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2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sport Utility

4dr Laredo 4WD

Starting at | Starting at 15 MPG City - 20 MPG Highway

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  • $27,835 original MSRP
Printable Version

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sport Utility

Printable Version

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sport Utility


2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Source: New Car Test Drive


Jeep's Grand Cherokee was one of the forerunners to the current SUV craze, and it's been around long enough--a decade now--that you might think of it as old news. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It got a complete redesign in 1999 that brought a roomier, more comfortable cabin and smoother engines, which helped it maintain healthy sales.

For 2002 a new top-line Overland model has been introduced, with a standard combination of formerly optional equipment that includes suede leather seat inserts and the full complement of hard-core off-road pieces such as skid plates, raised suspension and limited-slip axles.

The Grand Cherokee successfully rides on the thin ice of appealing to four-wheel-drive fashion while actually offering true off-road capability. This is the hard-core off-roader of the class, but it's trimmed to keep up with the boulevard-cruising pavement SUVs.

Model Lineup

Four models are available: Laredo ($25,500); Sport ($25,425); Limited ($30,345); Overland ($34,905).

Laredo comes with the standard 195-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine, and a popular variety of power amenities.

Sport foregoes some amenities for the standard 235-horsepower V8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission.

Limited gets loaded with luxury amenities and starts with the base six-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic.

Overland is loaded with luxury equipment, the strongest engine, and the most hard-core off-road features as standard, and comes only as a four-wheel-drive model.

As indicated, three engines are available: the 4.0-liter inline-6; the 4.7-liter V8 rated at 235 horsepower; and the high-output 4.7-liter V8 rated at 260 horsepower.

All Grand Cherokees except the Overland come standard with rear-wheel drive, but that seems like buying a Louisville Slugger just to hit rocks. Four-wheel drive is the soul of the Grand Cherokee and the two full-time systems are available on the Laredo, Sport and Limited models for about $2000 additional.


The current Grand Cherokee retains its trademark slightly slab-sided look, which has always made this Jeep one of the most handsome SUVs in a crowded segment. There's no mistaking it for something else. The current model is three inches longer than pre-1999 versions but rides on the same wheelbase. Slightly rounded edges and a subtle bulge to the roofline have done nothing to mar an instantly recognizable shape.

Interior Features

Our Overland's adjustable pedal option moves the brake and throttle pedals up to three inches closer to accommodate shorter drivers, but if you're a six-footer with proportional legs, you'll leave the pedals all the way forward. Couples of varying heights will appreciate that the system is tied into the key fob operated memory, so you can program it to adjust to predetermined settings depending upon which driver is entering the wagon.

New for 2002 is electroluminescent lighting on the gauges--the dials appear to glow at night compared to conventional gauge lighting where the pointers and numerals are lit against a darker background. It's a pleasing look.

The front seats are comfortable, with thickly padded longitudinal ribs, but they seem a bit cushy for serious off-road driving. The bottom cushion has ridges to keep you in place, but the backrest has no lateral support. This makes it easy to slide into while wearing a bulky coat, but when you charge into a hard corner such as an entrance ramp that leads onto a 65-mph freeway, you may need to use the door to hold yourself in place.

Rear legroom is tight. That hurts on the marathon runs with four fishing buddies, but you won't notice much cramping on an evening with two couples. Climbing into the back seats is much easier than before, however, because the rear doors are wider.

More space is available for cargo because the spare tire was moved from its upright position on the left rear side of the cargo compartment to lie down under the load floor. As a result, you'll have to lift groceries a bit higher because the load floor is relatively high.

The Overland's wood and leather steering wheel isn't as plush or thick as a similarly styled Jaguar wheel, though it has remote stereo switches on the front of its horizontal spokes. That feature relieves the long reach to the dashboard for the radio controls. The long reach is a function of the high seating position. It's also tough to tell at first glance, but the Overland's Redwood Burl inserts in the dash and door panels are real wood.

