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3/4 Front Glamour 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Introduction

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a classic. Introduced more than a decade ago and redesigned five years ago, it lacks the refinement found in the latest wave of SUVs. Yet our 2004 Grand Cherokee drew admiring glances and comments everywhere it went. People were fawning over it. Granted, it was an Inferno Red Overland model. Granted, the 2004 models feature a new front fascia that updates and freshens the looks. The point is, people still love the Grand Cherokee even though it's been a familiar site for some time now. And they continue to buy them. Grand Cherokee ranks among the best-selling SUVs in America. Jeep sells about 220,000 Grand Cherokees a year. That's a whole big bunch. Grand Cherokee sales outrank such popular nameplates as Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, Expedition, and Durango. And the imports don't even come close. In one month, September 2003, Jeep sold 16,410 Grand Cherokees, which would not be a bad half-year for the Mercedes M-Class or BMW X5. This drives other manufacturers crazy. The marketing people for every SUV sold in America list Grand Cherokee as a competitor simply because Jeep sells so many of them. Why is Grand Cherokee so successful? For starters, everyone knows what it is. The Jeep Grand Cherokee combines luxury with impressive off-road capability. It served as a symbol of success throughout the 1990s. You could park a Limited with gold wheels and matching gold pinstripe in your driveway and everyone would know you'd achieved the American dream. Grand Cherokee is a solid vehicle that can go anywhere. It can tackle steep slopes, slog through mud, and plow through snow. It's reasonably quick with the available high-output 4.7-liter V8. It was completely redesigned for 1999. It has been continuously revised since for improved ride quality, easier steering effort, improved brake pedal feel, and increased safety and convenience. Grand Cherokee is luxuriously appointed yet competitively priced. Its interior is attractive and tastefully trimmed in handsome wood. Its list of features looks impressive. MSRPs range from $26,980 for a six-cylinder 2WD Laredo to $38,995 for a 4WD Overland with a V8. Rebates of $3,000 and zero-percent financing can sweeten the deal. But there's no question that this is a dated product. Hordes of new SUVs offer a smoother ride, better handling and more refinement. Grand Cherokee has a relatively rough ride. Its new navigation screen is relatively small (though the system itself is modern and the screen works great for displaying radio stations). Its radio buttons are small, fussy and hard to operate. And in many other ways it does not feel like a contemporary product. Also, most SUV buyers confine their driving to paved trails so go-anywhere capability is not a priority. An all-new Grand Cherokee is on the horizon for the 2005 model year. Until then, the current model strives to deliver the American dream.

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