Redesigned for the 1999 model year, Jeep's flagship model only receives minor changes this year. The 1999 Grand Cherokee received several awards, including North American Truck of the Year, an annual award from a panel of more than 45 automotive journalists.
As one would guess from its moniker, the Grand Cherokee is larger, more luxurious and more expensive than the Jeep Cherokee. Though both are considered compact sport utility vehicles, Grand Cherokee is positioned at the higher end of the market and comes close to a mid-size SUV.
Front seat-belt pretensioners, which cinch the belts in a collision, are a new standard feature. Both the Laredo and Limited models seat five, but the ritzier Limited comes with standard leather upholstery (optional on the Laredo). Unlike the Cherokee, with its spare tire in the cargo bay, the Grand Cherokee's spare is under the cargo floor, increasing cargo area.
You know it's a Jeep by the bold, upright grille, a trademark of the brand. Grand Cherokee comes in four-door styling and is 14 inches longer than the Cherokee. Unlike many of its competitors, which have gravitated toward a more rounded, sometimes bulbous look, the Grand Cherokee has for the most part retained the harder-edged look that makes it instantly recognizable.
Under the Hood
A 195-horsepower, 4.0-liter, inline six-cylinder is the base engine, and a 230-horsepower, 4.7-liter V-8 is optional. This year, the V-8 is available with 2WD as well as 4WD.