Home        Main menu

New features, options and changes 1999-2005

New for 1999 New for 2000 New for 2001 New for 2002
New for 2003 New for 2004 Future: 2005 Future: 2006

Grand Cherokee WJ launch

Chrysler introduced the all-new 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee to a worldwide audience on June 16, 1998, at 1 PM at Cobo Center in Detroit. Production started at the Jefferson North assembly plant on Friday July 17th, with nearly 5,000 workers producing over 1,300 Grand Cherokees per day.

1998 Grand Cherokee limited

1998 ZJ 5.9 Limited
1998 and 1999 Grand Cherokees

1998 ZJ and the new 1999 WJ

New features and options for 1999

1999 Laredo
1999 Limited
1999 4.7L V-8 engine
4.7L V-8
1999 Limited interior
Limited interior

  • New "WJ" series, exterior and interior completely redesigned
  • Air bags, next Generation driver and front-passenger
  • Braking improvements (approx. 25% larger rear swept area than predecessor, enhanced antilock system, reduced pedal pulsation, dual-piston sliding front calipers, improved fade resistance, quieter operation)
  • Engine, new 4.7L Power Tech V8 engine. SOHC, 16-valve, SMPI V-8 (235 horsepower, 295 lb.-ft. of torque)
  • Engine, 4.0-liter Power Tech OHV, 12-valve, SMPI I-6 engine upgraded (195 horsepower, 230 lb.-ft. of torque. New cylinder head, new exhaust manifolds, redesigned water pump and other improvements)
  • High-strength steel door beams
  • HVAC improvements, with new floor ducts, redesigned rear passenger and redesigned rear body/air exhausters (50% improvement in flow through capacity). New defroster system, faster and more uniform coverage. 5° cooler than previous systems. New quieter electric fan. Body sealing greatly improved
  • Infrared dual zone climate control (Limited models only)
  • NVH improvements (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) (stiffer uniframe body structure to reduce noise transmission into passenger compartment. Undesirable shake eliminated across the full spectrum of vibration frequencies at the mounting points of the seats, instrument panel and steering wheel. Fan noise eliminated by installing a hybrid cooling fan system (on models with V8 or trailer tow package). Redesigned weather-stripping and better body dimensional control. Hydroformed tubular control arms are five times stiffer than on previous models to reduce transmission of axle noise. Expandable beta-foam is used inside the lower structural pillars to reduce road noise. A variety of insulation, seals and other NVH materials used throughout)
  • Occupant protection (ribbed mouldings covering body pillars and foam cushions applied to roof rails)
  • Overhead console, new with up to 13 programmable features
  • Quad-Halogen head lamps (greater range and wider beam pattern, 28% reduction in glare to oncoming drivers, high beam output improved by over 92%)
  • Quadra-Drive 4-wheel drive system
  • Quadra-Coil suspension (refined front track bar, reduced bump impact harshness, stiffer control arms, new 3-link rear suspension, "lubed for life" componentry)
  • Sentry Key® theft-deterrent System
  • Smoother quieter more comfortable ride on and off road
  • Spare tire, relocated under rear load floor
  • Stereo (Infinity), new larger tweeters, front door speakers changed from 6.75" round to 6x9" oval, rear door speakers from 6.75" round to 6.5" round.
  • Steering improvements (all-new recirculating-ball design with better low-speed returnability, crisper response, improved driver control and reduced tire wear)
  • Transmission, new 45 RFE (Rear-wheel-drive Fully Electronic multispeed automatic transmission, provides a wide range of gear ratios for more precise shifts, alternate 2nd gear for smoother shifting and a reverse gear ratio that is equal to the 1st gear ration for easier trailer backing).
  • Wider interior cargo space
Units built calendar year 1999: 343,536

