The 1989 Beijing BJ 2021 Cherokee was a compact sports utility vehicle manufactured by Beijing Jeep Corporation for the Chinese market. It is the Chinese version of the Jeep Cherokee XJ produced in America by American Motors Corporation (AMC) and later Chrysler. Our Cargister team took a look at the history and techincal specs of this classic jeep.
History of the 1989 Beijing BJ 2021 Cherokee
Beijing Jeep Corporation began producing the BJ 2021 Cherokee in 1985 after partnering with American Motors Corporation. AMC wanted to reach the Chinese market, leading to a joint venture with Beijing Jeep.
The 1989 Beijing BJ 2021 used the same design as the original 1985 BJ 2021. However, the history of the vehicle goes back to World War II. The US military entered a contract with Willys-Overland to produce the first Jeeps.
After the war, Willys-Overland began producing civilian Jeeps. The company eventually merged with Kaiser Motors. AMC purchased the Jeep brand from Kaiser in 1970 and started producing the Jeep Cherokee XJ in 1983.
Beijing Jeep originally produced two versions of the Jeep Cherokee XJ in 1985: the BJ 7250 with rear-wheel drive and the BJ 2021 with four-wheel drive. The BJ 2021 closely matched the Cherokee XJ but with a raised roof in the rear.
Chrysler purchased AMC in 1987. As part of the acquisition, Chrysler continued to work with Beijing Jeep to produce cars in China. By 1989, Beijing Jeep had been producing the BJ 2021 for five years.
In 2004, Daimler AG partnered with Chrysler, which led to a name change for Beijing Jeep. The company became Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler and stopped producing the BJ 2021 a year later.
Features and Technical Specs for the 1989 Beijing BJ 2021 Cherokee
The 1989 version of the BJ 2021 Cherokee had five doors and seating for five. The front included two captain’s chairs. The rear included a standard bench seat.
The BJ 2021 was equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 4-speed transmission. Here is a quick look at some of its main technical specifications:
- Engine size: 2466cc
- Engine cylinders: four cylinders
- Horsepower: 101 HP
- Engine RPM: 5000 RPM
- Torque: 179 Nm
- Torque RPM: 2800 RPM
- Weight: 1480 kilograms
- Length: 4290mm
- Width: 1800mm
- Height: 1620mm
- Wheelbase: 2580mm
The BJ 2021 Cherokee was based on the AMC Jeep Cherokee XJ, which included many of the same specifications. However, the American version produced up to 121 horsepower compared to the 101 horsepower from the BJ 2021.
The American model was also available with an upgraded 4-liter fuel-injected 6-cylinder engine that boosted the horsepower to 173 HP. Yet, the same option was not introduced in the BJ 2021 until 1993.
1989 Beijing BJ 2021 Cherokee Performance
The Beijing BJ 2021 was known for its reliability in rugged environments. It could handle rough terrain and drove well in the city. Compared to other vehicles of the time, the BJ 2021 was also relatively roomy.
The cabin was more spacious compared to station wagons and early sports utility vehicles (SUVs). The rear of the vehicle also offered more cargo space. Instead of a short trunk, the entire rear portion of the vehicle could be loaded with cargo, as with modern SUVs and other Jeeps.