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2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Advice for a dad

I just had my first child. I need a reliable safe ride. I’m not a rich man. 2005 would be my price range 100k plus miles. Should I lean towards the 4.0 or 4.7. Or forget Jeep all together and spend the extra 2 grand to buy a Hyundai Santa Fe awd. I have a 99 GC. She’s had her problems but I know how to work on her and know the straight 6 is great almost has 190k on it. Help please

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Why do you need AWD , front wheel drive will manage such a large percentage of the time anyway.
Forget a used Jeep . If funds are limited look for something that will give you good fuel mileage . These low fuel prices might not last much longer .

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As a former Jeep owner I’d avoid one. AWD can be nice but it adds potential problems and we’re talking about a vehicle that’s been around the block a few times. My wife and brother-in-law both drive Hyundai SUVs and love them. Ours has been trouble free and I haven’t heard any complaints about his either. If you need a basic daily driver a Camry might work. Safe, generally reliable and there are a million of them on the road. Find something you like and can afford, and have it looked over by a mechanic you trust.

As a frugal dad myself with cars of that generation, I’d opt for the Santa Fe. Or perhaps a Highlander. That generation Highlander is reliable with regard to the big stuff. Just get familiar with your local brake place. Brakes are comparatively cheap.

We LOVE our '07

No one on planet Earth can tell you whether or not any used car will be reliable. It is simply not possible.

One Jeep may be great; another may be flirting with a car crusher. Same for the Hyundai. One may be fantastic and the one across the street may also be eyeballing the car crusher.
It all depends upon how the vehicle was driven and maintained. Since few vehicles are maintained properly the odds are against you unless the seller can provide that info.

Recrods are there. Just sometimes they are near impossible to produce. Three years ago I bought a 98 GMC Sonoma truck that had 2 owners and fairly low miles. All paperwork back to day one was in the glove box. That’s a rarity.

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My WIFE owned two Jeeps!

I don’t own a Jeep.


I’ve owned 5 Jeep Cherokees and obviously I enjoyed them. All had the 4.0 6 cylinder which proved to be a somewhat bullet proof engine and those with the Toyota automatic and that 6 cylinder gave Jeep a reputation that was the envy of all their competition. The 4.7 is no where close to the 4.0 in reliability.

Any vehicle over 10 years old with more than 150k miles is a potential di$aster for anyone who must take all work to a shop.

The Hyundais are largely under rated and often they are bargains for long time owners who maintain them well.

But to each his own…

2004 was the last model year for the 4.0 straight six

Most of the rural mail carriers in this part of OK use Jeeps. Subarus used to be popular but with the nearest dealer 90 miles or farther away they kind of fell out of favor.

You, your wife, and one child will easily fit into a compact or midsize sedan. Cars are far less popular than SUVs, and will have higher depreciation. As a buyer, that’s good news for you. Unless you need an SUV for work, consider a family sedan.

How much can you spend on your next car? Give us a range and we will help you figure something out. Don’t be in a hurry. The GC will work for a while until you find something. Look for the newest vehicle you can afford in the best condition. Lower mileage is a plus too. This combination may not show up immediately, so you need to start soon.

Also, make sure you get a prepurchase inspection before you buy. The $100 or so you spend at a shop you trust can keep you from buying something with hidden problems.

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Consumer Reports does a good job recommending used cars that tested well when new and have at least average repair records. They also categorize them by price range, starting at $5,000-10,000. The April 2020 (Annual Auto Issue) has this starting on page 82.

Went with a RAV4. AWD 140,000 miles 2012. I’m happy. Baby girl and mama will be good in that.


It’s on CR’s “Best Used Cars” list. Enjoy safely!

Subaru used to sell right-hand drive Legacys in this country, and those were very popular with rural mail carriers. However, they stopped selling those RHD models in The US at least 15 years ago.

pfff, buy a 1999 Chevy Tahoe Z71, thing’ll last you 300k miles if you treat her well.

A 1999 vehicle could already have 300000 miles on it . Besides the person has purchased a vehicle.


yeah true… lol

You are suggesting that somebody buy a 21 year old vehicle–with an unknown maintenance history–rather than one that is far newer?

You know what would give you a lot more bang for the buck than a Jeep Grand Cherokee as a family vehicle? A Dodge Caravan, Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, or Toyota Sienna. Jeep vehicles are overpriced–even when they are old and very used up–because you’re paying for the name. You can get a used Caravan/Voyager or Sienna for roughly half the price of a used Jeep Grand Cherokee, with the van having lower miles and better overall condition.


It was just a suggestion :man_shrugging: