Having read another of this site's reviews of this vehicle, I was surprised to find that the reviewer was dissatisfied. I am very pleased with my '98 Cherokee 2.5 TD Ltd.
Their review of the 2.5 TD engine implied that it had no power or torque! I think the reviewer said 'beware at roundabouts' (or "islands" if you live in the English Midlands). I find this hard to credit - I can happily let the clutch up slowly in 1st or 2nd (relying on the idle torque) and then apply the throttle & pull away without any worries at all. Indeed, in the wet I have to mind the torque at the back wheels - I've had more than one unintentional wheel spin, even with junk, a toolbox & large child’s buggy in the ample boot!
The turbo's set to deliver max torque at 2000 RPM, and when used correctly with the gearbox, gives excellent pulling power at low speeds and allows one to overtake in 5th at normal UK road speeds (i.e. 45-70 MPH) without even thinking of changing down to 4th. However, those used to a saloon car will find the 'power band' a little narrow.
It is a very versatile, comfortable car which both of my young boys, and I love. Living in the North West of Ireland, on the Tyrone/Donegal border, I could not think of a better car for driving them (the boys) onto the numerous Atlantic coast beaches (yes, I said "onto", as I can drive straight onto the sand at most of the beaches here). So far, I've only had to tow one two-wheel-drive vehicle out of the sand this summer!
I have also spent a good few hundred miles driving my Cherokee up & down motorways in England, and can only find one real criticism of the car in this regard (compared to various company owned Audis, Vauxhalls/Opels, Rovers, Toyotas, Peugeots, Mercedes and BMWs) - there is no adjustable lumbar support on the drivers seat. However, the electric lateral, rear-seat & front-seat height controls are excellent. Cruise control works as expected and the brakes are adequate, but will never be as sharp as an Audi’s.
I cannot comment on reliability as I've only owned the Cherokee for 3 months, and it's a low miler. But, having previously owned a super-reliable Nissan, I can honestly say I have a lot of confidence in the Jeep's reliability.
Fuel-wise I can find nothing to moan about. According to the computer, I average 34 miles to the imperial gallon (28.4 mpg US). This is borne out by my fuel bills – 250 miles of motoring costs me about IR£24 (approx £19 sterling). I can usually get 450-500 miles out of a tank full.
In conclusion, I can only say that after three months the car is still great fun to drive. I think it’s one of those cars you either love or hate. Try a test drive; if you don’t like it then buy something else!