The initial view from the driver's seat leaves you with the impression the hood is too high, but it slopes down on its sides, so your vision isn't blocked while turning.

Driving Impressions

The new high-output 4.7-liter V8 is lively. It produces a noticeable 25-horsepower increase over the standard 4.7-liter V8. To get this boost, you need to fill the Overland with premium fuel, since the primary reason for the extra power is a bump in the engine's compression ratio from 9.3:1 to 9.7:1. The more powerful engine also uses more of the pricier fuel, sucking down a gallon for every 13 miles on the EPA's city test cycle. That's one mpg worse than the standard 4.7-liter V8, and the Jeep's fuel tank keeps its 20.5-gallon capacity, so overall range is reduced.

The high-output 4.7-liter V8 accelerates the Grand Cherokee smoothly, and it sounds refined. It produces 260 horsepower at 5100 rpm and 330 pounds-feet of torque at 3600, compared with the standard 4.7-liter V8's 235 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 295 pounds-feet of torque at 3200 rpm. In other words, it produces more power, but revs higher to do that.

The five-speed automatic transmission that comes standard with the V8 engines shifts unobtrusively. Hurrying up a mountain or around weekend-warrior crazies is a breeze with the higher second gear. With two overdrive gears, cruising on the highway at 70 mph means the engine is turning over at just 2000 rpm in fifth. You can brag to your friends that this transmission is actually a six-speed automatic: There are two second-gear ratios, a low second gear ratio for upshifting from first and a higher second gear ratio for downshifting from third. No more than five gears, however, are used in sequence.

The long-travel throttle pedal made our Overland seem sluggish off the line, but this is a perceptual illusion. Experienced off-road drivers prefer a longer pedal travel for precise manipulation of the throttle in tricky situations. Deliberate mashing of the throttle pedal brings a quick launch, quicker than most other SUVs in this class. That's due in part to the relative light weight of the Jeep, whose figure is kept trim by its unitbody construction; many truck-based SUVs are built on a separate frame. This unusual design strategy, also used by the smaller Nissan Pathfinder and Mitsubishi's Montero, results in a platform that is lighter and more rigid than it would be using more traditional designs. This relative light weight helps the Jeep feel faster and more responsive than most V8 SUVs, especially the huge Tahoes and Expeditions.

A surprisingly tight turning circle adds to the Jeep's spirited, nimble feel when maneuvering in close-quarters. But the reality is that it's a big, heavy truck. In most street driving conditions, the Grand Cherokee drives like a truck, with a tall, body-rolling ride. Off-road, or driving down a bumpy, rutted rural lane, it feels controlled and steady. It feels more buttoned down, more maneuverable, and more fun to drive than your neighbor's (pre-2002) Explorer. There's no need to slow down for rough railroad crossings in the Grand Cherokee.

Steering is quick but isolated, despite sophisticated tuning of the front engine cradle and front suspension and steering component mounts. When you turn the wheel you can't feel how much the front tires want to slip on pavement. You don't really steer the Grand Cherokee as much as guide it. But that's the same for all of the top-selling sport-utilities. Like them, the Jeep is still a truck, sitting tall, rolling side-to-side in corners and high winds.

Our 2002 Overland stopped confidently, but with the telltale dive motion of a high-riding off-roader. The Overland's standard off-road suspension lifts the body an inch higher than the standard suspension.

Underneath, the Grand Cherokee still sits atop live axles. The trend among competing sport-utilities is to use independent suspensions for better highway performance. Jeep's new Liberty has an independent front suspension and the 2002 Ford Explorer uses an independent rear suspension. But the big Jeep's live axles are only a drawback on washboard-rutted roads, where the wagon will bounce itself sideways at speed.

The Grand Cherokee is good at staying pointed straight ahead on bumpy roads. A triangle link locates the rear axle, and is directly responsible for keeping the body squarely over the axle. Careful tuning of suspension and drivetrain mounts allows the live axles of the Jeep a lot of compliant movement. The axles move and pivot on large bumps and dirt holes where the independent suspensions of other SUVs reach their limits of travel and ultimately toss about the occupants inside.

