1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 5.2 from North America


Love it


Just general maintenance.

General Comments:

Runs excellent.

Doesn't burn oil.

Lots of power.

Great towing.

Comfortable ride.

Has the upcountry package.

Will buy another!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2010

9th Dec 2010, 02:30

Some people complain that V-8 engines burn more gasoline, but they are much more durable engines.

The 4.0 engine in the Cherokee is OK, but the V-8 is a better choice if you want an SUV that will run well past the 300k mark, like the mileage on your Jeep.

30th Mar 2013, 22:53

I have no idea what you're talking about. The Jeep 4.0 will go down in history as one of the most reliable American engines ever made, next to an SBC or SB Ford. The V8 engines put in these things by Chrysler are complete garbage. Do some research. There's 4.0's running around with 400,000 miles on them. And anyone who is a true Jeep enthusiast will tell you the same thing.

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 6 from North America


So far I'm very happy with this car


I just bought this car, and it runs great!

The only issue I see at this point is that the Select Trac FWD unit won't go into 2 wheel drive. It seems stuck in Part Time 4 Wheel Drive. I'm driving it in Full Time 4 Wheel Drive, which the manual says is OK for all road conditions and speeds, but I'd like to know how to get it to go into 2WD.

General Comments:

This car is big, comfortable, and a great highway cruiser.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th November, 2010

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee from North America


This car is garbage


I would never buy another Jeep. They're an electrical nightmare. Bought it for $2700. Put $1000 into it. Five mechanics and no one can get engine light out. Looks like I'm out $4000.

I would never buy another Jeep, or another American car.

The Japanese are the top selling cars worldwide for a good reason -- they're good cars!

General Comments:

It's an unsolvable, electrical nightmare.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th June, 2010

9th Jun 2010, 13:14

What do you expect for a 13 year old vehicle? Most Jeeps have been thru the ringer. Sounds like whoever you're paying to work on it doesn't seem to know what they are doing.

15th May 2013, 22:04

The main engine harness is most likely bad at the computer connections. Common for this vehicle. A new harness is about $1100. A used one is far less, but what do you get if all of them go bad?

Very comfortable ride with good handling. Also reasonable off the highway, as long as you don't mind dragging the plastic front end.

Poor gas mileage.

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 I6 from North America


Just bought it, love it, and named it Buddy


Had to replace the power steering pump, twice. The pump started to grind a while, then the steering became pretty stiff. After a week with this problem, the pump made a popcorn type of noise. As I began to replace it, the "nipple" for the one hose broke off, it was paper thin on one side. On the second one works just fine.

The A/C doesn't work either, but that's okay, I have a sunroof on my Laredo.

General Comments:

The first thing I noticed when I started it up on the lot, was the powerful grumble of it's engine. Like a farm tractor, probably because both the tractor and the Grand Cherokee have a Straight Six engine. The Jeep has take-off too, and it's very loud... like it's roaring.

The seats are very comfortable, and it's laid out like a "poor man's Escalade". No heated seats though for the winter, but for the summer, it has a fully functioning sunroof.

Like most other Jeep owners, you may experience the "wobble" when you hit a bump, but I like it. It reminds me that I'm in a off-road master... the 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo (straight six)!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2009

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0L I6 from North America


The BEST vehicle to ever come from Chrysler


While hill-climbing with a bunch of friends, my water pump froze up, breaking my serpentine belt, requiring me to get towed halfway home by a friend who was off-roading with me. The rest of the way I was trailered back by my dad.

All 4 speakers were blown when I got it. Replaced with 6 1/2in Sony Xplodes.

Normal wear and tear, tires and brakes have been replaced.

Catalytic converter fell apart on its own, gutted that and replaced the original muffler with a cherry bomb muffler, overall increasing my HP by about 10%.

Interior light issues, they would stay on indefinitely in the winter. We cut the wire that turns them on when the lift gate (rear door) is opened.

General Comments:

I have been nothing but impressed by my Jeep. I received it from my mom when I turned 16. She bought it a year and a half old.

The most impressive thing has got to be the durability of the transmissions. I know there were 2 transmissions put in these Jeeps, unfortunately I'm not sure which one I have, but it's got to be the better of the two. About 7 years ago, my mom was not having a very good day, the dog had just killed all her chickens and she was frustrated and just down right angry, not exactly thinking straight. She went to downshift for her exit on the highway (this jeep is an automatic, her last one was a stick). She slammed in in Park. Luckily, the transmission will not lock into park while moving and it just makes a loud clicking noise. She then realized her mistake and went to put it back into gear, reverse that is. The engine stalled, the rear wheels locked up and she skidded off the highway. The original transmission has gone nearly 100000 miles since then, flawlessly. This thing was meant to be abused.

I change the oil in it every 3k miles, thanks to the computer that alerts me when its time. I really take good care of this thing. I do all the work on it myself, saving myself a lot of money.

I only have one grievance about my Jeep, the 4wd system is slow. Using a vacuum setup was a big mistake. I have only been stuck once, and I credit my inability to drive it out to the slow-locking Vacuum 4wd system. If the system had locked in right away like I needed it to, I wouldn't have dug myself a hole sitting there spinning. Granted it was my fault I was in the ditch, I drifted an icy corner like I usually do and assumed it would straighten out like it normal does, so I did not correct it.

