Introduced in 1974 as a full sized V8 suv. It shared the same body style with the Wagoneer, but was less expensive and aimed more to young buyers. The most popular were 2 door models that competed with the Ford Bronco and Chevy Blazer, but a 4 door version was produced.
In 1984 the Cherokee was downsized to a boxier design that would become the birth of the small 4 door SUV. 2 Door models were still produced but lost popularity in the 90's. The Cherokee continued on it's 1984 design until 2001, making it one of the longest produced designs in history. It was only given one face lift in 1997, rounding off the front to make it more 90's looking. In 2002 it was replaced by the all new Jeep Liberty.
Throughout the '84-'01 time span, the Cherokee was offered in many different trims, some which are rare to this day. Chief, Laredo, Pioneer, Limited, Country, Sport, Classic, etc are some examples. Engines were all AMC, even after Chryslers take over of the company in '87. The most popular engine offered was the 4.0 I6, one the best engines ever.
Today Jeep Cherokees are still popular with all sorts of people. From soccer-moms to off roaders, it's an SUV that won't die.
Jeep Cherokee Chiefs are very rare today, as is the Cherokee "Briarwood" which was produced only in '91 and '92.