Introducing the All-New 2005 Jeep WK Grand Cherokee

The off-road legend continues The on-road legend begins

Welcome to the archived feature of the introduction of the 2005  WK Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Want to feature your Jeep? Please get in touch with us and tell us about it!

2005 Grand Cherokee feature highlights



       Engine / Drivetrain:

  • 3.7L V6 engine (standard on Laredo, not available on Limited. Significant upgrades for 2005 include a revised cam profile and new valve lash adjusters. These changes improve the engine smoothness at idle. To ensure quiet operation, a new thick-wall composite manifold is new for 2005, as are structural improvements to the air box and resonator)
  • 4.7L V8 engine (standard on Limited, optional on Laredo. Refined for 2005 – dual knock sensors added, improved NVH characteristics with use of composite valve covers, air box and resonator structural improvements and improved dampening of the heat shields)
  • 5.7L V8 Hemi engine (optional, with Multi-Displacement System and Electronic Throttle Control). The HEMI engine produces 330 hp @5000 rpm and 375 lb-ft @4000 rpm.)
  • W5A580 5-speed automatic transmission (3.7L only)
  • 545RFE 5-speed automatic transmission (4.7L and 5.7L only, refined for higher-quality shifts)
  • Transmission Electronic Range Select (ERS, “Auto-Stick”, available on both transmissions)
  • New gated automatic transmission shifter for smoother gear selection. A high-quality chrome trim bezel surrounds the gated shifter
  • Quadra-Trac®, Quadra-Trac® II and Quadra-Drive® II 4WD systems
  • New transfer cases, NV140 (single speed, full-time 4WD) and NV245 (full-time active four-wheel drive)
  • Electronic “T-handle” lever switches between 4WD Low and 4WD High ranges (NV245 only)
  • Electronic Limited Slip Differentials replace Vari-Lock progressive axles that were used on the previous Quadra-Drive system
  • Aluminum Slip-in-Tube Propshaft with higher stiffness, lower mass and superior damping characteristics. This design solved vehicle NVH issues that competitor products could not by taking advantage of Slip-in-Tube’s inherent higher stiffness, lower mass and superior damping characteristics, enabling the new Grand Cherokee to be quieter than its replacement.

Exterior features:


  • A 60 percent increase in overall torsional and bending stiffness compared to the prior model, which gives the WK excellent on- and off-road performance and allows the body to remain tight and quiet.
  • Longer wheelbase (+3.6″) and wider track for improved stability and ride without sacrificing maneuverability
  • Independent Front Suspension, all-new short and long arm setup with single-piece nodular iron control arms for higher ground clearance; all-new aluminum knuckles, coil-over shocks
  • Front suspension wheel travel is increased 10 percent over the previous generation WJ (+ 1″)
  • Tailgate flipper glass with electric release and self-rising feature
  • New rack-and-pinion steering system for a more precise steering feel
  • Painted body color grille for Laredo models, chrome-plated grille for Limited models.
  • SmartBeam® headlamp system with high-performance halogen headlamps (automatically dim with oncoming traffic, variable 25%-100%)
  • Laredo cladding eliminated
  • Spare tire now located on underside of vehicle
  • Hood, air dam and exterior mirrors wind tunnel developed to minimize wind noise and maximize aerodynamics.
  • Flatter windshield for improved vehicle aerodynamics
  • Proportionately longer hood and greater distance between the center of the front axle and base of windshield
  • Unibody (4×4), Uniframe (4×2) made by Valient

Interior features:


  • All-New interior with a two-tone instrument panel, door trim and new finishes. Increased seat track travel and increased headroom
  • New custom developed top grain perforated leather seats with a Royale Grain embossment. Both leather and cloth seats are of a European structure and purpose-built and designed for long-distance comfort (2-tone leather standard on Limited, single-tone optional on Laredo)
  • Double-DIN size navigation radio with integrated 6-disc changer and 5.8″ screen
  • Boston Acoustics six-speaker audiophile sound system with 280-watt digital amplifier and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology
  • SIRIUS Satellite Radio offered as a factory-installed option
  • Redesigned instrument cluster with 140 MPH speedometer and built-in EVIC (Electronic Vehicle Information Center).
  • Reduced instrument panel gaps and parting lines are minimized
  • Message center with record function (in navigation radio)
  • UConnect hands-free phone option incorporated into rearview mirror
  • Rear seat air vents (mounted at top rear of center console)
  • Easier entry/exit to rear seats
  • Rear seats now fold down with a single-action operation
  • Multiple storage bins added for additional storage
  • DVD Rear Seat Video™ overhead entertainment, 7″ headliner-mounted LCD TFT screen, single-disc CD/DVD player w/AUX inputs, remote control & two wireless headphones. Requires premium or navigation radio.
  • Cargo area reversible floor panel; carpeted on one side, storage trays on the other side

