First off, I made the mistake of purchasing the Jeep from Carmax. I drove off the lot, got a block away, and the person following me home called me and said that my hazards were on, even thought just my left turn signal should have been on... and it was only flashing the hazards in the back. Brought it home, saw it do it, and back to Carmax we went. The problem was the turn signal switch (later found out very common problem on the last generation Cherokee's). Had to get the part from a dealer, couldn't get it till next day, blah blah blah, gave me a rental and I had her back the next day.
Day two (now a Saturday). Was doing a closer inspection of everything, fluids, squeaks, rattles, parts loose or missing. I had a 30 "we'll fix anything" warranty on it, so if I found ANYTHING I was bringing it back and complaining to them. Upon a closer inspection, I noticed the power steering pump seemed louder than one should. Behold, little to no fluid in the tank. What a surprise! Also, the light under the hood didn't work, there is a wobble in the front end, and my transfer case sprung a leak while sitting in my driveway, AND it was and still is severely out of alignment. Went back that Monday for power steering fluid, new hood lamp, tire balance and rotation, front end alignment, and new input/output seals on the transfer case.
Carmax's idea of aligning my front end was to drop the air pressure in ONE TIRE (it was pulling right, so they sropped left) to 25 PSI!!! That is dangerously low for a vehicle of this size and this weight. I'm lucky I didn't have a blow out on the highway trip back home! Since I prefer to have the proper amount of air in my tires, I'll live with the alignment, until I can get the money together to get a proper one from a place that actually knows what they are doing.
There is still a wobble in the front end. I suspect the tires are bad, and I will be replacing them next weekend.
The transfer case seals are leaking once again. I need to change out the fluid in there anyways, so I'll replace them myself, while I have it apart in the future.
About the only two things they did were fix the hood lamp and add power steering fluid (who knows what brand).
Also needs a tune up. Further inspection revealed what are probably the OEM plugs, wires, and distributor.
Recently replaced the battery. The existing one was the one put in by Chrysler at the factory. And it spent the majority of it's life in New York, which means harsh New England winters.
Despite the minor annoying problems, it is a wonderful Jeep. This is my first car. Wanted one since I was old enough to understand what Jeeps can really do. Definitely had to have the 4.0L engine. Extremely reliable engine. Loads of low end torque that will get you through anything you can throw at it.
Didn't get any real snow to test out the 4X4 this past winter, but I have taken it off road a couple times (mine is bone stock) and haven't had any problems.
The seats are pretty comfortable, but on longer trips I can start to feel it in my back.
Don't think you're going to get a smooth ride if you buy a Cherokee. You definitely feel all the bumps in the road. But that's fine by me, I didn't buy it for a Towncar ride. I bought it for the Jeep reliability and ruggedness.
I do not blame any of the above problems on Chrysler. The majority of the problems are normal wear and tear items of a vehicle of this age, and I blame them mostly on Carmax for not checking out the vehicle before they sold it to me, and myself for not tearing it apart completely before I bought it.
Overall I'm very impressed with it, and will regret having to sell it in about a year when I go off to college.