2000 Grand Cherokee New Car Test Drive
When we're all old and gray they're still going to be selling these things. Jeep Cherokee is a case study in how long a solid design can remain viable, even when some of its elements have become dated. The introduction of the Cherokee in 1984 helped launch America into its amazing romance with four-door sport-utility vehicles. Cherokees sprouted in suburban driveways like mushrooms. The Cherokee Limited - black with gold pin striping - represented the height of automotive fashion.
Today the Cherokee seems old and blocky, yet its popularity continues to soar. Jeep sold more than 165,000 Cherokees in 1999 - more than what it sold the year before. The reason: It's tough as nails and starts at less than $17,000. That figure can quickly rise when you add the six-cylinder engine, four-wheel drive and comfort and convenience items, however.
For 2000, a redesigned 4.0-liter six-cylinder heads up the engine line. The Cherokee has been a quick SUV when equipped with the straight-six; this new engine offers reduced emissions. Ordering four-wheel drive makes the Cherokee thoroughly capable when the pavement ends.
Jeep Cherokee comes in many forms. Two-door and four-door models are available. Two engines are available, a four-cylinder and a six-cylinder. Two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models are available, though why someone would want one of these with two-wheel drive escapes us. Cherokee is available in four trim levels: SE, Sport, Classic and Limited. Each trim level builds on those below it.
SE models come with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. They range in price from the two-door 2WD SE ($16,680) to the four-door 4WD SE ($19,230). SE comes with wind-up windows and vinyl upholstery. Air conditioning is optional.
Sport models add the new 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine along with premium cloth. Sport models come packaged with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, a tilt steering column and a rear wiper washer. A 4WD four-door Sport retails for $21,570. Classic adds a higher level of trim and nicer cloth.
Limited models come with leather upholstery and other features. Limited 4WD models are equipped with Jeep's Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system, which is a $605 option on other trim levels.