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2005 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Jeep Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2005 Jeep New Car Model GuideJeep, the Chrysler brand devoted exclusively to four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles, serves up three wagons with the luxurious Grand Cherokee flagship, a compact-class Liberty sport-utility and the boxy Wrangler workhorse. Each puts a unique spin on a sport-utility wagon rigged for off-road forays as well as urban excursions on pavement, and this year there are innovations for all as Jeep updates the line.

Jeep Grand Cherokee
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The most powerful and surefooted vehicle in the motor pool of Jeep emerges as an evolutionary treatment on a longer and broader platform. The 2005 Grand Cherokee puts luxurious appointments in the five-seat cabin and sophisticated electronic controls on 4WD hardware. It also earns a hunk of an engine with Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi V8 pushing best-in-class power. Yet this Hemi also comes with a multi-displacement system (MDS), which can switch seamlessly and transparently to four-cylinder mode for conserving fuel when full-force power is not needed. Two additional powertrains are available with a 3.7-liter single-cam V6 or 4.7-liter V8. Jeep's top wagon earns a new independent front suspension system and five-link rear suspension geometry, plus more precise steering through a rack and pinion mechanism.

An electronic stability program (ESP) becomes a new option for checking lateral slippage. There are more traction control choices with three new full-time 4WD systems, such as Quadra-Trac I with a single-speed transfer case for full-time 4WD management but no levers to pull, or the automatic Quadra-Drive II now with electronic limited slip differentials (ELSD) for infinite torque management in all four wheels.

Jeep Liberty
2005 Jeep Liberty

Jeep's compact-class Liberty wagon has a unibody structure with three issues for 2005 including the Renegade. All reveal fresh styling points on the exterior package with new fascia, grille, fog lamps and bodyside moldings plus a revised rack on the roof. Renegade goes further for running on rugged off-road trails by adding off-road fog lamps and tail lamp guards, functional rock rails, four protective skid plates on the undercarriage and an optional light bar on top.

Powertrain picks this year extend to four-cylinder and V6 gasoline-powered engines as well as a new 2.8-liter common rail diesel (CRD) with turbo-charging and a rating of 160 hp. The diesel becomes a torque-heavy variation for Sport and Limited trims. Fresh pearl-coat paint colors for 2005 include Dark Khaki and Deep Beryl Green, while add-on cabin gear extends to a new DVD-based navigation system and Sirius satellite radio service.

Jeep Wrangler
2005 Jeep Wrangler

Jeep's icon, which traces to the original Willys MB "jeep" vehicle of World War II fame, skews to five models for 2005 including the Rubicon, a supreme off-road variation, and a stretched version called Wrangler Unlimited. The long Wrangler adds ten inches to the wheelbase and pushes the structure out 15 inches, which brings 13 inches more in length to the rear cargo bin plus two inches more legroom for riders on the second-row bench.

A mega-torque in-line-six engine with 4.0-liter displacement is stock for Unlimited and delivers 190 hp through a four-speed automatic transmission. This version also packs a Dana 30 front axle and a heavy-duty Dana 44 rear axle, tall Goodyear Wrangler GSA tires on 15-inch aluminum wheels by Ravine, plus fog lamps and tow hooks. Comfort gear includes full-length steel doors, air conditioning and power steering, fold-and-tumble back seat and a soft top with rollback roof panel that works like a sunroof. Wrangler trims of X, Sport, Unlimited and Rubicon pull from the 4.0-liter straight-six, although the SE price-leader employs a 2.4-liter four-cylinder plant for 147 hp. The latest wild tint is Impact Orange.