2003 95k miles, engine light on, other than that don’t know much more. I am looking for a vehicle that is not such a gas hog,can tow a decent amount of weight,comfortable ride, low maitanace, durability.Should I or Shouldn’t I?
You should find out why the check engine light is on before you consider it further.
I will see if I can,Generally is this a reliable type of car?
Having own a 96 cherokee and trading it with 150,000 miles, I can tell you that it is a gas hog for the size of vehicle it is. I averaged about 17 MPG. I also towed with it (boat somewhere in the 2500 pound range), braking is terrible as well as overheating without an upgrade to the cooling system. No real maintance problems, very easy to work on for the DIY person. Great as a 4X4, but for towing I would look for something bigger.
Look at a Ford Ranger or Mazda B-Series pickup with a V6, or a Toyota Tacoma V6. Also, you might want to consider a Chevy Astro/GMC Safari. All of these will get better gas mileage than a Cherokee, and are just as, if not more, reliable.
I do have access to purchaing a 1999 gmc safari, How is it overall as far as transmission and engine durability?
The drivetrain should last a while. Your gas mileage won’t be all that good. Fueleconomy.gov rates it at 14 city and 18 highway. But it is rated to tow 5500 pounds. I guess you won’t get much better mileage and the ability to tow 5500 pounds. You will get about 20% better fuel mileage with a pickup truck. A Silverado or F150 should outlast the Safari.
I have an uncle who owned a Safari for years, and didn’t have any problems with it. Tranny and engine lasted until he traded it in. But you will only get around 20-25 mpg. However, you can tow quite a bit of weight, and they are widely available, and can be bought fairly cheap.
You should not buy a Jeep Cherokee even if the light is off. They are not a reliable make or model. Their reliability is much worse than average. That one included. If there is ever anything wrong with a used car you should never consider buying it. You should not want to tow with a van.
The AWD version of the Astro/Safari get a lot worse mileage than the RWD version. I drove a 94 AWD Astro for work a while back and it usually got around 16 or 17 on the highway and way less in the city. Also, it was “premium recommended”, though I couldn’t tell the difference unloaded-- maybe it makes a difference when you’re towing.
I’m suprised none of the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis enthusiasts on the board have posted yet. That would be my recommendation if you don’t need the off-road capability.
The Crown Vic is only rated for 2000lbs towing, which is the same as pretty much any other car out there.