In 1993, Jeep launched the fine-looking Grand Cherokee in response to the success of rivals Ford and their Explorer model. The Grand Cherokee saw Jeep produce a vehicle with their legendary off-road capability but with an improved road ride and larger interior than the Cherokee. At first three models were offered: base model, Laredo and Limited. Jeep stole a march on competitors in the market place with the inclusion of driver's side airbag and all round anti-lock brakes. Notable standard features included full instrument set, cloth interior and 5 speed manual transmission. In addition to this the Laredo came with body cladding, powered mirrors and cruise control. The Limited came with leather seats, Air Con, upgraded stereo system, 4 speed auto transmission and a host of powered parts. The build and design of the Grand Cherokee led to a 105.9 inch wheelbase, 4.5 inches longer than the Cherokee giving more legroom for rear passengers, also the Grand Cherokeewould only be made as a four door model. The motor for the Grand Cherokee was the Jeep 190 BHP, six cylinders 4.0 liter and towards the end of 1993 a 5.2 liter V8 with 220 BHP was launched. This larger engine gave a great advantage over the Grand Cherokee competitors and also gave a towing capability of some 6,500 pounds. In 1994 the Grand Cherokee saw refinements made including all round disc brakes on the Limited, rear seats gained headrests, power sunroof and upgraded stereo system. The base model was renamed "SE" and side impact beams were fitted in the doors improving crash protection. For 1995 Jeep introduced the "Orvis" edition Grand Cherokee in reply to Ford's Eddie Bauer (both Orvis and Bauer are outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturers). The color scheme for this was green paint, red and gold accents and two tone green & champagne interior. Other improvements were increased torque output from 285 - 300 pounds for the V8 engine and deeper tints to side and rear windows. Two new optional extras were available with a flip up tailgate window and integrated child safety seat. Also a two wheel drive version of the limited with six cylinder engine only was launched. Important changes were made to the Grand Cherokee for 1996. Changes were made to the four wheel drive systems, power steering on the Limited models included variable assist (helping with parking and steering at low speed) and service points were highlighted under the engine hood. Changes to the exterior included larger grille, new bumpers, restyled body cladding and new wheels on the Laredo and Limited models. The interior saw dual airbags in the instrument panel and steering wheel, adjustable shoulder belts and optional heated front seats on the Limited models. The limited models also saw steering mounted stereo controls, driver memory system for two drivers, auto dim for side and rear view mirrors, new style seat fabric and CD decks for the stereo system. 1997 saw little in the way of modifications with the availability of the V8 for the two wheel drive model and the six cylinders qualifying for the Californian transitional low emissions vehicle certificate. The anti-lock brake system was improved, the stereo was upgraded, the quality of the carpets improved and new colors were launched including Bright Platinum. Towards the end of the year the sporty Tsi model was launched with 16 inch alloy wheels, leather interior and a top quality stereo. The final year of production for the first generation of Grand Cherokee saw the new 5.9 liter engine Limited launched with a huge 245 BHP and 345 foot - pounds of torque giving 0-60 seconds of 7.3 seconds. Improvements for the rest of the range included improved steering, an under hood light and improved ignition key lock security. The Orvis model ceased production in this year. Author Andrew Whitehead - a self confessed petrol head has owned numerous classic cars from fully restored to basket cases! He now has a website to fuel his passion in all things auto. If you're looking to buy a Used Grand Cherokee then please visit /Jeep/Grand-Cherokee where we focus on putting buyers in touch with sellers across the nation.