Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Earns Two Top Awards: 4-WHEEL & OFF-ROAD's '4x4 of the Year' and FOUR WHEELER's 'Four Wheeler of the Year'

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Two leading magazines specializing in four-wheel-drive trucks and SUVs, announced winners of their coveted 2002 vehicle-of-the-year awards.

The awards, given by 4-WHEEL & OFF-ROAD and FOUR WHEELER magazines, premier enthusiast-based titles focusing on different areas of the truck and SUV market -- from off-road to street performance -- represent pinnacles of achievement for manufacturers and are important points of reference for new-vehicle buyers.

The prestigious 2002 ``4x4 of the Year'' award, given by PRIMEDIA's 4-WHEEL & OFF-ROAD magazine went to the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. Jeep is no stranger to the award, having taken home ``4x4 of the Year'' kudos nine times, including a win last year, and earning more awards than other manufacturer. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland proved its leadership on a grueling 1,000-mile test that covered a wide range of on-and off-road terrain. ``The high-output 4.7L V-8 really made a difference in the power department, along with the Jeep's true off-road ability,'' said Rick Pewe, editor of 4-WHEEL & OFF-ROAD. ``That power and performance along with its numerous amenities truly made the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland the standout winner.''

The ``4x4 of the Year'' competition is unique in that compact and full-size SUVs and pickups all compete against one another. Others vying for the award included the Chevrolet Avalanche, Dodge Ram 1500 QuadCab SLT, Ford Explorer XLT, Isuzu Axiom, Jeep Liberty Limited, Nissan Frontier Crew Cab S/C Longbed, Nissan Xterra XE and Suzuki XL-7.

4-WHEEL & OFF-ROAD is the world's largest off-road enthusiast publication. Complete test results and vehicle evaluations for the 2002 ``4x4 of the Year'' competition are featured in the February 2001 issue now on newsstands. Test information is also available on www.4wheeloffroad.com .

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Also Earns ``Four Wheeler of the Year'' Kudos

FOUR WHEELER magazine's ``Four Wheeler of the Year'' is the oldest award in the category from the original magazine in the category, handed out to the outstanding Sport Utility Vehicle for the past 20 years. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland outscored a field of eight competitors across five categories including trail and highway performance, mechanical, interior, and exterior. The additional horsepower of the 4.7L V-8, the Grand Cherokee Overland's off-highway capability, as well as a plush interior that received the highest score of all the competitors, led to high marks across all categories. ``What moved the Jeep Grand Cherokee to the head of the class was its consistency in overall excellence,'' commented FOUR WHEELER editor Jon Thompson. ``It scored consistently high across the board.''

For ``Four Wheeler of the Year'' competition the Grand Cherokee was joined by the Jeep Liberty, Mercedes-Benz ML500, Isuzu Axiom, Ford Explorer, Nissan Xterra, Land Rover Freelander, and Chevy Trailblazer

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