However, the ability to lock it in Full-time 4wd or Part-time more than makes up for the slow locking system. I consider these two systems mislabeled, as the Full-time is actually 2wd, but when you enter a skid, the front tires lock in instantly. No delay from the vacuum setup there. Part-time is actually locked into 4wd. And of course I have 4Low, and just plain 2wd mode. The Full-time feature saved my girlfriend and I from getting in a wreck. We topped a hill, which was covered in black ice, we saw a Chevy Blazer tipped on its side, and when I steered away from the Blazer on the side of the road, we began to skid, the 4wd kicked in and steered us safely away.

Overall, this is the perfect winter vehicle (not bad of a summer one either). Other than getting stuck that one time (and once in our fields in the winter, but that doesn't count because I wasn't on the road), I have had no other issues in the winter. I have ditched it multiple times drifting icy corners late at night, but I have always driven out.

For the stock suspension, even my Grand Cherokee has enough clearance for a Michigan winter. Quite often I would leave the house before my Dad gets the tractor out to plow the 2 feet of snow we got that night, and I'll just drive it out of the driveway and away I go, in 2wd almost always. I only lock in the 4wd when I actually get stuck, or I'm going somewhere that I can't be late for, and it looks like black ice and I need to make good time.

I recently added a $600+ chrome brush guard to make it stand out (and deer protection, this is northern Michigan, we have a lot of deer). It looks fantastic on it, I have not yet really tested its durability, I pushed on the bumper of a buddies Chevy pickup and nearly broke his bumper off, so I would assume it's fairly tough.

The catalytic converter had fallen apart from the inside, and every time my Jeep idled, my exhaust rattled, causing the pieces of Platinum in the converter to rattle, making a tremendous amount of noise, finally after a year of that, I gutted the converter (no need for it here, we have enough trees to take care of the CO2), leaving the body of it so it looks like I have the converter still there, and adding the cherry bomb. The muffler added basically no HP, but eliminating the cat. sure did. Around 10% like stated earlier.

I really enjoy driving my Jeep, judging by the computer, I can drive it very nicely and make it get 20mpg, which is good enough for me. That brush guard really turns heads, as most on Grand Cherokees around here are black.

A great future, which I suggest to anyone planning on driving a Jeep in any place with winters reaching below 0, is a remote start. My sister had it installed for my mom about 6 years ago, and I still use it every morning in the winter. The coldest I have started it by remote was -18 degrees Fahrenheit. I was not aware it was this cold, or I was have started it myself, with the key. When I got in 10 minutes later and looked at the digital temp gauge, I was very impressed.

My Jeep will start in every temperature we have asked it to so far. Some mornings, my temperature gauge read -40, and it started. It turned over very slowly, but it did start, and yes, it was sitting outside. But we run 10W40 Rotella T oil ONLY in our vehicles, which allows them to start in such harsh conditions, without any block heaters or assistance of any kind.

This Grand Cherokee is by no means a race car, but I have dragged it light to light 3 times, and won every time.

The first was against an '89 Ford Bronco with a 5.8L 351W putting about over 350hp (I still had the base HP of 189, no new exhaust yet). He started in 2nd gear (thinking he was in 1st on his column shifter) and my Jeep walked away from him. He caught up quickly, but I had already reached the next light.

The second win was against my friend with the Chevy Pickup, with a 5.7L 350. I had my new exhaust, and we were revving our engines and doing brake-torques, showing off. The light turned green, I left instantly. He floored it, but was still in Neutral from revving his engine, he dropped it into drive and peeled out of there, but I was 3 lights away by the time he caught me.

My third race in town was against a Buick Regal with a supercharged 3800. I knew he had me, but I wasn't going to say no to a challenge. He burned his tires when the light turned green, and we were even until his charger kicked in, and he began to pull away. Just then his supercharger blew up, decreasing his power and scaring him, and I blew by. So I guess the moral to these stories, is if you plan to race your 4.0L Jeep, make sure you're racing friends who aren't exactly the smartest, that's how I won, other than the supercharger, that was just a mechanical failure.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2009

24th Nov 2010, 03:42

I enjoyed and agreed with the reviewer's comments.

Oh, to be young again. As a Grandpa, I also enjoy my 4,0 Cherokee. Apart from the lousy gas mileage, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Tom (Central Africa).

6th Dec 2010, 11:11

Definitely agree. This is the best purchase I ever made. I am a volunteer firefighter in NY. Many times I have been responding to a fire call and found myself doing over 120.

As for racing, I've taken on two vehicles. First was my buddy in his 1989 Dodge Shadow. 2.5 Liter Turbo II engine with intercooler and intake charge temperature sensing. New engine, new head, new turbo, new oil/coolant lines for Turbo, pushing 14 Lbs. of boost. 168 hp, 188 lb·ft. To my 4.0 L (242 CID) AMC Power Tech I6 185 hp, 225 lb·ft. My truck weighing 3,614 lbs (curb weight) and his car weighing 2608 lb (curb weight) weighing just over 1,000lbs less than me. Anyways, we raced 1/4 mile (measured) light to light. I treed him at the light, beating him by just over 2 seconds (and still pulling away).

The second race was against a 2007 Ford Mustang GT, pushing 210 HP and 240 ft lb. weighing 3,351 lbs. (curb weight) Same stretch of road, we were both brake torquing, I treed him also beating him by inches (he burned out). Granted he blew by me like I was standing still just past the second light, but I got him in the 1/4 mile.