Safety features:


  • Dynamic Handling System (DHS, hydraulic-controlled active stabilizer system for significantly reduced body roll and smoother ride)
    NOTE: Late availability, March 2005. See DHS
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP, for maintaining vehicle directional stability)
  • Gas tank relocated in front of rear axle for 50 mph collision protection
  • Two new Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
  • BeltAlert enhanced seat belt reminder system
  • Advanced multi-stage air bags including an occupant classification system for the front passenger seat
  • Longer and wider wheelbase for improved rollover resistance
  • Passenger air bag off switch on center dash
  • Auto-reversing side windows, auto-reversing sunroof
  • Rear Park Assist obstacle detection system


For a complete list of options see  WK features, options and packages


Introducing the All-New 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee


  • Inside and Outside, the Grand Cherokee Cuts a Trail No Other SUV Can Follow
  • Innovative 4 X 4 Systems Continue to Set the Benchmark for Off-road Capability and On-road Refinement
  • Available 5.7-Liter HEMI® V-8 Engine Takes Grand Cherokee Performance to a New Level

The all-new 2005 Jeep® Grand Cherokee raises the performance bar to a new level by offering improved capability and superior on-road ride and handling in a well-appointed package with a number of premium amenities.

With best-in-class tractive capability and best-in-class power, the newest generation Jeep Grand Cherokee is designed, engineered and built to master every imaginable day-to-day driving condition, whether on paved or unpaved surfaces.

“The Jeep Brand continues to be the only American brand dedicated solely to the sport-utility market,” said Jeff Bell, Chrysler Group Vice President – Jeep. “Customers expect every Jeep to set the standard for off-road capability, and the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee will not disappoint. What is unexpected is that the Jeep Grand Cherokee will also be the leader in on-road performance excitement.”

Class Leading 4-Wheel Drive Capabilities

Three new full-time four-wheel-drive systems are available on Grand Cherokee:

Quadra-Trac® I utilizes the NV140 single-speed transfer case to provide convenient full-time four-wheel drive with no transfer case lever to shift or driver interaction required. Offering a single-speed transfer case attracts a new group of buyers to the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup and builds on the capable, entry-level, two-wheel drive versions, which currently account for approximately 25 percent of Jeep vehicle sales.

Quadra-Trac® II incorporates the new NV245 transfer case that provides full-time active four-wheel drive, which anticipates and prevents wheel slip for optimum traction during a wide range of conditions. The NV245 also includes electronic shift with a true low-range gear and neutral for towing the Grand Cherokee behind another vehicle.

Quadra-Drive® II takes unparalleled Jeep capability to an even higher plateau using Electronic Limited Slip Differentials (ELSD) to give customers the ultimate in off-road capability. ELSD replace the Vari-Lock progressive axles used on the Quadra-Drive system from previous generation Jeep vehicles for even quicker response to changing conditions and greater torque capacity.

New Engines Delivering Superior Performance

For the first time ever, the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine is available on a Jeep vehicle to provide best-in-class power. The HEMI engine produces 330 hp (246 kW) @5000 rpm and 375 lb-ft (502 N•m) @4000 rpm.). Also, the 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 will replace and deliver even more peak power than the previous 4.0-liter I-6 engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup. The 4.7-liter SOHC V-8 engine will also continue to be available on Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Jeep Grand Cherokee is the first sport-utility vehicle to offer the Multi-Displacement System (MDS). MDS deactivates half the cylinders of the 5.7-liter HEMI during cruising and light acceleration to increase fuel economy by up to 20 percent, depending on driving conditions. Ninety percent of peak torque is available from 2400 to 5100 rpm for excellent performance while trailer towing, traveling off-road as well as city and highway driving. A sophisticated Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) system tailors throttle response to pedal movement based on operating conditions, and maintains more consistent vehicle speed on rolling grades when cruise control is active than the former mechanical throttle control system.

With approximately seven percent less displacement, the 3.7-liter V-6 produces more peak power than the 4.0-liter I-6 engine it replaces, while producing comparable torque. The engine also provides smoother, quieter operation, added durability, and contributes to better packaging. This engine, first introduced on Jeep Liberty and Dodge Ram models, shares many design features with the 4.7-liter Power Tech V-8 engine.

