1996 Jeep Cherokee Review
1996 Jeep Cherokee Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
Cherokee rolls into 1996 with improved engines, new colors, upgraded Selec-Trac four-wheel-drive system, more standard equipment and the same sheet metal that it wore on introduction day in 1983.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 1996 Jeep Cherokee SE 4dr SUV 4WD and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.24 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$221/mo for Cherokee SE
Avg. Compact SUV
Some things never change much, and the Jeep Cherokee is one of those mainstays. Unlike its posh--and bigger--Grand Cherokee brother, which keeps adding comforts and graceful touches, the ever-practical, affordable Cherokee simply keeps on rolling, looking little different now than it did a dozen years ago. A driver's airbag became standard last year, contributing to the Cherokee's good showing in government crash testing.
Utilitarian and upright it is, but with a compelling personality that even the able Grand Cherokee lacks. Even the dashboard is flat and fully vertical, with full gauges and a high--if modestly sized--glovebox. Four fit in reasonable comfort, with fine head room, but occupants feel a lot snugger inside than in a Grand Cherokee. Rear leg room is lacking, in a very short seat, and entry to the rear is constricted by a narrow door.
Relatively refined on the road, the compact Cherokee is capable of strutting its stuff when the going gets rough. Acceleration is brisk with the "Power Tech" 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, courtesy of 190 horsepower, and we highly recommend this upgrade if you select the SE model. Revisions to the six cylinder result in a Cherokee that is quieter and more responsive than last year. Peak torque and horsepower are made at lower revs as well, contributing to a more brisk feel around town. With the 4.0-liter engine, the Cherokee puts the "sport" into sport utility.
SE and Sport models can have two or four doors, while the step-up Country edition is four-door only. All are available with either two- or four-wheel drive. Command-Trac part-time four-wheel drive allows shift-on-the-fly operation. Select-Trac is Jeep's full-time four-wheel drive system, and it benefits from upgrades this year. Standard gear includes power steering, tinted glass, and power front disc brakes. Four-wheel anti-lock braking is optional (six-cylinder only), as are power windows and door locks, keyless entry system, speed control, air conditioning, and leather seats. New this year are standard heavy-duty battery and alternator, and intermittent wipers. Five new colors are available.
Archaic? Of course, but the original compact Jeep sport-utility remains a sensible choice in its field, more capable than most of heading into the woods at a moment's notice. What more can anyone ask of a moderately-priced on/off-roader?
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.13 out of 5 stars
1996 lifted cherokee country 4wd
1996 Jeep Cherokee Country 4dr SUV 4WD
i have owned my jeep for elven years and it has been lifted for about 7 years, and have over 300,000 miles and running strong. the 4wd drive system is indestructible, as well as the 4.0 straight six, it wont ever give out and has never left me stranded other then a dead battery in minus 20 degree weather.
