1998 Jeep Cherokee Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Inexpensive and loaded with rugged character, dual airbags, optional ABS, optional 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine
- Rugged character result of ancient engineering, uncomfortable rear seat folds but doesn't split
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 when it was first introduced in 1984. This year, however, the Cherokee benefits from some overdue updates, including a new three-speed automatic transmission, optional with the 2.5-liter SE model.
Utilitarian and upright it is, but with a compelling personality that even the Grand Cherokee lacks. The Cherokee Country has been replaced by two new trim levels: Classic and Limited. Four adults fit inside the Cherokee in reasonable comfort, with adequate headroom. Rear legroom is lacking, in a very short seat, and entry to the rear is constricted by a narrow door. Worth noting is the fact that the rear bench folds but doesn't offer a split, meaning you can't haul a toddler and a treadmill simultaneously.
Relatively refined on the road, the compact Cherokee is capable of strutting its stuff when the going gets rough. Acceleration is brisk with the 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, courtesy of 190 horsepower, and we highly recommend this upgrade if you select the SE model. The Cherokee's 4.0-liter engine puts the "sport" into sport utility.
SE and Sport models can have two or four doors, while the step-up Classic and Limited editions are 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. Selec-Trac is Jeep's full-time four-wheel drive system. Standard gear includes power steering, tinted glass and power front disc brakes. Four-wheel antilock braking is optional (six-cylinder only), as are power windows and door locks, keyless entry system, cruise control, air conditioning and leather seats.
Despite its age, the original compact Jeep sport-utility remains a sensible choice in its field, more capable than most SUVs of heading into the woods at a moment's notice. What more can anyone ask of a moderately priced on/off-roader?
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver3 / 5Passenger3 / 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
- Side Impact TestNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestMarginal
Used 1998 Jeep Cherokee Overview
The Used 1998 Jeep Cherokee is offered in the following submodels: Cherokee SUV. Available styles include SE 2dr SUV, Sport 2dr SUV 4WD, Sport 4dr SUV 4WD, SE 2dr SUV 4WD, Limited 4dr SUV 4WD, Classic 4dr SUV, Classic 4dr SUV 4WD, SE 4dr SUV 4WD, SE 4dr SUV, Sport 2dr SUV, Sport 4dr SUV, and Limited 4dr SUV. Pre-owned Jeep Cherokee models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine or a 4.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 190 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 Jeep Cherokee comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
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Should I lease or buy a 1998 Jeep Cherokee?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.