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Grand CherokeeMore Details on all-new 2005 Grand Cherokee, Other Notes
Posted by mike on 2003/11/25 0:00:00 (945) reads

2005 Grand Cherokee, Liberty Renegade, Wrangler Unlimited, Wrangler assembly, and legal trouble for a fellow Jeep Web site operator.

Our friends in the great white north (specifically, Auto123.com) recently published a nice wrap-up of DaimlerChrysler's recent preview of its 2005 models. Here's some snippets:

a group of about 200 North American journalists took the opportunity to see a mock up of the all-new 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It features completely new and original double rounded front headlamp clusters, angular taillights, and a roofline that shows some resemblance to the Dodge Magnum when seen from the rear. It will be the first Jeep to boast HEMI V8 power, 47 percent more output than the previous top V8, and join the Liberty with an independent front suspension.

snip...

an updated 2005 Liberty Renegade was shown too. It sports a new wider and flatter grille, updated front fascia and revised front fender combination, the latter which integrate thin horizontal blinkers at its base. The Renegade specific trim features beefier fender swells. Not shown but important nonetheless, Liberty will feature a new Italian made 2.8-L common rail turbodiesel next year, the first time such a fuel efficient engine choice will be offered in the Jeep brand.

...snip...

A stretched Jeep TJ was officially introduced as the Wrangler Unlimited (see 2005 Jeep Scrambler Preview in archives), after having made an unofficial debut earlier in the year at the NADA conference. The modernized Scrambler, that will be designated TJ Unlimited in Canada, features a 10-inch extension to the wheelbase pushing its overall length to an increase of 15-inches. Ten inches has been added to the cargo area, the TJ's weakest point. Maximum towing will be 3,500 lbs. The Unlimited will find a loyal following among Jeep buyers, while offering a more practical alternative to those who might not have considered the rough and ready off-roader before.

Be sure to check out the entire article - on page 4, there's an image of the Wrangler Unlimited.

Future Wranglers to Be Assembled Somewhere Other Than Toledo?

TheToledoBlade.com is running a story about labor talks at Jeep Assembly in Toledo, Ohio and how current contract negotiations are centered around keeping the Wrangler production in Toledo. Why is it even a question? Mainly due to the fact that part of the factory is the longest running automotive plant in the United and needs some upgrades. Check out the entire article.

Legal Trouble for Jeep Web Site Operator

Remember our story last year about the owner of hardcorejeep.com, and how he was being sued by DaimlerChrysler for improperly using the "Jeep" name? Well, he's in DaimlerChrysler's crosshairs again. This time, it's for his 7slotgrille.com site - actually, it's for the bumber stickers that he's selling to promote the site. It seems that DaimlerChyrsler isn't too keen on the image of an overturned Jeep on a stick figure. Here's some more info.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Tony
Who give a f**k about the whole d**n 7-slot grille issue! A Jeep is a Jeep and hummer is well...a f***ing hummer! Just be proud to own your Jeep vehicle, the name speaks enough for itself!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bowser
...

Afterall, why would we want to trade our Grand Cherokee's durability for something like the dispensible Honda
-V or Ford Escape? Those vehicles won't last two years whereas mine will easily last twenty.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
Matt on IFS.
My thoughts exactly!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: schmack
I actually think Jeep is going the right direction with the Grand with IFS. Honestly (I know there are exceptions) how many people do you know that wheel their Grand? I'm not suggesting it should be a cushy, car-based SUV, but to be competitive it could sacrifice some off road ability for a good/quiet ride. Let the flaming begin :)

I think what Jeep is really missing from their line-up is a no frills mid-size SUV that is as capable off road as the TJ. I was hoping that was going to be the Rescue, but from the sounds of the Forbes article, it's going to be huge. Frankly, I'm not too happy to see another giant SUV on the road that gets 10 mpg. A vehicle just a bit larger than the old Cherokee with the looks of the Rescue would be a big hit in this country and probably win back some Jeepers who migrated to the Xterra for various reasons (tougher looking than Liberty, cargo capacity).

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon Porter
At this point I'd be happy just to see articles stop referring
to the TJ as an "SUV." Do writers really think it has a car-
like ride and a station wagon body? They don't seem to
have any problem identifying Rangers, Tacomas and
Silverados as trucks. So why do they try and tag the TJ as
something it most certainly isn't? Go back to using "Jeep's
little truck" guys!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bowser
Just because IFS is more popular certainly doesn't make it a better suspension. A solid axle suspension and 4x4 is typically stronger and easier to maintain and fix than an IFS. Also, I feel that it's more easily upgradeable, such as getting larger axles or installing a locker in the differential. Also, with a solid axle you always get better articulation as well as constant ground clearance.

