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.
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.
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
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.
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'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.
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