1986 Jeep Cherokee

Hi, I’m looking for a vehicle for my 16 year old. I found a 1986 Jeep Cherokee Pioneeer 4x4, 4dr, 5spd 6 cyl., loaded, pristine condition inside and out. Engine was supossedly rebuilt about 54,000 miles ago. Odo reading is 178,000. Reliable mechanic says some signs of oil leakage but not bad. Asking $2150.00. I live in Montana. Good deal? Run like hell? Make offer? Help!!!

Run like a gazelle, antilope or whatever roams the wide open spaces of Montana. The Cherokee is an unreliable vehicle to start with by design. The high mileage, and “rebuilt” engine makes me immediately suspicious of the previous owner’s behaviour and driving skills. If your son aspires to become a mechanic this would be a good vehicle to teach him how to manage all the breakdowns he is going to have. Actually, on a new Cherokee, the engine was the best part of the vehicle. If you buy this one, budget $2000 or more per year for repairs & maintenance. If you buy your son a Geo Prizm, Toyota Corolla, Hond Civic, or Mazda 323/Protege, budget about $1000 per year for the same.

There is a reason for the Cherokee’s low price; it is an accident waiting to happen. Sorry, but this is one of the the worst possible cars to pick for your son. If it was newer and had 2 wheel drive, and a different owner it might be worth considering.

Tom & Ray have often “hinted” at the fact that 4 wheek drive owners have below average driving skills and judgement; hence you see more SUVs in the ditch in a snow storm than regular cars.