New features and options for 2000

2000 Laredo
2000 Limited
  • Center console release mechanism improved. Grip also improved on inside pen holder
  • Added Laredo cladding and fascia color: Dark Gray Metallic (Medium Driftwood Metallic continues)
  • Backlighting added to Homelink controls (running change in late 2000MY production)
  • Door handles (interior) upgraded from black to chrome (Laredo)
  • Engine, 4.7L V8 added as an option for the 2WD model
  • Tip-to-tip instrument pointer lighting (running change from late 1999 production).
  • Soft-touch painted instrument panel center bezel, power outlet door, outboard panel outlet knobs & bezels, door trim pull cups & switch bezels
  • Color-keyed outboard instrument panel vents
  • "Head lamps on" indicator in instrument cluster
  • Color-keyed sun visor extensions
  • Color-keyed speed control switch bezels on leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Color-keyed instrument panel top pad & upper door trim panels on Laredo
  • "Seat belt" indicator in cluster remains on until belt is fastened
  • Bright (chrome) nameplates on Limited & Laredo
  • New Royal softer leather seating material optional
  • Limited badge redesigned (black w/silver print)
  • Navigation System, Mopar (dealer installed option)
  • Roof rack guide holes added for rail lock
  • Selec-Trac® Transfer case available with 4.7-liter Power Tech V-8 Engine
  • Spartan Burl-pattern woodgrain moldings on instrument panel and door trim panels
  • Sun-Roof opening distance decreased
  • Sun visor extensions added
  • Redesigned instrument panel air outlets to improve air flow
  • Spare tire wing nut cheapened

    New colors:

  • Patriot Blue Pearl Coat, Silverstone Metallic Clear Coat and Shale Green Metallic (one or more of these colors may have appeared at the very end of the 1999 model year, notably Silverstone).

    Deleted colors:

  • Bright Platinum Metallic and Deep Slate Pearl Coat

    Deleted items:

  • Wheels, 16x7" Silverblade aluminum with Camel accent
Units built calendar year 2000: 293,160

New features and options for 2001

2001 Laredo
Laredo SA
2001 Limited
2001 Laredo interior
Laredo interior
  • Automatic transmission, new 545RFE five-speed with 4.7-liter engine provides a second overdrive ratio for increased highway fuel economy and reduced engine noise at highway speeds
  • Cargo net added to left-rear quarter trim panel
  • Cargo area upper trim D-rings, new for improved appearance
  • Child seat tether, added rear provision
  • Chrome color "Jeep" horn cover badge added as standard
  • Chrome exterior accents added to Limited model including grill throat
  • Cooling fan, industry-first hydraulically driven engine cooling fan on 4.7-liter engine for increased fuel economy and efficiency. Attached to radiator assembly and powered by power steering system for more efficient and quieter operation
  • Fuel cap, new quick-on tethered (1/4 turn)
  • Head restraint shaft bezels, new color-keyed
  • Interior, new brushed aluminum finish instrument panel bezels above glove box and left of steering column (replaces simulated wood finish trim) and brushed aluminum finish upper center stacks on Laredo
  • Interior, new color-keyed door switches and bezels, memory switch bezels, pull-cups, and bright cluster dials on Limited models
  • Laredo Special Appearance Group, new, includes 17x7.5 inch 7-spoke wheels, color-keyed cladding and fascias, body color license brow and liftgate handle, bodyside stripe, fog lamps and leather seats
  • Radio, new Alpine AM-FM-Cassette and CD player with CD changer controls (RBP) replaces AM/FM cassette with CD equalizer (RAZ) and AM/FM cassette with CD changer controls (RBN) radios
  • Seats, new Euro-style seats with gathered leather on Limited
  • Tires, new P235/65R17 - Goodyear Wrangler SR-A Outline White Letter All-Terrian and Michelin LTX BSW All-Season performance
  • Trailer brake connector, new aftermarket electric, under instrument panel, packaged with pigtail in trailer tow groups
  • Wheels, new 17x7.5 inch 5-spoke replace 16x7 inch on Limited model

    New exterior colors:

  • Steel Blue replaces Everglade.
  • Woodland Brown replaces Taupe Frost

    New interior color:

  • Sandstone replaces Camel


  • Body-side pinstripe deleted on Limited
  • Radio (deleted 3-band equalizer)

New features and options for 2002

2002 Laredo
2002 Laredo Sport
Laredo Sport
2002 Special Edition
Special Edition
2002 Limited
2002 Overland

See also Factory wheels and tires,  Overland edition,  Interior colors  and  Exterior colors