All-New Suspension and Steering System Provides Best-in-Class Ride and Handling

An all-new independent front suspension provides the driver with a greater sense of precision and control, more precise steering, and reduces vehicle weight and head toss. Front suspension wheel travel is increased 13 percent over the previous generation vehicle, and a tight turning diameter of 37.1 ft. is improved over the current Jeep Grand Cherokee to provide even more nimble handling.

The new five-link rear suspension geometry, including a track bar, also improves lateral stiffness to match that of the front suspension for optimum handling.

The innovative Dynamic Handling System (DHS) is a Chrysler Group first application of a hydraulic-controlled active stabilizer system. DHS delivers a high level of driver confidence by significantly reducing body roll, resulting in sportier handling when turning or maneuvering, while providing a smoother ride when traveling straight ahead.

Also offered for the first time, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) aids the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability in severe driving maneuvers on any type of surface. Using signals from sensors throughout the vehicle, the system determines the appropriate brake and throttle adjustments for directional stability of the vehicle.

Grand Cherokee’s new rack-and-pinion steering system imparts a more precise steering feel translated to the driver through fewer linkages than a recirculating ball steering system. Even with the 2.5-inch increase in track, Grand Cherokee’s nimbleness and tight turning diameter are maintained with the new steering system.

All-New Five-Speed Automatic Offers Premium Refinement

An all-new five-speed automatic transmission offers smooth shifts and optimum fuel economy with the 3.7-liter V-6. The carryover 545RFE five-speed automatic transmission used with the 4.7-liter V-8 and 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI has been refined for higher-quality shifts while increasing the Grand Cherokee’s maximum towing capacity.

Both transmissions feature Electronic Range Select (ERS) driver interactive shift control for the first time on Grand Cherokee. The shifter provides fully-automated shifting when in the “drive” position, or the driver can manually select each gear by simply moving the shifter left and right from the “drive” position. This gives the driver control to precisely match any on-road or off-road driving requirement.

A new stamped steel transfer case skid plate mounts to the transmission cross member and fuel tank skidplate to provide off-road protection to the transfer case.

Legendary Grand Cherokee Size, Styling and Comfort

Grand Cherokee’s new design provides a contemporary return of an athletic appearance. Up front, the signature seven-slot grille fianked by the functional round appearance high-performance halogen headlamps boldly dominates the design statement. These round headlamps unify the unmistakable front-end appearance of the entire Jeep lineup. A proportionally longer hood and greater distance between the center of the front axle and base of the windshield visually communicates a more powerful image. A flatter windshield and fatter A-pillar achieves a more athletic appearance. The overall design also helps to improve vehicle aerodynamics and vehicle fuel economy. The body is shrink-wrapped to the package, enabling designers to emphasize the powerful wheel flares. Larger taillamps in the rear feature red and clear lenses for an upscale appearance. Overall, the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee preserves the right-size package that is critical for off-road use and provides nimble on-road handling.

All-New Interior Provides Next Generation Sophistication

Grand Cherokee’s new interior is rich and inviting with a two-tone instrument panel, door trim and new finishes. Seat contours are precise and ergonomic with increased seat track travel. Increased headroom adds a feeling of even more spaciousness to the interior. The dramatic and elegant instrument panel design offers a high degree of precision and control.

In the cargo area, versatility and storage reign. A new reversible load floor panel is carpeted on one side and offers easy-to-clean plastic on the other. The plastic side includes a large shallow tray for additional utility.

The all-new 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers premium amenities – including GPS Navigation radio, a rear seat DVD entertainment system, Boston Acoustics audio system with Digital Signal Processing, UConnect™ hands-free communication system, Smart Beam® headlamps, Sirius satellite radio, Adjustable pedals and on Limited models only, a dual zone heating, ventilation & air conditioning system.

Also new on the 2005 Grand Cherokee are enhanced safety and security features, including front and side air bags with protection from A to C pillars, tire pressure monitoring systems, available rear park assist, and occupant classification system.

“Whether it’s going into the outback or to the opera, the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee has the elegance, sophisticated style and capability to get owners where they want to be, whenever they want,” said Bell. “ We stayed true to our go-anywhere, do-anything Jeep 4 x 4 heritage that customers want, and we also took the refinement, handling and overall enjoyment well beyond customers’ expectations.”

