The Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ is the second generation of the vehicle and according to many, the best one ever.
You see, new cars have been focusing on handling and road manners a bit too much and have lost the balance of durability, off-road ability, and comfort the older SUVs used to offer.
To prove that, we will explain why the Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ may be the best one ever made by comparing it to the newer generations.
What Makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ so Great?
The answer here is simple, it is a reliable workhorse that is very capable off-road while also being comfortable and luxurious. This is a combination very few vehicles have managed to achieve.
Its greatness off-road comes from the coil-sprung solid axles. This design means that the truck has great suspension travel off-road while also being extremely easy and cheap to modify.
Inside you will find wide plush seats that are reminiscent of a 1980s sofa, plenty of space to stay comfortable even on the longest of journeys, and great heating and AC.
Luxury in the Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ is not measured by the number of screens, but by the comfort and plushness of the interior.
Despite it sitting on solid axles the truck still rides great due to the coil springs. Therefore, unlike a Wrangler or Defender, you will not be shaken to pieces on your way to your destination.
Pair the solid axles with the bulletproof 4.7L V8 or arguably Jeep’s best engine ever – the 4.0 straight-six – and you have a vehicle that will last well over 300,000 miles if maintained.
So, the true magic in the Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ is that it manages to blend modern-day luxury and comfort with old underpinnings that make it extremely capable off-road. A combination very few vehicles manage to achieve.
How Do the New Models Compare?
The new vehicles are more refined, comfortable, and economical than the Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ. However, the issue with these models is that they focus too much on on-road abilities; therefore, neglecting the true roots of the Grand Cherokee which were the ability to be very capable off-road while also being comfortable.
Don’t get me wrong – the new cars are still very capable with their clever traction control systems. However, the structure of the car means that it is very difficult to modify while also being weaker than the old one.
Current models sit on independent air suspension on all four corners. This provides great handling and road manners; however, there is very little travel for off-roading which means that the new trucks lift wheels instead of keeping them on the ground.
The current models will still be able to take you off the beaten path, but they will never do the hard-core trails the old Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ could.
Thankfully, the engines in the new ones are still reliable and relatively powerful with the base unit being the 3.6L V6 with 293 horsepower and the top-of-the-line being the 5.7L Hemi with 357 horsepower.
Depending on what you need from the vehicle, the new one may be better. However, for the ultimate combination of off-road abilities and on-road manners the Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ is hard to beat.