I’m looking to purchase a 97-01 Jeep Cherokee and I simply would like advice on what would be the “best” year to purchase. I think for me, “best” means most reliable or simplest to repair. For example, 00-01 have electronic ignitions, which in my opinion just means more expensive items that will leave you stranded.
I only have two, '90 and '01, but as far as I can tell, it will be all about previous owner behavior and having an understanding mechanic.
Mechanically there are very few differences from year to year in the XJ Cherokees, as evidenced by the parts listings and aftermarket manuals, some of which cover the entire production run with just one book!
There are certainly Jeep and Cherokee web forums with more detailed answers, but fundamentally, I’d say look for low miles and no rust.
Hope that helps!
Hmm…yeah, XJ’s are fundamentally unchanged from one year to the next. The 2000+ went to a waste spark system and pre-cats …both had issues early in their life, but have probably already been worked out for any unit you would buy.
The 4.0 engine/AW4 trans/231 t-case/D30 front end is/are very reliable and very stout for the power density of the chassis.
There will be parts availability until the sun runs out of hydrogen. If the time frame permits, these can get in excess of 300k on them without internal tinkering. Time will be your biggest enemy (rust and general environmental fatigue).