So, in my humble opinion, I believe that the 'live' axle configuration is by far better anything else Jeep can use. And it's not sacrificing that much on-roadability either, is it? We took our Grand Cherokee to New Mexico just this week for Thanksgiving and I wouldn't have the ride and handling any other way - it's just the best travel vehicle we've owned.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Matt
JP magazine just had an update of future products, and they said that the decision to put the Quadra-trac 1 transfer case in the Grand has been changed. It seems that DC is finally starting to understand that a Jeep has to be a Jeep. They are giving us great new concepts (the Rescue), new products (the Wrangler Unlimited), and if you look at the spy photos in the Detroit News link, the new Grand has a lot more front axle clearance than the Liberty. I think they tweaked the IFS for better clearance. If you look at all the 4x4's out there EVERYBODY is going independent. Land Rover, Hummer, Jeep. Even guys with custom rock crawling rigs are starting to experiment with IFS/IRS. Like it or not, it is the wave of the future. We should be happy that Jeep is making rigs with superior off-road ability. It makes no sense in your argument if you say "I'm leaving Jeep because the Grand has IFS", and then you go buy an X-terra with IFS.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJKEN
Some of the more recent news about future Jeep products has been encouraging (stretched Wrangler, Rescue). However, the bits and pieces about
the Grand are not. I guess the fact about IFS is not a big shock, but I have also heard that there will be no low range t-case. It's just my opinion but, that bothers me more than the IFS.

As far as the Liberty is concerned I believe it is the most competent off-roader
in its class. The problem with that is the fact that the class the Liberty is included in sucks when it comes to off road ability. I mean has anybody seen
a Rav-4,
-V, Escape or a Sportage actually running trails much less rock crawlin. If i was looking to buy something in that class it would be the Liberty even though I think it could use some more ground clearance. The first mod i would probably do would be a 1.5 or 2 inch spacer lift but, I am not even
sure that would increase the ground clearance. As far as looks the only problem
I have concerns the large round headlights that carry over into the hood. Again
it just my opinion but i think all jeeps should have flat hoods to go with the seven slot grills. It seems they mite address that issue in the next Renegade.

It was mentioned that while it seems someone from DC may be looking at sites like this, they doubt that it would be enough to change Dieter's mind on anything. What if sometime during the summer of '04 a large contingent of
Jeep owner driving their Jeeps decended on the Auburn Hills complex to show
their displeasure with the direction of the Jeep brand. I am not talkin about
large crowd of rowdy, out of control idiots but rather a friendly grathering to try to get our point accross of what we want the brand to be.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
Ok, Iíll put in my 10 cents (with inflation and economic issues these days, 2 cents is just not enough :)

I donít understand the need to change the Grand Cherokee to IFS. My wife owns a 2000, and the ride is fairly smooth. Before we bought the GC, we test drove the competition, which were mostly IFS, and to me the GC was just as smooth, if not better than the competition. Even though we do not intend to use the GC off-road, we decided having a very capable off-road vehicle was worth the extra cost. Even though the GC will not see off-road trails, the roads we do travel can be fun, especially in winter. Maybe the GC is over kill, but we felt it was worth it.

One of the features that makes the GC stand out among the competition is itís off-road capabilities, which is in part do to the solid axles. If the GC is just going to morph in to being just like the competition, what is the point of buying a GC? Jeeps typically cost slightly more than their competition, but I think consumers are willing to pay that premium to have the Ďinsuranceí that they have superior off-road capabilities. (Schmack, you are entitled to your opinion, so this is not really a flame at you).

I do agree with many of you that Jeepís line is a bit sparse. I have no need for a Ďmonster truckí, but I do think Jeep should offer vehicles in this class. These vehicles should not just be Dodge knock-offs, but true Jeeps. The Rescue is a very interesting concept, but itís just a concept. What happened to Jeep being the innovator, not the follower?

Now I realize with economics, it is not always possible to offer every kind of vehicle in your line. I applaud Jeep for taking advantage of the Wrangler truck (notice, I donít call it an SUV) and Ďstretchingí itís personality to offer more choices for consumers. I still wish they would consider the personal truck option like the old Scramblers, but you have heard me whine about this already.

Iím not bashing the Liberty, but the classic XJ was more versatile in its simplistic design. The XJ made a good basic fleet vehicle for all kinds of jobs, where the Liberty and GC donít fit. The XJ came in 2-door, 4-door, 2X4, 4x4, even a truck (the Comanche) configuration. You could order a plain Jane to a nicely loaded model, and the price range allowed the vehicle to fit many different budgets. The XJ came out at a time when no one was really making a low cost small versatile 4X4, so it took off like a shot. The XJ was just a good old workhorse.

The Liberty and GC are more civilized than the old XJ; hence they really are not as well suited for fleet usage. The Liberty technically is a fine SUV, but when compared to the competition, there is little that is unique with the Liberty, except it has the Jeep name on it.