New features and options for 2003

2003 Laredo
2003 Limited
2003 Overland

(Originally posted 06/15/02)

New features and options for 2004

2004 Laredo
2004 Special Edition
Special edition
2004 Freedom
Freedom Edition
2004 Limited
2004 Overland

  • Early launch, production started January 2, 2003 (Overland 2/3/03)
  • Nearly identical in features and options to the 2003 model
  • New Freedom Edition model debuted in late March (Production started March 10th)
  • Laredo and Limited models started arriving in showrooms in early February, Overland in March
  • Front fascia refreshening with round fog lamps on all models. Three new "inset" style grille designs with vertical instead of angled "throats" and slight fascia changes.
  • I-6 engine continues as the base engine throughout 2004 model year
  • UConnecttm hands-free, voice-activated communications system, factory installed option built-in to rear-view mirror (late availability?)
  • New RB1 Navigation Radio, factory installed option (except Laredo 2WD). Includes Infinity Gold stereo system with remote 10-Disc CD changer. Also available as a Mopar accessory.
  • Park Distance Sensors - Help with maneuvering in and around parked cars and tight spaces. Four ultrasonic, color-keyed sensors are discreetly integrated into the rear bumper, activating an interior light/sound indicator when you put your vehicle in reverse. Dealer installed option, available April 2003.


  • 4 wheel drive versions only
  • One trim level only, basic "E" Package
  • 4.0L I-6 engine standard, V8 not available
  • New front bumper fascia and grille design
  • Selec-Trac 4WD transfer case standard
  • Optional Quadra-Trac I transfer case (high-range only, no "low" or "neutral")
  • Optional Quadra-Trac II transfer case (on-demand 4WD system)
  • Optional fog lamps, new round style

 Special Edition:

  • Step-up Laredo model
  • New front bumper fascia and grille design
  • Two trim packages: 2WD (standard, "X" package) and 4WD ("T" package)
  • Fog lamps, new round style
  • Body-color front and rear fascias and cladding (like the Limited)
  • Optional 4.7L V8 engine (4WD only)
  • Special Edition badge
  • Available power sunroof, adjustable pedals, Tire Pressure Monitor System, skid plate group

      The Special Edition "T" Package includes the following:

  • Quadra-Trac II NV-247 on-demand 4WD system
  • Infinity Sound System with 10-disc changer
  • Seats, dual front power 6-way
  • HomeLink universal transceiver
  • Vehicle security system
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Cargo shade cover
  • Carpeted front & rear floor mats
  • Dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors
  • Optional Up Country Suspension

 Freedom Edition:

  • Available in 2WD and 4WD versions
  • 4.7L HO V8 engine option
  • New front bumper fascia and grille design
  • Fog lamps, new round style
  • Chrome tow hooks
  • New custom Tubular side rails
  • Silver fascia accent
  • Heavy-duty suspension with gas shocks
  • Silver roof rails
  • Molded cargo tray
  • Outlined white letter P235/65R17 Goodyear Wrangler SR-A all-terrain tires
  • 17-inch Rogue graphite-painted cast aluminum wheels
  • MicroTech instrument panel accents
  • Selec-Trac® full-time four-wheel drive system is standard on 4WD models
  • Limited production edition, March 10th production start
  • Available exterior colors: Red, silver, blue, black and Graphite Metallic.


  • New front bumper fascia and grille design
  • Fog lamps, new round style


  • New front bumper fascia and grille design
  • Fog lamps, new round style
  • Newly designed two-tone leather-trimmed seats with larger seatback bolsters, more supportive seat cushions, new seat fabrics. Dark Slate Gray with Light Slate Gray leather inserts on the seatback and seat bottom
  • Padded center console lid
  • Chrome insert added to bodyside cladding
  • Chrome wheels now standard (real chrome, same as offered in 2001-2003)
  • Overland model continues to be available without the Up Country Suspension package (order code SDA, "Quadra Coil Suspension". As with 2002 and 2003 models, no credit is given for this deletion)
  • Now offered in a 2WD version
  • Midnight Blue Pearl Coat exterior color added (a total of six exterior color options are offered for the Overland in 2004)

