Jeep Cherokees have been around since 1974 and have gone through several generations of updates and changes. With so many years of production, it’s natural to wonder about the reliability of older models. Are old Jeep Cherokees reliable?
According to various sources, the answer is mixed. Some models have received high marks for reliability, while others have been plagued by serious issues. For example, the fifth-generation Jeep Cherokee is said to be able to reach 175,000 to 200,000 miles and two decades of longevity, but its drivetrain is known for having significant problems.
It’s important to note that the reliability of an old Jeep Cherokee can vary depending on the specific year and model. Thorough research is recommended before purchasing one. In this article, we will explore the reliability of old Jeep Cherokees and provide information to help you make an informed decision if you’re considering buying one.
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Historical Reliability of Jeep Cherokees
Jeep Cherokees have been on the market for over three decades, and their reliability has varied over time. Here is a breakdown of the historical reliability of Jeep Cherokees:
1984-1996 Jeep Cherokee XJ
The first generation of Jeep Cherokees, also known as the XJ, was produced from 1984 to 1996. These models are considered to be some of the most reliable Cherokees ever produced. They were simple, sturdy, and easy to maintain, with many still on the road today. However, some common issues with this generation included rust, electrical problems, and steering issues.
1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ
The second generation of Jeep Cherokees, produced from 1997 to 2001, saw some improvements in terms of safety and comfort features. However, this generation was plagued by issues with the engine, transmission, and cooling system. The most common issue was with the head gasket, which could cause overheating and engine failure.
2002-2007 Jeep Liberty KJ
In 2002, Jeep introduced the Liberty KJ as a replacement for the Cherokee. This generation saw a shift towards more modern features and styling, but it was also plagued by reliability issues. Common issues included electrical problems, transmission failure, and suspension issues.
2008-2013 Jeep Liberty KK
The second generation of the Liberty, produced from 2008 to 2013, saw some improvements in terms of reliability. However, this generation still had some issues with the transmission and electrical system. The Liberty KK also had a higher rate of recalls than previous generations.
2014-2021 Jeep Cherokee KL
The current generation of Jeep Cherokees, produced from 2014 to 2021, saw a return to the Cherokee nameplate. This generation has received mixed reviews in terms of reliability. Some owners have reported issues with the transmission, engine, and electrical system, while others have had no major issues.
Overall, Jeep Cherokees have had a mixed history when it comes to reliability. While some models have been known for their durability and longevity, others have been plagued by issues with the engine, transmission, and electrical system. It is important for potential buyers to do their research and carefully consider the model year and generation before making a purchase.
When it comes to mechanical durability, the Jeep Cherokee has a mixed reputation. While some owners report that their Cherokees have lasted for hundreds of thousands of miles, others have experienced serious mechanical issues that have required expensive repairs.
According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee is expected to have about average reliability when compared to the average new car. However, the reliability of older Jeep Cherokees can vary widely depending on how well they have been maintained and how they have been driven.
One common issue with older Jeep Cherokees is problems with the drivetrain. The fifth-generation Jeep Cherokee, which was produced from 2014 to 2021, has been known to experience serious issues with its drivetrain that can lead to costly repairs. However, with proper maintenance and care, many Cherokees have been able to reach 175,000 to 200,000 miles and two decades of longevity.
Another issue that some Jeep Cherokee owners have reported is problems with the engine. This can include issues with the timing chain, which can cause the engine to fail or even seize up. Other owners have reported issues with the transmission, which can lead to costly repairs.
Overall, while the Jeep Cherokee has a reputation for being a durable and reliable vehicle, its mechanical durability can vary widely depending on how well it has been maintained and how it has been driven. If you are considering purchasing an older Jeep Cherokee, it is important to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic to ensure that it is in good condition and to identify any potential issues before they become major problems.
Maintenance and Repair Costs
When it comes to owning an old Jeep Cherokee, maintenance and repair costs are important factors to consider. While older vehicles may require more frequent maintenance and repairs, the Jeep Cherokee has a reputation for being relatively inexpensive to maintain compared to other vehicles in its class.
According to RepairPal, the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Jeep Cherokee is $520, which is lower than the average for compact SUVs and all vehicle models. However, it’s important to note that these costs can vary depending on the age and condition of the vehicle, as well as the location and availability of parts.
Some common maintenance and repair costs associated with owning an older Jeep Cherokee may include:
- Regular oil changes and tune-ups
- Brake pad and rotor replacements
- Suspension and steering repairs
- Electrical system repairs
- Transmission and drivetrain repairs
While these costs can add up over time, many Jeep Cherokee owners find that the reliability and durability of the vehicle make it a worthwhile investment. Additionally, there are many resources available for DIY maintenance and repairs, which can help to keep costs down.
Overall, while owning an older Jeep Cherokee may require some additional maintenance and repair costs, the vehicle’s reputation for being reliable and durable can make it a smart choice for those in the market for a used SUV.