Jason, I hope your right in that Jeep has some surprises up their sleeves, but I have my doubts. As far as the Scrambler, rumor has it that DC has received comments from consumers (and dealers) with their disappointment the Scrambler was dumped, but Iím not sure Dieter and DC management is going to change their minds. Germans are stubborn, and I should know. Iím mostly German, and if you ask my wife, I can be a stubborn SOB.





Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jason
Sorry but I disagree.Jeep does need a large SUV.A large SUV that has a frame that could also be used for a full size pick up truck.A real truck not one of these pussy trucks that some of you mention.Thats the same thing they did with the Wagoneers and J-trucks.DC is finally starting to see the need for broader line of Jeep products. Now dont get me wrong I not saying that DC is going to do everything they claim but one thing they are going to do is offer more models.Also there are hints that somebody at DC is reading our stuff when you read their articles and thats encouraging.If you look at the Jeep line thru history it was never so small and DC is finally seeing that .All of you folks that want a scrambler I wouldnt count that out yet.Jeep is going to be offering several new models in the next few years so its still possible and their not going to tell all their secrets.As for you guys who wanted a stretched wrangler Im happy for you about the latest news but I cant understand why you have to kick against a full size Jeep .Its as if your saying I dont want one so they dont need to make one. I dont take that stand and thats why I think they need a broader line.That way they have something not only for my needs but for yours also.And that my friends will generate sales.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jon
I am not sure why everyone keeps complaning about the Liberty. Jeep currently offers 3 choices. Wrangler, Liberty and Grand Cherokee. I had a 2001 Cherokee that I loved but the seating was very uncomfortable and it was cramped inside. This fall we felt we were out growing the Cherokee and needed something a little bigger. We looked at the Liberty but felt we would not be gaining much in size even though it was much more spacious than our current Cherokee and we liked the looks. We ended up with a Grand Cherokee for not that much more than a Liberty. When everyone talks about the Cherokee and wishing the Liberty would of been more like it they need to remember that the first generation Grand Cherokee was supposed to replace the Cherokee then(1993). They both sold well so they continued to produce the Cherokee. Granted the Grand has gotten larger but it is so much better than the original XJ there is no comparision. I look at the Liberty more as the new entry level Jeep that really didn't replace the XJ and the Grand Cherokee as the replacement for the XJ.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: MalcomXJ
The reality of what will be offered will most assuredly be different than our expectations. Forbes Magazine just ran a somewhat nonsensical article about the Jeep Rescue in which they claim 37-inch wheels and undercarriage cameras. The Forbes article also indicates that the Rescue would be based upon the Dodge Ram, which is a shame. This should be a real off-road vehicle vehicle with the articulation to match. All of the technological BS might make this seem kewl to the average sixteen-year-old but just give us a truck that can deliver and I'd buy it in a second. The difference between your average non-Hilton sixteen year old and myself is that I have money. That said, I'm really doubtful that these announcements will result in any vehicles that would meet my needs if they made it to production... I'd be too afraid of breaking the cameras whenever I hopped a curb. ;)

The Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/2003/11/25/cx_dl_1125vow.html


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
These articles are interesting, but I think our buddies up North have been drinking too much Moosehead beer. The photo of the Wrangler Unlimited is the classic photo of the pickup variant that was at the NADA show last February.

The Grand Cherokee getting IFS. Not a surprise, but a disappointment. This seems to hint to me that all the talk about making Jeep the great off-roader was just smoke and mirrors to hide the fact what DC really has planned. Now the V8 Hemi is interesting.

The Toledo Blade article is interesting in the sense that the 2007 Wrangler could mark the next generation. This is not a big surprise as most of us know the safety laws are going to push the Jeep engineers to make some changes to the Wrangler. New side impact rules will require changes to either strengthen the vehicle or add the ability to add side air bags. Now reading between the lines, what does this mean about the Wrangler Unlimited? Is it just going to be around for the 2005 and 2006 model year?

My other guess is DC might shutdown the old Toledo plant where the Wrangler is built. Will the modern plant in Toledo that builds the Liberty, be adapted for the Wrangler, or does the Wrangler move to Mexico for cheaper labor? Ironically, the Liberty plant is designed to build 2 different vehicles, and so far, DC has not taken advantage of this. Also, what ever happened to the Jeep Compass?

Now I know many are still drooling over the Jeep Rescue. So far all we have seen is drawings. If the vehicle is still only in the drawing stage, how many years before they actually build something?

What concerns me is Jeep shows several build-able concepts, but they never make it to production (IE: The Dakar, the Compass, and the Scrambler TJ). So far the only one we think is going to be built will be the stretch Wrangler Unlimited. How many years has Jeep been working on this? My guess, the stretched Wrangler has been in pre-production for close to 4 years. Seems like a lot of time and effort to give us a vehicle that AEV was making for some time.

Donít get me wrong, I hope Jeep does produce some great things soon, but when are we going to see something? The Jeep Unlimited is not a bad idea, but honestly, it is not much of a Ďstretchí in what they already produce.
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