Off road, the Grand Cherokee requires fewer try-and-fail attempts to conquer obstacles. It will instill trail-driving confidence you never had, particularly if you know a few off-road skills, such as lifting both feet off the pedals while the Jeep is engine-braking down a mud-slicked embankment, or keeping both feet on both pedals while creeping over a pile of wet logs. You'll learn to make use of the long throttle pedal travel as you finesse the accelerator on slick obstacles.

Two four-wheel-drive systems are available: The lower priced Selec-trac system features a planetary center differential with a fixed amount of torque apportioned to the front and rear axles. The optional Quadra-trac II system varies torque automatically between the front and rear axles depending upon which has more traction. Both four-wheel-drive systems have a low-range transfer case, which also locks the center differentials for maximum traction. In addition, limited-slip differentials are available for the rear axle or both front and rear axles.


Jeep Grand Cherokee is a popular choice for families on the go who like its rugged image. We think, however, that it's creeping too close to the $40,000 mark in Overland guise.

It tracks like Daniel Boone through the backcountry, and Jeep claims that a higher than average percentage of its customers use their vehicles for that purpose. Indeed, only Land Rovers and Toyotas can compete with Jeep when it comes to trail running. When the going gets rough, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a thoughtful design that delivers.


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Laredo ($25,500); Laredo 4WD ($27,470); Sport ($25,425); Limited ($30,345); Limited 4WD ($32,775); Overland 4WD ($36,905)
Engines: 195-hp 4.0-liter ohv 12-valve inline-6; 235-hp 4.7-liter sohc 16-valve V8; 260-hp 4.7-liter sohc 16-valve V8
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic; 5-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): ABS, traction control, front airbags
Safety equipment (optional): side-impact head-curtain airbags front and outboard rear
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Detroit, Michigan; Graz, Austria

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Overland ($36,905)
Standard equipment: power windows, keyless remote power locks, power heated mirrors with memory, heated power front leather seats with driver's side memory, fog lights, garage door opener, automatic headlights, roof rails, skid plates on front suspension, transfer case, and fuel tank, cruise control, leather and wood tilting steering wheel with remote stereo controls, power sunroof, front tow hooks, rain-sensing wipers
Options as tested (MSRP): adjustable pedals ($185); class IV trailer hitch, wiring and power steering cooler ($255); tire pressure monitor ($150); chrome wheels ($870)
Destination charge: ($600)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $ 38,965
Layout: full-time four-wheel drive
Engine: 4.7-liter sohc 16-valve V8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 260 @ 5100
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 330 @ 3600
Transmission: five-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 13/18 mpg
Wheelbase: 105.9 in.
Length/width/height: 181.6/72.6/70.3 in.
Track, f/r: 59.5/59.5 in.
Turning circle: 37.4 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.7/56.5/41.4 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 39.5/52.4/35.3 in.
Trunk volume: 72.3 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 6500 Lbs.
Suspension, f: solid axle
Suspension, r: solid axle
Ground clearance: 8.3 in.
Curb weight: 4364 lbs.
Tires: P235/65R17
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 20.5 gal.



Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of January 02, 2002.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-925-JEEP - www.jeep.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.


Printable Version

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sport Utility

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

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Passenger Crash Grade

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Rollover Resistance

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Side Impact Crash Test - Front

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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Opt
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std


Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 7 Years/70,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Jeep Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-Years/100,000-Miles (whichever comes first). Powertrain Limited Warranty runs from the date vehicle was sold as new.

3-Month/3,000-Mile Maximum Care Warranty. Starts on the date of the CPOV sale, or at the expiration of the remaining 3/36 Basic New Vehicle Warranty.

A deductible may apply. See dealer for details or call 1-800-677-5782
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 125
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sport Utility

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