Jeep XJ vs. ZJ: Whats The Differences Between Them?

Jeep is a wonderful offroad vehicle with many variants, including wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee. Among all, I think Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are more suitable for both off-road and on-road. XJ and ZJ are two versions of a jeep, where XJ is the 2nd generation of the jeep. 

Cherokee and ZJ are the first of jeep grand Cherokee. In one sentence, ZJ is the slightly bigger and big-budget version of the Jeep Cherokee from every point. Here I will talk about every crucial factor from looks to the engine, history to trim level of jeep XJ vs. ZJ.

Differences Jeep XJ Vs ZJ


Jeep Cherokee has made a great history with producing their first jeep SJ in 1974. Since then, Cherokee has been doing the same in a continuous process. Jeep XJ was first manufactured in 1983 as a model of 1984 in Toledo, Ohio, which is a lowered jeep of their previous version.

This is a smaller and narrower version of the jeep SJ from the creator American motor corporation. This vehicle captured a large European market after selling more significant items in the USA in 1983, and The manufacturer company enlarged their factory from Beijing to Cairo.

On the other hand, ZJ is the first and bigger version of grand Cherokee from the same manufacturer named American motors corporations (AMC). As grand Cherokee’s first-generation vehicle, the manufacturer company tried to input all updated features to get a larger market share of the jeep industry. After giving their best efforts, AMC had reveled their hidden gem in April 1992 as a model of 1993.


jeep xj engine

Jeep Cherokee XJ used a powerful 2.5L AMC 150 engine from the beginning with 105 hp where owners could use gasoline as fuel. But in 1994’s engine, the manufacturer company used a 2.5L turbo diesel engine that was more updated in every aspect. If you were the owner of 2000’s XJ, you could have used diesel as a popular fuel.

ZJ engine

On the other hand, jeep ZJ used a 5.2 L Magnum V8 engine with 114hp from the beginning that was quite better than jeep XJ’s beginning. Grand Cherokee manufacturer always tries to give something better from the engine to look to their customers. In that continuous process, 98 ZJ used a 5.9 L (360 CID) engine that was fully comparable with all other off-road vehicles. 

Anyway, jeep XJ was king of the market until jeep ZJ and SJ came, though; this vehicle was sold in a different market for the next ten years. 

Trim Level

The base was the first trim level of jeep Cherokee XJ with minimum features that were not really comparable to today’s jeep. This trim level was in the market from 84 to 93, where attractive features were full-faced steel wheels and AM radio with two speakers.

After 60th Anniversary trim level in 2001, American motors corporation added 16″ alloy wheels, AM/FM radio with cassette, radio frequency remote keyless entry, and air conditioning in their features list that most distinguishable feature in that time. 

In 1993 to 95 jeep ZJ, the manufacturer used The Base and SE trim level that was closer to the 60th anniversary trim level from the side of features. Vinyl-and-cloth trimmed seating surfaces, and a front high-back bucket seat with four speakers were the main distinguishable features in SE trim level.

After that, Grand Cherokee ZJ launched their last trim level TSI where they tried to add much value to the consumer by providing AM/FM stereo with cassette and CD players, a premium 120-watt Infinity Gold sound system with six speakers, and a security system.

Axle And Suspension 

From the beginning of the jeep XJ, AMC used Dana 30, a straight non-driven axle for the front, and dana 35 84to96 axle for the rear. In addition, Cherokee XJ ensured coil springs in the front side and leaf springs in the rear for better performance as a useful suspension. 

As ZJ is a bigger version of Cherokee, they put The Quadra-Link suspension with a bigger coil for better adjustment. 

Fleet Market

jeep XJ and ZJ had made an immense impact on the USA and Canada fleet market. XJ was performing really cool both off-road and on-road, which was noticed by US police. As there was no scarce of manufacturing, US police had started to buy this one since 1997. Police and government employees bought a large number of vehicles until they found jeep liberty and jeep SJ. 

jeep XJ in fleet market

ZJ also had a powerful impact on the fleet vehicle when they had produced vehicles for Canadian Mail Carriers. In addition, the Japanese domestic market helped US manufacturers to get a larger Canadian vehicle market in 2000. 

Price and looks

ZJ was a beautiful and user-friendly vehicle than all others Cherokee before 2005. However, compared to XJ, it is slightly longer, heavier, and upgraded from engine to wheel position. Actually, I don’t find much difference between these jeep without their size as both are preferable to any highway.

XJ and ZJ are older jeeps, and the price is slightly lower as Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are continuously producing their latest version. Though two vehicles are older versions, they are not out of the market. Still, you can buy anyone though ZJ’s price is a bit higher than a usual Cherokee. 


Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are wonderful vehicles with all their generations. In this article, I have briefly discussed some significant facts of XJ vs ZJ. I have found in my research that Both of them are awesome for your daily driving and offroad trip, though engine capacity, trim level, and looks are not the same. 

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