Jeep For 1998
By Carey Russ
"Jeep" is one of the most respected names off the paved road. It has been a member of the Chrysler family for over a decade, and has produced tough, go-anywhere vehicles for nearly 60 years. The current crop is as suited to city streets and suburban country clubs as it is to the backwoods. There is a new, high-performance luxury flagship in the Grand Cherokee line for 1998. New models also grace the Cherokee line, and the Wrangler becomes an even more capable off-road performer.
All 1998 Jeeps have "Next Generation" depowered air bags.
Long ago, "Jeep" and "civilized" had opposite meanings. This hasn't been true since at least the introduction of the Cherokee back in 1984, and should have been laid to rest with the birth of the Grand Cherokee in 1992. Just in case anyone still has doubts, meet the Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited.
The 5.9 Limited combines the performance of a 5.9-liter, 245 horsepower V8 with 4-wheel drive and the luxury of a leather and woodgrain-trimmed interior. Special exterior colors and trim give it presence. The 5.9 Limited is reputed to be the fastest-accelerating sport-utility currently made.
Other Grand Cherokee models 4.0-liter 6-cylinder or 5.2-liter V8 engines and 2-wheel drive or two different 4-wheel drive systems depending on model. All use a 4-speed automatic transmission and are of 4-door configuration.
The Jeep Cherokee was the first compact sport-utility when it was introduced back in 1984. It is the ideal first Jeep for many people, and comes in 2-door or 4-door body styles. There are several different trim levels, and powertrain choices include a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission and a 4.0-liter six with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. There are mechanical enhancements, new color schemes, and two new 4-door models this year.
The Wrangler is the protypical Jeep. With the round headlight restyling last year, it looks more than a little like the original Jeeps from the World War II era. Looks are only skin deep in this case, though. Today's Wrangler has standard or available comfort features undreamed of 50 years ago. It has refinements and mechanical enhancements for 1998 that make it a more capable vehicle off road.
Powertrain choices are a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 4.0-liter 6- cylinder engine with a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission. All Wranglers have 4-wheel drive.