Basically solid and reliable, but lots of little irritations.
There have been no problems with the engine, drive train, or any other major systems. But there are lots of irritating little problems with the accessory systems.
Front power windows failed in down position. I replaced the operators myself, at $60 each and requiring about 20 minutes of labor, easy to do, but it sure did tick me off. I would prefer old fashioned roll up windows thank you.
Door and Tailgate wiring are failing due to cracking/deteriorating insulation, creating intermittent speaker, lock, window and rear wiper failures. Very annoying, and not easy to splice in new wire. Someone needs to tell Chrysler to buy better wire.
Key-less door locks quit working at around 50K miles, and the cruise control and horn both quit suddenly at around 75K. Clearly a wiring fault in the steering column, but I can't find it.
Console box rattles loose. There is no good place for my coffee cup, the gear shift interferes with the 12 power tap and the windshield gasket leaks. The under-hood lamp fell off. The arm rests are squishing down, and it's a pain to get to the jack and lug wrench. Also, it's difficult to get under the seats to vacuum it out. Call the waaaaambulance!
Other than the above irritations, the Jeep runs well and is very reliable after 152,000 tough miles. It is our winter beater and our summer camping car. Otherwise, we drive a Camry.
We live in a high mountain valley and in the winter, we frequently need 4wd to get out of the driveway, or for the entire commute to work through heavy snow. We also regularly use it for travel into back country areas (I teach science and do lots of field study in the summertime).
The Jeep has been great for family camping trips and cross country vacations. On vacations we favor the back roads and the old trails, avoiding the pavement whenever possible.
If they still made them, I'd consider buying another one, but since they don't, I plan to completely go through this one over the next couple of years. It will get full, competent, and complete repairs as needed and we hope to make some upgrades.
With our toddlers now getting bigger and require more space for luggage, a larger tent and a bigger cooler, I am looking to move the spare tire out of the way-back by installing a swing-away mount and hitch-capable rear bumper.
With it's age, the Cherokee is close to needing some alignment, suspension and steering gear work, so I am considering adding a very mild lift, and perhaps more aggressive tires. I'll make up a bit of the mileage loss by replacing the full time hubs with manual lockout hubs.
With older kids, we can have more adventures, so I am planning to beef up the front end with a tougher bumper. I don't need anything crazy, but it would be nice to have a winch.
For it's second decade, we'll top it off with a more capable roof rack for hauling fishing, ski, and camping gear.
Gas mileage is not bad for an SUV. We keep it under the speed limit and manage to get 22-27 mpg.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th August, 2008