Jeep Cherokee Review from Germany

1981 Jeep Cherokee SJ Laredo WideTrack 360 AMC / 5.9L

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 360 AMC / 5.9L Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired64000 miles
Previous carJeep Wagoneer


It's a full-size-Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand!


TF727 transmission needed to be rebuilt due to the truck sitting and not being used; and all the seals inside the tranny had dry-rotted. The clutch bands also needed to be replaced. An $800 fix.

Old, clogged catalytic converter.

Burnt plug wires.

Original, used-up ignition coil and ignition module. Upgraded with a new Ford TFI coil, new plug wires, and ignition module. A $120 fix. The truck now runs very fast :)

General Comments:

My wife and I have owned two previous FSJs, a '77 Cherokee Chief S N/T, and an '80 Wagoneer.

...And I'll hopefully never have to buy anything other than FSJs ever (aside from something to tow them with) ;-)

This '81 Cherokee is in fantastic condition for it's age, is a very capable 4x4 even stock, and still has enough style to take out on the town.

The interior is very comfy, with bucket seats, and good visibility all around.

Wing windows rule!!!

Driving, the truck has very little body-lean when turning, and doesn't handle like a typical full-size SUV.

Acceleration is very good for a 6,000lb vehicle, but the gas mileage isn't impressive with the V-8.

However, with a few more ignition upgrades, and a better carb, this truck is capable of 14 MPG+.

For more information on FSJs, check out

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th September, 2003

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 1 review