer. In addition, the newcomer faced a fight with such outstanding rivals as the Toyota Land Cruiser 100, Nissan Patrol Y61 and Mitsubishi Pajero 3. Buyers had to offer something new and beat the competition in terms of comfort.

As a result, the model inherited a constructive ideology from its predecessor (an integrated frame and a Quadra-Link dependent spring-link suspension), but had only 128 common parts with it.

Updated line of engines. The good old row “six” AMC 242 with a volume of 4 liters was slightly modernized. She received a new intake tract, which allowed her to add up to 195 hp in power. The two newest V8s of the PowerTech family with a capacity of 4.7 liters replaced the old overhead “eights” of the Magnum 318 and Magnum 360. Despite the same volume, the new engines had a number of design differences: a more powerful version, designated High Output and delivering 265 hp and 447 Nm of torque, equipped with convex pistons, forged crankshafts and two detonation sensors, and the “ordinary” V8 developed 223 forces and torque of 394 Nm.

In addition, diesel engines were also intended for the European market. First, the 3.1-liter VM 531 OHV (140 hp, 384 Nm), which in 2002 was replaced by the well-known OM612 turbodiesel (163 hp, 400 Nm) for a number of Mercedes models.

The most important novelty was the Quadra-Trac 2 all-wheel drive system with a new NV247 transfer case, equipped with a gerotor clutch, which provided automatic connection of the front axle and transmission of the “torque on demand”, and locking of the center differential. A similar gerotor coupling provided the rear cross-axle lock Vary-Lock. Its off-road capabilities could be extended with the Quadra Drive package, which allowed to block not only the rear differential, but also the front differential. It is clear that such a system was mainly equipped with quite expensive versions, while more budget ones were treated with proven Selec-Trac (transfer box NV 242, allowing movement both with rear-axle drive and in all-wheel drive mode).

In 2004, when the car underwent a slight restyling, a simplified Quadra-Trac I system with transfer box NV147 appeared, which was distinguished by the absence of neutral and low row.

The gearboxes are only automatic, four-stage 42RE and 45RFE (they combined four-liter “sixes”) and five- (and in fact, six-speed, with two second gears) 545RFE.

A number of “comfortable” options appeared in the cabin, including a car information center with a trip computer, dual-zone climate control with infrared sensors, a remote control system for external devices (for example, garage doors) HomeLink, a mobile phone connection system to hands-free communication via Bluetooth , audio system with CD changer for 10 discs, servo drive with memory, and since 2001 – and an adjustable pedal assembly. In the set of airbags appeared side curtains, and the spare wheel moved from the side of the luggage compartment under its floor, allowing you to expand the possibilities for the transformation of the cabin.

Initially, the car went on sale in two trim levels (basic Laredo and more expensive Limited), which were complemented by special versions of Sport, Freedom, Special Edition and Columbia Edition.

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