1996 Jeep Cherokee 2.5 liter from North America


Nothing fancy, but mechanically reliable..


Plastic cover on hatchback fell off.

Center brake light assembly came loose.

Driver side seat belt refused to latch.

Gear shift knob comes off in your hand intermittently.

Replaced alternator at about 130,000 miles.

Had overheating issues for a while. (Replaced radiator with 3 core unit and have had no problems with it since...)

General Comments:

This car is no speed demon. But you can fit a surprising amount of gear in it. The list above might seem like a lot, but this has really been one of the most reliable vehicles I have ever had.

It recently started jerking slightly (suspect clogged fuel filter) and the fan started making ugly noises shortly before it died.

I am about to switch to a higher mpg vehicle since I commute 160+ miles per day and would much rather get mpg in the high 30s than the low 20s. Overall I would recommend these vehicles...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th May, 2006

1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0L I6 from North America


Dependable, capable and rock-solid


Apparently I inherited a few minor, more annoying things from the previous owner, who had a minor front end collision (but wasn't on carfax!!) The steering wheel 'clunks' when you turn it (I've narrowed it down to a bad u-joint on the steering shaft)...but the alignment is very close to perfect.

Fuel line ruptured (probably from off-roading :) ). Easy, $0 fix. Cut bad part of hose, and reattached.

Oil pressure sending unit went out. About $25 for the part, 5 minutes for the install.

I get a pretty nasty 'clunk' from the rear when I go over bigger bumps. Most people think it's a bad leaf spring bushing.

Blower motor went out on me recently (haven't fixed it yet).

Minor cosmetic things that need to be taken care of.

General Comments:

I love it. The stock capabilities of this Jeep are amazing. It really can go anywhere. The Cherokee made it through a muddy/marshy area where my friend's lifted F-150 got stuck...twice.

The 4.0 I6 is a rock-solid, bullet-proof engine. It's a shame they're discontinuing production in June of 2006, I believe. The torque curve is nice and flat, and has plenty of power for getting up on the highway. Mine has 110k miles on it, and it still runs remarkably smooth.

The AW4 tranny has been flawless. No signs of aging.

Part-time 4-wheel drive (NP231 transfer case) is perfect; always engages and disengages right away. Seems like the previous owner didn't even use it.

This Jeep definitely has some cosmetic flaws, but in my opinion that gives it character. Mechanically it runs great.

For a 20-year old college student (who loves the outdoors), the XJ is a great choice. Dependable, and capable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2006

1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0 I6 from North America


I love this thing!


Transfer case has been replaced, but that was at around 190,000 miles.

Oil pressure sending unit went out, but that wasn't too bad to fix.

The worst thing I have had happen with this jeep is for the first few months I kept having the Aux. fan relay blow out it took 6 times to finally get one that would work, but after the first 2 I found out where it was so it was cheaper to replace as I had to pull the old one to keep from killing the battery. When it would blow it would blow closed so the fan would run non stop with the engine on or off.

The catalytic converter is shot, but will get that replaced soon.

1 Funny thing I have found is once in a while I can't push the break pedal down far enough to get the engine to turn over, but that's far and few between. I think it may have to do with the brake interlock because sometimes when I jiggle the shifter for the automatic tranny it starts right up.

I have also been rear ended 3 times in this thing and even though its now on its 4th tailgate the frame is still straight and drives in a straight line. It has saved my life when I have been rear ended thanks to the air bags and the overall durability of this thing.

For the overall age I must admit that 1-2 of the dash light bulbs have gone out making it hard to see the speedometer at night and the rear speakers overhead? Who's idea was that!? And yes the speakers are toast, but then again you can't get very good sound quality out of a paper cone that's 5 and 1/4" in diameter anyway.

General Comments:

For a college guy whop is 26 going on 27 and with not a lot of money this thing has been a rock and will not die! I have the part time 4 wheel drive and do the maintinance as required and have no problems and feel very safe in driving it.

Also for the size I like that if needed even with 226,000+ miles on it it can still get out of its own way if needed.

When it snows I have Zero problems going anywhere and I do not take it off road.

I just wish the headlights were brighter, as it gets older they get a little dimmer. But this thing is built like a rock.

P.S. As a part time DJ when this thing is loaded I can feel the added weight, but overall the engine has no problem whatsoever hauling about 300-400 lbs in the back with the seats down at all.

I just wish they kept making them or at least still had the I6 Engine for any model Jeep, but oh well so much for old faithful!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2006

17th Apr 2006, 12:30

How do airbags save you in a rear-end accident when the sensors are in the front of the vehicle?

And how does a "poor" 27 year old afford a 14 mpg vehicle (if you're lucky) with gas prices again at $3/gallon? Seems like a false economy to me.

6th Aug 2007, 02:44

Well sometimes when you are rear ended, the force of the impact will push you into the car in front of you. Perhaps that's how the airbags deployed.

I'm on a tight budget also, and although a Cherokee might not be fuel efficient vehicle, some people have needs that cannot be met by a smaller car. He did mention he has to haul around 300-400lbs of equipment.

Another thing to consider is upfront cost. Why do you think you make payments on a new car? With the low upfront cost of a Cherokee, it's easy to pay a little extra for gas.

Great review. Thank you.