1993 Jeep Cherokee Country XJ 4.0L Straight 6 from North America
A good off roader
In 2 years of ownership:
I have never taken it to a shop. All service and maintenance I have done myself.
Didn't pass emissions testing. Found out it was the catalytic converter. Replaced it and O2 sensor as well. $350. 3.5 hours.
Oil pressure gauge stopped working. Replaced oil pressure sensor. $30. 30 minutes.
Oil leaking from top front of engine. Replaced valve cover gasket. $15. 1 hour.
One day I opened the hood with the engine running, and number one cylinder spark plug and wire was arcing. Spark plug almost melted. Replaced all spark plugs, plug wires, cap and rotor. $130. 1 hour.
When replacing the rear spark plugs, I broke the heater valve. It was made of damn plastic. Bought a used one. $20. 15 minutes.
Truck wouldn't start, replaced ignition coil and Crank position sensor. $200. 1.5 hours.
Two months later, the truck wouldn't start. Replaced fuel pump. Still wouldn't start. Found out the new fuel pump was faulty. Replaced again, and put a clean used fuel tank in as well. $180. 2.5 hours.
Squeaking/clanking from underneath. Replaced drive shaft and new u-joint. $100. Used drive shaft. 1.5 hours.
Coolant was leaking from the front of the engine. Replaced water pump. Had to remove the radiator to get enough space to remove the pump. $40. 2.5 hours.
To drain the radiator requires removing the grille, to get to the drain plug. Must be designed by morons.
Started over heating again. Replaced thermostat, and 2 temperature sensors. One on the thermostat cover, the other on the rear of engine on the driver's side. $80. 1.5 hours.
Recently the engine started clanking at idle. The famous 4.0L piston slap is here to stay. Doesn't seem to effect the engine in any way. Oil pressure and oil level stay the same. Just annoying when at a stop. That's what the radio's for.
The factory radiator is bit too small for the Jeep. It can't keep consistent temperature when off road. Flushing the radiator, new water pump and thermostat didn't change much. No problems on pavement, but I have to take it easy going up steep hills off road. It's a big design flaw. Cutting holes in the hood or installing a larger radiator with electric fan is the only answer.
The Jeep always needed to be fixed every 3 months. As if a scheduled repair. Maybe I'm unlucky. I guess it's a Jeep thing I'll never understand.
Buy it if you will be using it off road, otherwise look else where. Don't buy a Jeep if you don't have a second car. You'll need one. If you want to be sensible, then take the bus or a car when in town.
When the Jeep was working it was good. Fixing it was rather difficult with not much room under the hood. It had some issues and faults, but overall I think it fits its purpose well.
If there is one thing the Cherokee excels at, it's off roading. That's what I really liked about it. It's small and can go where full size 4wd's can't. The 4 door is the same wheelbase as the 2 door.
It is much better than the Dodge Dakota I used to have. It has no power options. Manual windows, locks, mirrors, seats, transfer case, automatic transmission, auto locking hubs, no ABS brakes, no A/C, and power steering.
It has the HO 4.0L Straight 6. It makes about 190 hp+ @ 4,750 rpm, and about 225 lb-ft torque @ 4,000 rpm. It has lots of power for a straight 6. I don't need to go past 2,000 rpm to get up to speed. Pedal to the floor, 0-100 km/h in about 9 seconds.
In 4lo it will go up any slope if there is grip. Down steep hills is a different story. Sometimes there will be a burning smell from inside, coming from using the brakes too much.
The AW-4 automatic is not that good for doing off roading. I have to be careful not to push it too hard, otherwise burned ATF is the result. My first and last vehicle with automatic transmission. I would much rather have a manual.
Going up long 12% grades, it will do about 100 km/h. The 3.9L V6 midsize 2001 Dodge Dakota I used to have could not do better than about 60 km/h up the same hill. A pathetic dog it was.
Fuel economy wasn't great. About 17 L/100 km in town and 16 L/100 km on the highway. I don't drive like a grandma, nor do I drive like I stole it. It burns about about the same (1-2 mpg -/+) as the GM 5.7L 350 V8.
Other than fuel economy, it was a good engine. It can do much better with a manual transmission.
The Jeep is quite resist to rust compared to other SUV's. It has original paint. I waxed it once and people thought it had been repainted. It has a unibody frame that is welded to the body. It makes the Cherokee light, but any accident, and it costs arm and a leg $$$$.
The buckets seats were pretty comfortable. The dash was very cheap. The imitation wood trim kept rattling, so I ripped it off. The tire was mounted outside on a tire carrier. Every dip or bump in the road, it would rattle. It was very annoying off road, so I cut it off the carrier with a grinder and threw in the scrap yard. Mounted the tire on the roof, much better.
Brakes don't last long. About one year, maybe more. They are easy to replace though. The front is disks and drums in the rear. Changing the rotors is easy. Remove the wheel, then the two bolts that hold the caliper. The rotors then slide off. Much better than removing lock nuts and wheel bearings.
One one thing I really hated about the Jeep was the tensioner. Whoever designed the belt tensioner should be shot. It takes me almost 10 minutes to get the belt loose enough to slip the belt off the pulleys. Why those morons didn't use a rotating tensioner like everyone else is beyond me.
I lifted up the Jeep 4". Ride quality was interesting when I added add-a-leaf's to the rear springs. It's like a old west wagon cart, every little bump I feel it. Off road it had had me soaring off the seat and hitting my head on the ceiling. Not enough to wear a helmet. xD.
Would I buy another? Yes, but a new Wrangler with 6 speed manual.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 28th September, 2011
Great review. Question? Why do you have to pass emissions? It is a 1993 model. Which state still requires emissions testing before 1996?
I have to pass emissions testing, because I live in B.C, Canada. Only new vehicles are exempt until they reach 7 years of age. Even 30+ year old vehicles have to go through emissions.
Some think it helps environment. To me it's BS, just another cash grab for the government.
I know, it sucks! But that's the way it is.