As the name implies, the 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee improves on the Jeep Cherokee in almost every way. Retaining the excellent off-road capabilities of its counterpart, it's larger, more powerful, performs better on roadways, and has a more comfortable interior. Of course, it's significantly more expensive than the Cherokee, but many drivers find it to be money well spent.
The 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee makes an excellent family vehicle and day-to-day driver for people than can afford it. The roadway handling closely resembles a smaller car rather than a cumbersome truck-like handling common in SUVs. The only negative aspects are the large size, which can make it difficult to park, and the low fuel economy, which makes it expensive to operate. Otherwise, the Grand Cherokee is a large, spacious vehicle with excellent handling and more than ample off-road capabilities.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter six-cylinder, 5.2-liter eight-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Jeep Grand Cherokee TSi, Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis
The 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee introduces the new model, the TSi. The integrated child safety seat is no longer available, and the 5.2-liter eight-cylinder engine is offered with the two-wheel-drive option. Moreover, the existing systems have been refined to improve performance.
The 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a midsize SUV, measuring in at 177.2 inches long with a wheel base of 105.9 inches. It's a full foot longer than the original Cherokee. Standard equipment includes steel wheels and a roof rack, whereas optional features include alloy wheels, fog lights, and a camper towing package.
The 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee is far more opulent than the original Cherokee. Even with standard equipment, the Grand Cherokee offers more. All models get standard equipment including cruise control, air conditioning, leather trim steering wheel, power windows, power locks, keyless entry, rear window defroster, rear window wiper, AM/FM radio, and a cassette player. Optional features also include power heated mirrors, overhead console, power sunroof, CD player, Infinity audio, power seats, leather seats, and an anti-theft system.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee keeps performance as the high point, and it outperforms most of the competition with ease. As long as the driver gets four-wheel drive installed, it performs just as well as the Jeep Cherokee off road. Unusually, the Grand Cherokee also handles itself exceptionally on roadways. It may not perform quite as well as a car or minivan, but it doesn't have the cumbersome, truck-like feel common in SUVs.
The 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee gets standard features such as dual-front airbags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Furthermore, traction control is available on every Grand Cherokee model.
EPA Fuel Economy
Jeep Grand Cherokee, six-cylinder: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Jeep Grand Cherokee, eight-cylinder: 12/17 mpg city/highway
- Excellent performance
- Spacious interior
- Anti-lock brakes are standard
You Won't Like
- Poor gas mileage
- Options are slightly overpriced
An upgraded Cherokee with many features.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Ford Expedition
- GMC Yukon
- Lincoln Navigator
- Nissan Pathfinder