Los Angeles: 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine has named the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee the winner of its coveted 4x4 of the Year competition. This is the 23rd year of this enthusiast magazine's in-depth competition of new vehicles, and the tenth time that a Jeep vehicle has taken home the award.
"This award is unique because it pits all eligible four-wheel-drive vehicles against one another," said Rick Pw, editor of 4-Wheel & Off-Road. "We do not separate trucks from SUVs, or fullsize vehicles from compacts. We compare all eligible vehicles and name one winner which we feel is the best 4x4 for that model year." A vehicle from nearly every category has won this award in the past 23 years.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee topped the field of nine competent competitors and ranked above most competitors in almost every category of this year's in depth test, which ranges from the mountains to the deserts. The grueling 1,000-mile test allows the judges to evaluate the performance of each vehicle's suspension, engine, transmission, and transfer case along with the style and creature comforts each vehicle provides. "The Jeep Grand Cherokee continues to build on its heritage in the off road marketplace. This is the 7th time the Jeep Grand Cherokee has won this award, proving it is the leader in off-road capability. The advanced four-wheel-drive traction control system left many competitors in the dust, and the refinement in ride quality and off-road capability pushed the Jeep Grand Cherokee into the winners circle," said Pw. Competitors in 4-Wheel & Off-Road's 2005 4x4 of the Year were the Dodge Dakota, Nissan Frontier, Dodge Power Wagon, Toyota Tacoma, Land Rover LR3, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, Nissan Pathfinder, Jeep Liberty Diesel, and the Grand Cherokee.
To be eligible to compete, a vehicle must have improvements that will make it perform significantly different than the previous model year. Vehicles must also be available for sale before January 15 of the model year, have a production run of at least 2,500 units, and have a two-speed transfer case.
4-Wheel & Off-Road is published monthly by Primedia and is sold worldwide. The complete test results and vehicle evaluations for the 2005 4x4 of the Year competition will be in the February 2005 issue, on sale December 28, 2005.