If you are looking for a sleek, fast, cool, efficient, and stylish car, a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee might not be the car for you. This car is slow, heavy, and the fuel economy is usually around 12 miles per gallon.
The rust will start to pop up under the doors, and will definitely take underneath the car's body. The shocks will blow out and become rusted. The doors will fall apart in different ways (I’m on my 3rd drivers door in the past 6 months!). Many of these cars seen on the road will have different color panels and doors like mine. And if you want to listen to loud high quality music, forget about it; the speakers have been blown and make noises comparable to rice crispies and crinkling a bag of chips.
As far as the electronics go in the car, you are likely to have a couple issues. My sunroof once got stuck open while it was raining, causing me to cover the car with a tarp for a couple days of rain and then to pull down the headliner and jump the motor to get it back sealed. And if that was not bad enough, sometimes once a week, sometimes once every couple of months, the car alarm will go off always in the middle of the night, maybe even multiple times.
There are options like cruise control, heated seats, and air conditioning that are not functioning in this car.
Sometimes while driving down the road, the interior lights will flash on and off multiple times, as if the car has a mind of its own.
In addition to all of those things, the doors only lock when they want to, not according to the remote.
And maybe the craziest part might be the heat situation. It only comes out in one temperature and it is HOT! The heat in this car is unlike any other; it is controlled by a small white piece of plastic under the glove box, which you know has fallen out when the heat goes from HOT to very cold in a matter of seconds. The fix to this problem requires one to stop the car, get out and lie on your back in the passenger side floor, and feel around to stick the plastic back in.
With all this said, someone would think I dislike this car. That is definitely not true, it was my first car, and at the age of 16 I purchased it in cash. It is the perfect car for my first car, or a cheap car that one wants for running around, or maybe even a winter car to drive around in. This car is about as reliable as a car gets. Change the oil every 3000 miles, and it should be smooth sailing.
While looking for a Jeep like this, you will find that many are for sale with 180,000 miles, 250,000 miles, and sometimes you will even see one up to 300,000 miles. Try and find a modern day car that will be almost maintenance free and last that many miles, I bet you will have a hard time doing that. I have had this car for 5 years now and all I have paid for is 2 new doors, and brakes. That is pretty amazing in my opinion!
Also, if you are looking for a good car in the snow and the bad weather, this car has 4x4 all time and is an absolute animal in the slippery conditions. I live in New England, and have yet to get stuck in this car, whether it be driving through a mud pit or driving around in a snowstorm, this car has traction. This car might be rough around the edges, but if I had to go back in time I would not hesitate in buying this very car. It was worth it.