Used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV

1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

For years, the Ford Explorer has been the best-selling sport-utility vehicle in this country, but in 1993 a new challenger called Grand Cherokee arrived to try to wrest the sales crown away from the champ. It was not successful. However, it did outsell every other sport utility on the market, and became the Explorer's biggest threat.

Indeed, this Jeep has the most car-like feel of sport utilities, and is among the most stable on pavement. In fact, with the optional 5.2-liter V8 pumping away under the hood, the Grand Cherokee becomes the Porsche of sport-utes. Equipped with a new-for-1996 dual airbag system and four-wheel antilock disc brakes, Grand Cherokee buyers have long list of equipment to wade through, including three different drive systems, three diffenrent trim levels, and a host of luxury and convenience items.

The exterior is all hard edges and angles, but is instantly recognizable as a Jeep product and looks rugged. A retro touch we could do without is the location of the spare tire. The Grand Cherokee doesn't have tiny tires, and the cargo area is among the smallest in the class to begin with, so why is the tire in the cargo area? It should be under the cargo floor, mounted under the truck or placed on a rack on the liftgate. Otherwise, we have few quibbles with this sport-ute.

Jeep spent some time improving the Grand Cherokee for 1996. Cosmetically, the grille, fascias and cladding have altered for a more cohesive appearance. On top-level models, the fog lights have been moved from their precarious perch on top of the front bumper to nicely integrated recesses in the front air dam New deep-dish wheels are too deeply dished, making the JGC look taller and less stable than the 1995 model. The base 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine has been improved, resulting in more usable torque and quieter operation. Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel drive and the front suspension have been upgraded as well.

Inside, Jeep restyled the bulky dash. It now has nicely rounded and contoured edges, and houses the aforementioned dual airbags. Memory seat, radio and mirror settings are standard on the Limited, as are six-way power heated front seats and variable-assist power steering. All models get new seat fabrics and an upgraded center console. Trim levels number two this year; Laredo and Limited, with the top-of-the-line Orvis Package available on the Limited. Five new colors round out the changes. As you can see, Jeep isn't resting on its laurels waiting for the competition to leave the Grand Cherokee in the dust.

Unfortunately, just as Jeep caught up to and surpassed the Explorer in comfort and safety features, Ford went and squeezed a V8 under the Explorer's hood. Now, the Ford has a V8, dual airbags and a trick Control Trac 4WD system, like the Jeep. The Ford also has more room, a more comfy rear seat, and a lower price tag. Plus, you don't have to load cargo around a big ol' tire in the back. The verdict? For around town family hauling, we prefer the value-packed Explorer XLT. But for speedy fun and off-road prowess, the JGC Laredo V8 gets our vote.

1996 Highlights

Jeep turns its flagship into an Explorer killer with dual airbags, revised styling, a better V6 engine, improved front suspension and an upgraded Selec-Trac four-wheel-drive system. Interiors have been restyled, featuring new luxury doodads and an optional integrated child safety seat. Trim levels are two: Laredo and Limited.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

I have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, Automatic, 2WD, the vehicle starts up perfectly but then instantly dies.Not a sputter nothing it's like it just loses spark.The power works fine, the dash lights come on,no problem, automatic & manual head lights work great so far.Power windows and door locks work,my interior lights work.Gas light comes on,but there's gas in the jeep.None of the gauges move at all.After trying to start it multiple times there is no sort of clicking from inside my vehicle like when my alternator went out & my battery kept dying.I recently replaced the alternator 2 days ago.I replaced transmission catalytic converter,muffler,& major tune up 6 weeks ago. PLEASE HELP
280000 miles just wont die
I bought this jeep with allot of miles cheap. It is the fourth jeep I have owned. Cheap to fix and lots of used parts out there. Can't go wrong if you havn't allot of cash to blow on some over priced ero-trash leather llivingroom. You can still drive it with many things wrong with it then fix it at your own pace. 280k starts and runs great. and the interior is just as good, leather, heated seats, premium sound, comfortable, I can go on.
What more can you ask for
Big Frank,03/02/2002
Most dependable and sturdy vehicle I have owned in years. Actually like it better then my Lincoln.
Bought as is from a used car lot.
Step daughter wanted a Wrangler but we talked her into a Cherokee. This vehicle was found on Craigslist and is white with gold trim. It has dark grey leather interior and a lot of extras. Had a lot of issues with the jeep in the beginning. Radiator sprang a leak and had to be replaced, then the water pump and thermostat soon went out. The jeep then had a problem with shutting down when driving and was totally unreliable. Had to replace the crankshaft and cam shaft position sensors before that problem went away. Changed out the battery for a heavy duty one. Replaced the rotor, distributor cap and spark plug wires. Changed out the fuel filter and worked on the shift cable.
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Features & Specs

14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
185 hp @ 4600 rpm
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
185 hp @ 4600 rpm
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
185 hp @ 4600 rpm
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
185 hp @ 4600 rpm
See all Used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Overview

The Used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV is offered in the following styles: Laredo 4dr SUV, Laredo 4dr SUV 4WD, Limited 4dr SUV, Orvis 4dr SUV 4WD, and Limited 4dr SUV 4WD.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVS are available in my area?

Used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV for sale near you.

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Find a used Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $22,619.

Find a used Jeep for sale - 10 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $12,683.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,818.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Jeep Grand 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.

Check out Jeep lease specials
Check out Jeep Grand Cherokee lease specials