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JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE NAMED 1993 FOUR WHEELER OF THE YEAR

 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Four Wheeler Magazine, North America's original light-truck enthusiast magazine, has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee winner of the 20th annual Four Wheeler of the Year award.
 "The Grand Cherokee's lightness, quick handling and responsiveness won the hearts of our testers," the magazine reported in their January issue. "With a turning diameter tighter than any other vehicle in this test, the Jeep could maneuver in the tightest box canyons, corner flat through the sharpest hairpin turns, yet also hum down the highway, stable as a pyramid."
 The Jeep was one of a field of four new or substantially revised sport/utilities that included the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Range Rover County LWB, and the Isuzu Trooper. The test route took a diverse group of 10 testers from below sea level to above 6,000 feet over a week-long ride-and-drive test. Testers rotated through the vehicles at regular intervals. The route included gravel roads, sand dunes and backwoods mountain trails most would consider too severe for stock vehicles.
 After driving the 800-mile loop, testers compared and rated the utility vehicles in five weighted performance sections and nine empirical categories.
 In the Performance testing, Mechanical Operation counted for 25 percent of the total; On-Road Ride and Drive, 20 percent; Off- Highway Performance, the most heavily-weighted section, 30 percent; Interior Design, 15 percent; and Exterior Appearance, 10 percent.
 Empirical points accounted for 20 percent of the combined total. Empirical categories were priced as tested, combined average fuel economy, interior noise level, braking distance from 55 mph, ground clearance, payload, turning circle, ramp travel index, and acceleration time to 60 mph from a standing start.
 The Jeep Grand Cherokee garnered the most Off-Highway Performance points and the most On-Road Ride and Drive points, an indication of balanced performance on road and off. In addition, the Grand Cherokee won the Mechanical section, an evaluation of component quality and ease of operation.
 The award is not new to Jeep vehicles. The original Jeep Cherokee won the test in 1974, its first year. The Jeep Cherokee won again in 1984 when the downsized SUV was introduced. And the Grand Cherokee has continued the string with a win in 1993.
 -0- 12/11/92
 /CONTACT: John Stewart of Four Wheeler Magazine, 818-992-4777; or Michael Coates of Chrysler Western News Bureau, 213-622-1644; or Jason Vines of Chrysler, 313-576-8095/


CO: Chrysler Corp.; Jeep ST: California IN: AUT SU:

SE-EH -- LA020 -- 6291 12/11/92 13:59 EST
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Date:Nov 13, 1992
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