Performance in Adverse Conditions
Old Jeep Cherokees are known for their off-road capabilities and ability to handle adverse weather conditions. The four-wheel-drive system in old Jeep Cherokees is reliable and effective, making it a great choice for those who live in areas with harsh winters or rough terrain.
The Jeep Cherokee’s ground clearance is also an advantage when driving in snow or on unpaved roads. The high clearance allows for better maneuverability and less risk of getting stuck. Additionally, the Jeep Cherokee’s weight distribution and suspension system help provide a smooth ride in rough terrain.
However, it is important to note that the reliability of old Jeep Cherokees can vary depending on the specific model and year. It is recommended to do proper research and maintenance before taking an old Jeep Cherokee on off-road adventures or in harsh weather conditions.
When it comes to resale value, old Jeep Cherokees are known to hold their value well. According to Car Edge, Jeeps have an extremely low rate of depreciation compared to the average vehicle. While the average vehicle lost 80% of its value in the first five years, the Jeep lost less than half of that. These numbers prove that Jeeps have great resale value, making them a popular choice among used car shoppers.
One reason for the high resale value of old Jeep Cherokees is their iconic design. The boxy shape and rugged off-road capabilities make them a favorite among enthusiasts. Additionally, the Jeep brand has a loyal following, which helps maintain the value of older models.
Another factor contributing to the high resale value is the reliability of old Jeep Cherokees. As far as most vehicles on the road from that era go, they are considered to be quite reliable. Many older Cherokees and Grand Cherokees still sell for a healthy amount online, which is a testament to their durability.
It’s important to note that the resale value of an old Jeep Cherokee will vary based on its condition, mileage, and other factors. However, in general, old Jeep Cherokees are a good investment for those looking for a reliable and valuable used SUV.
Consumer and Expert Reviews
Professional Automobile Critics
According to Consumer Reports, the Jeep Cherokee has received mixed reviews over the years. The 2019 model received a disappointing 2 out of 5 rating, ranking it 26th out of 27 SUVs in its segment. However, the 2020 model improved slightly and ranked 21st out of 26 in the compact SUV category for reliability.
Car and Driver praised the Cherokee for its off-road capabilities, but criticized its lackluster performance and outdated interior design. Edmunds also noted the Cherokee’s impressive off-road capabilities, but pointed out its subpar fuel economy and cramped rear seats.
Long-Term Jeep Owners
Many long-term Jeep Cherokee owners have reported mixed experiences with the vehicle’s reliability. Some have praised the Cherokee for its durability and off-road capabilities, while others have experienced frequent mechanical issues.
On Vehicle History, owner reviews give the Cherokee model anywhere from 4.2 to 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. However, Cherokees from 2014 and 2015 are considered the vehicle’s worst years due to numerous recalls and complaints, mostly related to critical powertrain components. The best years for the Jeep Cherokee include those from 2018 and 2020.
Overall, while the Jeep Cherokee has received mixed reviews from both professional critics and long-term owners, it remains a popular choice for those seeking a rugged and capable SUV.
Comparison with Other Similar Vehicles
When it comes to reliability, the Jeep Cherokee is often compared to other vehicles in its class. Here are a few similar vehicles and how they stack up against the Cherokee:
The Honda CR-V is a popular choice in the compact SUV market and is known for its reliability. According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 CR-V has an overall reliability rating of 81 out of 100, which is higher than the 2021 Jeep Cherokee’s rating of 68 out of 100. However, the Cherokee has a higher owner satisfaction rating than the CR-V.
The Toyota RAV4 is another popular compact SUV that is known for its reliability. The 2021 RAV4 has an overall reliability rating of 85 out of 100, which is higher than both the Cherokee and the CR-V. However, like the CR-V, the Cherokee has a higher owner satisfaction rating than the RAV4.
The Subaru Forester is a compact SUV that is known for its safety features and reliability. The 2021 Forester has an overall reliability rating of 80 out of 100, which is slightly lower than the Cherokee’s rating. However, the Forester has a higher safety rating than the Cherokee.
Overall, while the Jeep Cherokee may not have the highest reliability rating compared to its competitors, it still has a loyal following and offers unique features that set it apart from other vehicles in its class.
In conclusion, the reliability of old Jeep Cherokees is a mixed bag. While some models have a reputation for lasting nearly two decades if properly taken care of, others have notably less reliability and are likely to experience problems sooner. It is recommended to thoroughly research the specific year and model before purchasing an old Jeep Cherokee.
Consumer Reports gave the 2019 model a disappointing 2 out of 5, ranking it 26th out of the 27 SUVs in its segment. However, other websites like RepairPal gave it higher scores. The Jeep Cherokee is known for its impressive fuel economy and enhanced powertrain, but this does not necessarily translate to long-term reliability.
It is important to note that the reliability of a vehicle also depends on how well it is maintained and driven. Regular maintenance and conservative driving habits can go a long way in extending the life of an old Jeep Cherokee.
Overall, while some old Jeep Cherokees can be reliable vehicles, it is important to do your research and make an informed decision before purchasing one.