 Exterior paint changes:

  • Midnight Blue Pearl Coat replaces Patriot Blue
  • Deep Lava Red Metallic Clear Coat replaces Dark Garnet Red


  • Tire jack moved from spare tire well to under left rear seat

 Deleted items:

  • Tire Pressure Monitor System now 4-Tire for all models
  • Front door courtesy lights
  • No "dead pedal" pad, just plain carpet now

See also:  2004 Photo Gallery     2004 Features and Options.PDF

New features and options for 2005*

  • Complete redesign, with similarities to the WJ (new "WK" series)
  • JOB#1 production start-up July, 2004. WK sales introduction September 2004
  • HEMI engine option
  • IFS (Independant Front Suspension)
  • W5A580 5 speed automatic transmission (Mercedes-Benz developed)
  • Five-link Independent Rear Suspension with load-leveling and height control (?)
  • Standard WK version will be slightly smaller than the Commander concept, with a different front end, round headlights extending above the top of the fascia. Resembles the WJ more than it does the Commander concept.
  • 3.7L engine replaces the I6 for base models; 4.7L engine and 5.7L Hemi engine offered on other models. A new advanced version of the 5.7 Hemi engine may be used on the WK, having a feature called "Cylinder Deactivation". The engine is designed to automatically shut down four of the eight cylinders during light-demand situations, such as highway driving, by electronically controlling the flow of oil to valve lifters. Production of Hemi engines with this new feature will begin in January of 2004
  • Dana deleted: New front axles will use aluminum die-cast components made by Atchison Casting Corp., who will supply the parts to Chrysler's Detroit axle plant.
  • Newly designed side air bags (but why do they hang below the windows??)
  • Overhead console EVIC message center display moved to the newly designed instrument cluster
  • New interior seats with improved structure, thinner and more aggressive style, very "Jeep" like. Limited seats will be very different from those of the Laredo
  • Door-mounted front seat power switches (in "shape of seat" layout?)
  • Upgraded Premium audio system components, by Rockford Fosgate (MY2005 or 2006). WK may use 400-watt Infinity Intermezzo™ system initially (with Subwoofer).
  • "RB6" upgraded NAV system with larger screen, double-din size, center dash mounted. Built-in 6-disc CD changer with CD, CD-R, CD-RW and MP-3 capability. Satellite radio ready. Will also operate optional rear seat DVD video system. The advanced radio system may also contain other integrated features as well as having the ability for future firmware upgrades. See NAV page for photo.
  • Antenna integrated in side window (?)
  • Electronics/communications enhancements and advancements (laptop/computer integration, multiplex wiring)
  • Expanded interior width for increased passenger room and larger cargo volume (80" wide exterior dimensions?)
  • High-Intensity Discharge Headlamps
  • Telescoping steering wheel (?)
  • Power liftgate with obstacle detection system(?)
  • "Intelligent" door hinges that increase the number of door check positions (?)
  • Heated second-row seats (?)
  • Decontenting: Driver side grab handle removed, passenger side is smaller/cheaper

*Note: Features or changes denoted with "(?)" have not been confirmed (for U.S. models), meaning that the information may be preliminary or speculative (or perhaps even wishful thinking, along with some good guesses), and may be subject to change without notice or perhaps even without reason.

(Initial 2005 model year information posted 06/08/2002)

New features and options for 2006*

  • WK shared platform, extended wheelbase luxury "XK" model ("Commander")
  • Front sytle features large round headlight on each side of a vertical Jeep grille
  • 5.7 or 6.1 Hemi engine with cylinder deactivation feature
  • Three-row side curtain air bags
  • Heated first & second row seats (?)
  • Superior off-road capabilities
  • Advanced navigation and audio/ DVD video systems
  • Auto-tire pressure system (?)
  • Advanced safety features
  • Adjustable suspension

*Note: Features or changes denoted with "(?)" have not been confirmed (for U.S. models), meaning that the information may be preliminary or speculative (or perhaps even wishful thinking, along with some good guesses), and may be subject to change without notice or perhaps even without reason.

Home     Main menu