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2004 Model Guide - Every Brand, Every  Car


2004 Jeep Model GuideBig block letters spell J-E-E-P on the prow of three vehicles to denote the DaimlerChrysler brand devoted exclusively to four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles. Each of the three Jeeps takes a unique slant to a sport-utility wagon set for off-road forays as well as urban excursions on pavement.

Flagship for the line is the five-door Grand Cherokee, which divides into four trim versions for 2004 including a new Special Edition with monochromatic exterior treatment or the high-powered Overland with plush on-board appointments that make it the most luxurious Jeep. All Grand Cherokees show updated front-end styling for 2004 with fresh fascia and revamped seven-slot Jeep grille plus foglamps added.

The compact-class Liberty wagon rolled out in 2002 as replacement for Jeep's venerable Cherokee with the smooth-ride traits of contemporary car-based wagons but also manners of brutish Jeeps capable of taking a hard tack over rough terrain far away from pavement. Available in four different editions for 2004, Liberty brings a new hands-free cabin communication system as a factory-installed option.

It also adds an optional cargo organizer that folds flat when stowed or opens with compartment dividers to cradle packages in the cargo bay.

Jeep's third vehicle, the Wrangler workhorse wagon, is a direct descendant of the original Willys MB "jeep" vehicle of World War II fame. The modern interpretation traces to a fresh design in 1997 constructed on a strong ladder-frame chassis with superior ground clearance for off-road ventures. In 2004, Wrangler continues with soft-top or hard in five models labeled X, SE, Sport and Sahara, plus Rubicon, a supreme off-road variation outfitted at the factory with hardware required for navigating the most difficult trails.

Jeep Grand Cherokee
2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The five-door flagship wagon trimmed in Overland edition is the most powerful and surefooted vehicle in Jeep's motor pool.

Grand Cherokee represents the original SUV and traces back decades in Jeep history with innovations like the Quadra-Trac automatic full-time 4WD system from 1973 and the first unibody four-door SUV wagon of 1984. It emerged in 1999 from Jeep's Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit riding on a new chassis and wrapped in a sleek shell concealing the luxurious cabin plus high-tech mechanical systems that continue to set the capability curve for SUV performance.

Handy innovations for Grand Cherokee range from rain-sensitive front windshield wipers to a tire pressure monitoring system, available curtain-style air bags and adjustable accelerator and brake pedals. Actually, Grand Cherokee has an expanded lineup of models in 2004 with rear-wheel-drive (RWD) traction or 4WD available for all models.

Base edition Laredo uses as its standard engine a 4.0-liter in-line-six rated for 195 hp and tied to a four-speed automatic transmission for RWD or 4WD with Jeep's Selec-Trac mechanism, which has a full-time transfer case with low-range gearing, or the new Quadra-Trac I single-speed transfer case.

Grand Cherokee Limited can be outfitted with the straight-six plant or a single-cam 4.7-liter V8 good for 235 hp. The V8 teams with an automatic five-speed transmission. Limited is available in RWD or 4WD with Selec-Trac or the permanently-engaged Quadra-Drive 4WD system, which operates in concert with Vari-Lok axles to draw on the Quadra-Trac II hydro-mechanical speed-sensing differentials.

Grand Cherokee Overland edition comes only one way -- with first-class amenities and big muscle from a high-output version of the 4.7-liter Jeep V8 that cranks to 265 hp. It also stocks the Quadra-Drive 4WD system.

Grand Cherokee's new Special Edition borrows exterior design cues from the Limited with a monochromatic treatment, while the 4WD Special Edition gets an Infinity audio system with 10-disc CD changer plus Quadra-Drive. A combination stereo system with 10-disc CD deck and DVD-based navigation system with in-dash color video monitor is a new option for Grand Cherokee.

Jeep Liberty
2004 Jeep Liberty

The compact-class wagon from Jeep brings an unusual combination of attributes.

It's easy to drive on pavement but highly agile in tough off-road situations, which makes it a rare vehicle of multiple personalities. The unibody structure creates a strong container that resists flexing and twisting when set in motion on pavement or dirt and ultimately enhances Liberty's smooth-riding manners.

Four doors provide a separate entry for every seat, and the tall structure carves out ample room for heads and legs of all passengers. The tailgate consists of two pieces with a flip-up window and swing-out door. Together, they offer flexible access to the cargo bay.

Liberty in debut issues divided into two trims of the base Sport and luxury-lined Limited, although now there are two more versions with Renegade and the Freedom Edition. Sport remains the price-leader. It draws from a 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine that develops 150 hp through a manual five-speed stick.

Jeep's V6 becomes an option for Sport but is the standard plant for Liberty's three other trims. The six-pack displaces 3.7 liters and runs up to 210 hp. Either a heavy-duty manual five-speed or optional four-speed automatic works with the V6. Power from the engine channels to rear wheels exclusively in a RWD system or to all four through one of two Jeep 4WD transfer cases - a part-time Command-Trac system keyed to either engine or the Selec-Trac full-time system with V6 and the automatic transmission.

A monochromatic Liberty Limited rolls on 16-inch chrome wheels and features brushed aluminum trim elements in the cabin plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry system, and exterior embellishments like foglamps and a roof rack. Limited packs the V6 and automatic four-speed transmission exclusively.

Liberty Renegade looks tough wearing a two-tone front fascia, unique wheels and bolt-on wheel flares, plus removable tubular side steps and a rooftop cargo basket. Renegade's cabin gets luxury gear including leather seats and power controls for the driver's bucket. It comes in either 2WD or 4WD with the part-time Command-Trac equipment.

A limited-production Freedom Edition stands out with a grille tinted to graphite with special fascia, plus bolt-on wheel flares, curvy side moldings painted in the body color and Mopar tail lamp guards. Graphite-tinged aluminum 17-inch wheels on Freedom Edition are capped by black sidewall Goodyear Wrangler all-season. Freedom draws from the V6 and is available in 2WD or 4WD with Command-Trac transfer case.

For safety, a new Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS) works through Liberty's electrical system to automatically shut off the fuel pump, unlock doors and turn on cabin lights in five seconds following deployment of front or side air bags.

Jeep Wrangler
2004 Jeep Wrangler

The Rubicon Trail - rated Class 10 (out of 10) as most daunting four-wheeling trace on the continent - scrambles over granite slabs and boulder-spiked sluices in the Desolation Wilderness of California's Sierra Nevada Range.

So much experience running Jeeps across the Rubicon led Jeep designers to create the ultimate dirt-dog trail vehicle outfitted at the factory with all armaments needed to successfully scale the Rubicon's walls of granite or slip down steep chutes on a Class 10 trail. It's called, appropriately, Rubicon and amounts to a supreme off-road edition crafted from the rough-and-ready Wrangler wagon.

Rubicon installs important hardware for off-road running, like driver-selectable locking differentials fore and aft with Dana model 44 axles plus a low-range transfer case geared down to four-to-one ratio and heavy-duty drive shafts with 1330 universal joints.

Wrangler's base four-cylinder displaces 2.4 liters and produces 150 hp. A mega-torque in-line-six with 4.0-liter displacement is stock on Rubicon and delivers 190 hp plus 235 lb-ft of torque through a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. Latest paint shades for Wrangler are a vivid Solar Yellow or Electric Lime Green.