History of the Jeep Cherokee
History of the Jeep Cherokee
Posted on August 18, 2016
The Jeep Wagoneer of the early '60s is a remarkable vehicle for a variety of reasons - from the way it effectively addressed the needs of a growing population with a spacious interior - straight through to its practical features that made it capable handling every season thrown its way. This was a SUV that was designed with an agenda and a clear goal in mind - to offer drivers of all backgrounds and needs with the versatility to handle whatever, whenever, wherever.
With 28 years of models, updates, and new generations that followed its initial launch, the Wagoneer rightfully earned the accolade of being the third longest production life in the United States in automotive history.
But we're not here to talk about the Wagoneer.
We're here to talk about the Cherokee - starting with the Cherokee SJ model - a vehicle born from the segment that it developed. In all ways, the Cherokee owes everything it is to the Wagoneer, and was introduced as 2-door body style with fixed rear side window and optional flip-out section - utilizing the same pillar and window configuration as the 4-door Wagoneer that it intentionally mirrored.
Marketed as a sportier version of the station wagon, it would be the first of its kind to use the term "Sport Utility", apparent in the 1974 Cherokee sales brochure. Three years later, Jeep would introduce a new 4-door model. This early Cherokee was developed by American Motors and would continue to be produced until 1983.
Depending where you were you could find the Cherokee equipped with one of four engines, including AMC I6 engine or V8 powerplants.
In 1984 the world was introduced to the XJ model - unlike the predecessor, the Cherokee XJ model was developed as a compact SUV, featuring a light-weight unibody design, and a success story that fueled a SUV revolution throughout the industry.
Robert Cumberford, a notable automotive journalist called the XJ one of the 20 greatest cars of all time, a powerful comment that is punctuated by recognition by Kiplinger as one of the 10 cars that refuse to die. Like its predecessor, the XJ could be optioned in a 2- or 4-door SUV, with either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. A mass of engine options made it remarkably customizable.
A successful story that continued from 1984 through to 1996, the vehicle is one of those highlighted after Chrysler acquired AMC in 1987.
The Cherokee continued to spawn models - some named differently in North America - for example, the Jeep Liberty from 2002 - 2007 was known was the Cherokee KJ model elsewhere, just as its own successor would be known as the Cherokee KK.
The most recent addition to the Cherokee brand is the KL model, known simply as the Jeep Cherokee, it has inherited all the fun features of its predecessors along with a style guide that stands out in the crowd. Stop by Coquitlam Chrysler today and test drive our line of Jeeps!