5 out of 5 stars
A Simple Cargo-Truck 4X4 (XJ) For A Simple Man
Roger Abello, 02/05/2016
1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2dr SUV 4WD
For a Simple Man Such As Me This 1996 2 Door Cherokee Jeep 4X4 5 Speed Manual Is Actually A Piece Of Equipment To Me. Why you may ask? Well I Bought this back in 2009 from a one owner he was in his late 60's, He ordered it new in 1996. He ordered it with the Sport Package: Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Roof Rack, Rear Window Defogger, as well as the wiper, Matching interior gray … cargo cover, and Top of the line Aluminum Wheels with full size inside mounted matching spare tire. I Gave My Jeep a 2" Lift and instead of P225 R15 I raised it to P235 AT Wrangler tires. This Vehicle Looks Good can go anywhere on or off road incase of an emergency. The Jeep is just Smart enough that when it comes to smog or Diagnosis all it takes is a Plug In Less than 5min. Never has any Mechanical problems. The Jeep Has just Enough Electronics for proper engine and smog Operation which is all I ever wanted. No Electronics and solenoids to Fail it's all Manual ect : Pull Lever to activate 4X4 Not push buttons or solenoids or sensors to fail. Front and Rear Axials and not this independent suspension with CV Joints and boots to tear in dry sharp Brush or Rocks while exploring a place to make camp, Not to mention they are weaker than U Joints. Change the oil every 2,500 Miles, Coolant, and serpentine belt once a Year, Differential and Transmission as well as the Transfer case every 10,000 to be sure water contamination does not take hold to do any damage. K&N Air Filter (washable every 35,000 miles) saves money and gives some Xtra Power. Don't let your tank go below 1/4 tank and your Fuel pump in tank will stay cool and not fail. Simple and Cheap to perform Tune-Ups + Easy Access!!! Simple to perform all Maintenance (oil, trans, differ, transfer ect..... The advantages over others is Lights don't fade and oxidize and look bad, NO Parking Aids, as Far as Safety has Driver Air Bag, No Active Safety, No Navigation, No USB Ports, and No Entertainment. Just no nonsense piece of equipment down to earth vehicle Simple to Maintain and Operate AND No Nickel and Dime in you. This will be the Latest vehicle I will own. The New Autos across the Board are more computer and less control of your vehicle, than what once ruled our roadways and will continue on that trend. Complaints 1 It would have been nice to have the engineers to have more leg room up front my knees are up to bottom of dash and steering wheel. There is a question as to what happen to the Jeep Cherokee in 2002. This is what I found out in research is THE POWERS AT B IN CALIFORNIA told Chrysler Corp that the 4.0 liter has ran it's coarse and is out dated and that Chrysler needed to scrap the inline 6 for a V6 that will meet tighter emissions. So out with the Cherokee and in with Liberty. Anyway such as life I hope this helps to those who own or look to own a Jeep of that era.
4.88 out of 5 stars
See ya Cherokee
1996 Jeep Cherokee Country 4dr SUV 4WD
Took my Cherokee to the junkyard today. Bought it new in 1996. It's been in all environments, the coast, mountains, deserts and cities and performed like a champ. Replaced a water pump, brakes, tires and radio. The only thing that didn't work was the hydraulics on the rear hatch. Rescued stranded motorists, carried Christmas trees and was given to my son as his first car, after it had … over 209K miles racked up on it. My inexperienced son ran into a F250 Ford dualie and tore the rear axle right off that truck. The Jeep suffered terrible front end damage. My son didn't have a scratch. I should be so lucky, as to go out as big a hero as that Jeep!
5 out of 5 stars
i own 4 jeep cherokees
dave norman, 02/14/2016
1996 Jeep Cherokee SE 2dr SUV
the vehicle is me..simple-reliable-fixable. i travel a lot as pediatric nurse. i am also a firefighter both paid and volunteer. i needed reliability and got a 95 Cherokee cheap. i worked on it in spare time. then got rid of my regular pick up and bought a 96 Cherokee . sport. now i had 3 cherokees average shape and drive both regular. i do have some mechanic experinace before .Jeeps came … in the picture but its a dream to i am on road with jeep. over the last 10 years i have owned bought and sold 12 Jeep Cherokee. i still own my 96 and 95. our son took a jeep to college. few problems only. Jeeps are forgiving. i will work on Jeep Cherokees upon retirement *** changes since my first review. Cherokees are coming in demand pull r parts are having less and less come in ! Prices are edging up due to supply and demand. I can still find them cheap but harder..usually someone bought and didn't know the few quirks. .being uni body is hampering total rebuild ..I do feel those who enjoy cherokee's can expect to pay a little more but i see the value holding and if patient sell and move up!..i dont like Grand Cherokee but it isn't personal! There has been a surge in Cherokees lately in both interest and prices but i believe its because a lot of people are going back to the basics which work!
1996 Cherokee Highlights
|Cost to Drive
All Seats In Place
|four wheel drive
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRolloverNot RatedDynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – Original0
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested