All Things Jeep Cherokee XJ 96-01

Jeep Cherokee XJ 1996-01



So ever since I first rode in one at age 15, I have been in love with Jeep Cherokee XJs. This one SUV that created the entire SUV and Crossover Market that we have today. It also turns out me and The Cheorkee XJ are the same age, I’ve owned two of these warriors. The Jeep Cherokee was literally everywhere in the late 90s and the first decade of this century. When Jeep discontinued the Cherokee in 2001 and debuted the lightweight Liberty it was a total disaster. Why do people say XJ right after Jeep Cheroke?

“Cherokee (1984–2001) The most ambitious Jeep ever undertaken, the XJ (said to mean eXperimental Jeep, although the veracity of this is not well substantiated) was revolutionary in design: it was the first SUV to use a bespoke unibody chassis for more car-like performance and design attributes.”- Wikipedia

So the eXperimental Jeep became a legendary vehicle after being overlooked when it was a new vehicle. It’s 2020 and they are still on the road running strong after 250k miles have been put on them. A mint condition Jeep Cherokee often sells for $10 thousand dollars at auction. The inline 6 engine wasn’t supposed to go into XJs, history says AMC had the inline V6 on deck and randomly threw it into the cherokee in the 80s. The inline 6 routinely out lives the body of the vehicle. When ever you see a Cherokee XJ you will see rust along the bottom of it.

The 2007 book Jeep Off-Road called the XJ a “significant link in the evolution of the 4×4.”[8] In 2011 Kiplinger magazine selected the XJ as one of the “cars that refuse to die.”[9] Automotive journalist Robert Cumberford, writing for Automobile, called the Jeep XJ one of the 20 greatest cars of all time — for its design, and “possibly the best SUV shape of all time, it is the paradigmatic model to which other designers have since aspired.”[7]

When you stop and think about it, the 90s Ford Explorer and Taurus were the best selling vehicles in america. You couldn’t go through a parking lot in Michigan without seeing atleast 10 of either. The amount of both on the road today is less than the amount of Cherokee XJs.

80s Jeep Cherokee XJ
The god, Jeep Cherokee XJ seen here in 1993

Personally, I hate the pre 1997 body style, I prefer the 97 to 01 which is the one I’ve owned twice. However I would still buy one if the price was right. Off Roading is something I started to enjoy, I would build a pre 96 rig and use it just for off roading.

Should you buy a cherokee XJ? The answer to the question comes down to your mechanial skills or if you are willing to learn how to improve them. You will literally spend atleast an hour a week minimum doing some kid of repair or modification to the XJ. However there is one compelling reason to spend 1 to 2k on an old XJ as compared to buying another older SUV for cash. You can literally find a Patriot from all of the world who has a write up or a video on how to fix something on a Jeep yourself. As a rookie in the auto mechanic world, I have been to learn how to work on vehicles because of the XJ.

This website is clearly not solely based around the Cherokee XJ. However, this website will have resources to finding tutorials to anything that you need to fix. As someone who twice in his life has been in a tough spot and not having a vehicle, buying a rusty Cherokee that has a strong engine is a saving grace. Basically the cherokee has easy access to take it apart and put it back together.