1989 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer 2.5 from North America


Primitive, but charismatic


My family has owned this Jeep for about ten years, and I can't recall a time when it failed to start.

The leaf springs in the rear have de-arched over time to the point where the rear end feels like it's resting on blocks. I replaced the radiator two years ago. The tape deck quit working shortly after we bought the thing. The rocker panels are long gone now from rust. The cruise control and air conditioning have failed. Routine things have been replaced like stabilizer shock and muffler. The gas tank was replaced after I became tired of patching it and re-patching it. I replaced the water pump once.

The one problem that really bugs me is the brakes. Specifically the master cylinder. I've replaced it twice. It seems there is nothing that can be done to firm things up. Step on the brakes on an icy surface and the front discs lock up while the rear drums keep right on turning. I've heard the same thing from other Jeep owners. I don't consider it a really dangerous problem, just really annoying.

Oh yeah, the right rear door handle broke on the outside.

General Comments:

This car has plenty of noise and vibration from it's 2.5, which is surprisingly slow. However, it's pretty easy on the gas.

When you change the plugs on the 2.5, you must remove the air conditioning compressor to access the first plug.

It has a short wheelbase which is nice teamed with 4 wheel drive when you want to explore logging roads.

Our Jeep has a good amount of options. One of my favorites is the front passenger seat. It has a unique reclining swivel that I didn't discover until years after we bought it.

My brother is currently driving the Jeep. It's showing age, but he still really likes it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd March, 2003

1989 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4.0 straight 6 from North America


A high performance bargain


The brakes had to be replaced when I bought it.

The rockerfeller's were completely gone, but I repaired them myself.

General Comments:

Leather seating is very comfortable.

The engine has never had any problems, very powerful for what it is.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st March, 2003

20th Dec 2003, 12:47

How hard was it to repair those "rockerfeller's"? I bet it cost a lot of money!

1989 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer 4.0 Straight Six from North America


I liked it enough to buy another as a replacement - same year and model.


Always ran warm or hot.

Replaced water pump at 90,000 miles and again at 165,000 (may not have needed it though).

Due to what was poor performance I replaced a fuel injector - turned out it was the catalytic converter.

Front window power steering wires kept coming loose from repeated door shutting.

Replaced power brake booster and master cylinder at 170,000 miles.

Power steering high pressure hose leaked - never did fix it, though.

Rear door hydraulics went at about 170,000 - never replaced them, though.

Lights in the radio went out and never could see what station I had on.

Replaced starter at about 150,000 miles and alternator at about 180,000 miles.

General Comments:

Best vehicles I've ever owned. I put 115,000 miles on it and many were stop and go miles while I delivered pizzas for 2 years in snow country. Four wheel drive was a real blessing.

I took this vehicle to places I should probably never been by myself, but it was very, very reliable.

I liked it to the extent that I had to got another 1989 in better shape (but with 227,000 miles) and did some replacing of some items and have just donated the old one to a charity organization. LOVE MY JEEP!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2002

1989 Jeep Cherokee limited 4.0 from North America


A luxurious lemon


The shifter solenoids have quit working twice in the transmission. I had the transmission and the transfer case rebuilt one year ago and the shifter solenoids went again; and finally the muffler got so hot it caught the undercoating on fire and it burnt the carpet on the interior.

General Comments:

I would not buy another jeep if it was the only vehicle on the market as it is prone to too many problems, big and small.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th September, 2002

3rd Oct 2002, 00:38

My 1989 Limited Cherokee has been the best truck I've ever had. I've put on over 300,000 miles and still running, the motor is in good shape and I trust her like no other car or truck. It takes me anywhere all terrain. I have friends who have the same truck and hardly complain about it. To me the 4.0 and Toyota transmission on that truck has been the best.

28th Dec 2002, 13:21

I think he got a bad Jeep. I have a 1990 Limited and besides a few annoyances, (Darn real seal oil leak... anyone else?) I have to say my Jeep is very reliable. I have 235,000 miles and still going strong. I am looking for a new SUV and was looking to "upgrade" to a Land Rover Disco only to read the bad reviews... so now I'm going back home to Jeep and am strongly considering a Grand Cherokee.

19th Nov 2004, 00:56

I had an 89 jeep Cherokee and had the engine replaced at 100000 and the replacement blew at 135000 these engines seam to be awesome or they go fast. My second engine droped a valve and put a hole right through the piston, but it still ran and made it on a 40mile trip. One of my good friends had the same problem, but her engine went through 3 engines and then she gave up on it. I've also had friends who had engines that have lasted 270000 miles with no problems what so ever.

26th Feb 2005, 13:18

I have a 1989 Jeep Cherokee with 285,000 miles and it is a peach! Normal maintenance and upkeep. Best jeep ever made. They are not out of production, but being made in China with some nice upgrades.