Steady Diet Consisting of Success, Subtlety, Segment Dominance

At a time when fad diets and an obsession with being svelte are trendy, it’s somewhat ironic that oversized sport-utility vehicles (SUV) are in fashion at all. This makes the functionally efficient capability and timeless design of the all-new 2005 Jeep® Grand Cherokee a breath of fresh air to customers. When the refinement, comfort and smooth ride that define the 2005 Grand Cherokee are combined with Jeep’s unwavering capability and off-road readiness, customers truly get exactly what they want.

“This is a Jeep that stands out in its segment because it remains true to its form and function,” said Rick Aneiros, Chrysler Group Vice President Jeep/Truck Design. “The result is nothing short of an authentic Jeep.”

Sleek, yet Substantial Exterior Form

The 2005 Grand Cherokee’s new design offers an athletic and contemporary appearance with its upright and substantial posture. Up front, the signature seven-slot grille boldly dominates the front view. On the Grand Cherokee Laredo, the grille will offer a painted body color look, while a chrome-plated grille will accent the Limited.

“The challenge with Jeep design is to capture that limitless capability and attitude with an appearance that is fresh, fitting and timeless,” said John Sgalia, Chrysler Group Director Jeep Interior and Exterior Design. “Additionally, there are certain elements that can’t change on a Jeep because our customer base is so knowledgeable and has very specific demands.”

High-performance halogen headlamps employ a rounded traditional Jeep appearance and gracefully integrate into a powerful hood form. The hood features sophisticated nacelles – hood forms that protect and shelter the headlamps. The hood, air dam and exterior mirrors were developed in the Chrysler Group’s wind tunnel in Auburn Hills, Michigan, to minimize wind noise and maximize aerodynamics.

The shape of the body has been thoughtfully designed to protect the sides of the vehicle from potential road debris thrown off the tires. The heavy and expensive cladding used on the previous model is replaced with a more efficient body-side shape and moldings that are incorporated into the design. The body-side molding also has the integrated Grand Cherokee name for a quality look and feel.

At the side, a proportionately longer hood and greater distance between the center of the front axle and base of windshield visually communicates more engine emphasis to achieve a more powerful image.

At the rear, larger taillamps feature red and clear lenses for a look that presents a luxurious feel without being gaudy. Badges are now injection-molded and chrome-plated to communicate a richness and sense of precision.

“The Grand Cherokee driver expects a level of comfort and refinement and also wants to know the legendary Jeep capability and core values are still there when they need them,” said Mark Allen, Chrysler Group Design Manager and the 2005 Grand Cherokee’s exterior designer. “With Grand Cherokee, it is confidence off-road and comfort on-road. The 2005 model was designed with that credo.”

Beauty that is More than Skin Deep

The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee blends the best of both worlds, taking capability and refinement to new levels, proving there’s no reason a capable vehicle can’t be comfortable and polished. A new and inviting interior awaits occupants with a rich two-tone instrument panel treatment, new door trims and upscale interior finishes.

The seats are beautifully crafted with contours that are precise,firm and ergonomic, featuring a new robust European structure. They are purpose-built and designed for long-distance comfort with trim styles different for each model: Laredo features cloth and optional leather while Limited seats are two-tone leather with perforated leather seat inserts.

The dramatic and elegant instrument panel design offers a high degree of precision. Gaps have been reduced and parting lines minimized. The instrument panel features a dark upper color and lighter lower color. Multiple storage bins have been added for additional storage.

“A successful effort was made to limit the amount of joints and pieces in the interior,” said Clyde Ney, Chrysler Group Jeep Design Manager and the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s interior designer. “Quality isn’t just the workings of the interior but the perception the customer feels when they are within the vehicle. The touch points – elegance, the sound the switches make, the fit and finish, the textures and lighter colors – are all vital to a quality experience because that’s where the occupants literally live while traveling.”

A new precise four-gauge instrument cluster with LED illumination features black gauges surrounded by chrome accent rings and red pointers for easy-to-read legibility in all lighting conditions.

Another significant feature is the new gated automatic transmission shifter, also providing for smoother gear selection. A high-quality chrome trim bezel surrounds the gated shifter. On models with a two-speed transfer case, the traditional manual case lever is replaced with an electric “T-handle” lever that interacts better with the transfer case. A momentary pull rearward on the lever selects between 4-Low and 4-Hi, and returns to its original position. There is a parcel bin for cell phones and other such items to the right of the shifter.

The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be produced at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, starting in the third quarter of 2004. Assembly for markets outside North America will begin in the first quarter of 2005 at the Magna Steyr assembly plant in Graz, Austria.