JEEP CHEROKEE. ULTIMATE DUAL PURPOSE SUV
1984 was a good year for off-roaders. It was during this year that the Jeep Cherokee, riding through the rough roads, made its debut as the ultimate off-road compact SUV. A downsized version of the former 1974 Jeep Cherokee, a Jeep Wagoneer twin, the new Jeep Cherokee was nothing like the old model. The legend that the Jeep Cherokee eventually became was a surprise even to the manufacturers.
The years added more and more jazz and character to the Jeep Cherokee. However, the original Jeep Cherokee model is still revered. It was the Jeep’s main vehicle for many years, helping it build a much-respected reputation as a manufacturer of power vehicles. The Jeep Cherokee became more than just a compact SUV that drives and rides. It became an icon to the entire driving world. The Jeep Cherokee name continues to go down in history as one of the most well-known vehicles there ever was.
The Jeep Cherokee’s main appeal lies on its downright practicality and power. It was the vehicle that can be taken on and off the road, and was geared to the maximum with power. Its accessories were practical, and wasn’t fancy at all. Every part of the Jeep Cherokee was made to be used. It’s hard, though, to keep the years at bay, as more modern embellishments were eventually added to the mix. The later models of the Jeep Cherokee seem to have softened the power vehicle up, and some fanatics may not think this a good idea. However, Jeep’s move to make the Jeep Cherokee live up to the modern times was understandable. It had such a good beginning, and a great long life that also helped established the Jeep name, that losing such a vehicle would be quite a big loss.
Through the years, the Jeep Cherokee was exposed to a lot of changes. These changes are also relevant to how people came to respect the Jeep Cherokee. Interior materials were upgraded only a year after the debut, and the hardware upgrades of 1986 stirred up much talk. The earlier upgrades were focused on improving the Jeep Cherokee’s engine power. All it took was nine seconds for the 1987 Jeep Cherokee to start heaving through the roads from a stop. The two-tone paint, leather seats, and an eight-speaker sound system were just few of the additions.
If there have been additions, there also have been subtractions of the less liked features, such as the 1988 scrapping of the turbo-diesel engine option. More trim levels arose, as the Jeep tried to sell the Jeep Cherokee to everyone who would think of buying a car. Most everyone took the bait, indeed, as 1989 brought sparkling changes such as the four-wheel drive system and Anti-Lock Brakes to the Jeep Cherokee. 1990 was a year focused on safety, as the Jeep Cherokee was geared with three-point seatbelts, a compass, and an outside thermometer. More of these kinds of additions followed for a couple of years, before a cleanup was done in 1993. Jeep, probably tired of reshuffling various trim levels, cut it down to just three: Base, Sport, and Country. Following this, the Jeep seemed to have found a tune to sing. More functional changes were made to the Jeep Cherokee, instead of just racking up points with minor additions. The 1990’s Jeep Cherokee model became protected by side-impact beams, a drive-side airbag, and more crush resistance. All the changes have been, so far, focused on improving the reliability of the Jeep Cherokee as a vehicle that can ride. It was only during 1997, however, that the Jeep Cherokee also became the vehicle to look at, in terms of a more modern exterior.
A cleaner and smoother look was sported by the 1997 Jeep Cherokee, with its softened front and rear ends, and plusher interiors. Now, it wasn’t only functionality and safety that mattered. Style also meant something to the Jeep Cherokee. With new dash door panels, and a center stack, and a more streamlined and smoothened cabin, the driving noise was also reduced.
After such a colorful drive through history, however, the Jeep Cherokee ended its reign in 2001 with a quiet exit. Not a lot of changes were added to the last model, as if the Jeep Cherokee has fought long and hard, and wasn’t much up to fighting anymore. Jeep moved on to focus to other vehicles, such as the Jeep Liberty. Car buyers, however, still sets their sights on the legendary Jeep Cherokee that they have learned to revere given its almost twenty-year run. Now, even in the used-car market, the Jeep Cherokee rages on.
To this day, Jeep fanatics still consider the Jeep Cherokee the ultimate Jeep masterpiece. A cross between an SUV and an off-roader, it’s got just the right size and the right Jeep heritage to make it look and feel like the genuine Jeep vehicle that can take you to all sorts of occasions, rain or shine.