Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee
List price range
1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Pros

  • Lightweight unibody construction, excellent on and off-road manners, optional V-8, standard ABS, dual airbags, lots of standard equipment

Cons

  • Spare tire hogs cargo area, engines hog gas, not as roomy inside as some competitors, price climbs rapidly as options are added

Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV for Sale

Jeep Grand Cherokee 1997 Laredo 4dr SUV 4WD
0
Used 1997
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Laredo
Family Ford
82.2 mi away
ListNot Listed
View Details

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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 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 (2WD, part-time 4WD, full-time 4WD), four different trim levels (Laredo, TSi, Limited, Orvis), 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 improved the Grand Cherokee for 1997. Mechanical changes are limited to the availability of the optional 5.2-liter V8 on 2WD models, and a revised 4.0-liter inline six that allows the JGC to qualify as a Transitional Low Emissions Vehicle in California. According to Jeep, the anti-lock brake system has been refined this year.

Inside, Jeep modified the tilt steering column, extended the rear seat heating ducts, and improved the fit and appearance of the floor carpeting. The entry-level cassette stereo has been upgraded as well. Outside, Jeep adds three new exterior colors, and all Grand Cherokees have a full-body anti-chip coat of primer under the paint. As you can see, Jeep isn't resting on its laurels waiting for the competition to leave the Grand Cherokee in the dust.

In January, the TSi model debuted, sporting specific alloy wheels, monotone paint in a choice of three shades, dark blue pinstriping, leather seats, high powered audio system, and more luxurious interior trimmings.

Unfortunately, just as Jeep caught up to and surpassed the Explorer in comfort and safety features last year, Ford went and squeezed a V8 under the Explorer's hood. This year, Ford is offering a new overhead cam V6 engine in the Explorer which puts out 20 more horsepower than the Jeep inline six. 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.

1997 Highlights

Last year's integrated child safety seat has mysteriously disappeared from press kit and dealer order sheet radar. Other big news is the availability of the optional 5.2-liter V8 engine in 2WD models, and a six-cylinder that qualifies the JGC as a transitional low emission vehicle (TLEV) in California. Refinements have been made to the ABS system, entry-level cassette stereo and floor carpet fit. In January, a sporty TSi model debuted with monotone paint, special aluminum wheels and other goodies.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Impressed with the 4.0
BBull,11/13/2010
Purchased used in 98 with 28K miles, still driving with 242K. Very impressed with the inline 6. Have replaced water pump, EX manifold, computer, etc. mostly myself for low cost. Trans rebuild at 152K. Recently changed idle air control valve and throttle body sensor; got back to average 19MPG in city & 23 MPG HWY. Solid engine, would recommend the inline 6 and would buy again but this one is till running literally like it was 12 years ago.
Jeep
Brandon,12/29/2015
Well this jeep is highly dependable, but there are quite a few sensors that tend to go bad and cause it to stall/lose power/misfire. Main things I have had to replace are Crankshaft Position sensor, fuel pump, and Idle air control valve. Gas mileage is great for a 1997 SUV. If you own one make sure you do a lot of research if something is going wrong with it. I have found tons of help from jeep forums guiding me to what my problem is.
Bad Rear Differential
eric,12/12/2008
I bought this drift-wood colored V8 Orvis at 55000mi, and have put 113000 more on it. Brakes are a bit weak. Careful driving helps a lot. I occasionally haul light utility trailer-loads and have replaced rear differential at 75 and 160 miles. A/C controller went at 150 miles. Lift gate sprung leaks, causing light/alarm problems. E-Brake very weak. Can drive easily with it engaged. Engine still strong. Tranny original. Body very good. Some interior screws work loose. One and 1/2 speakers blown. Rear wiper frozen forever. Good truck to 140,000. Fuel mileage 13 US city, 19 at 75 mph, measured. Paint/exterior holding up really well. exhaust and entire front- end original (one link replaced at 94)
"Bullet Proof?????!!!!!" ...I think NOT!!!
ACM,07/29/2015
***Let me preface this review by stating that this vehicle was well maintained, not abused, before and after I bought it*** I've owned my 97 Grand Cherokee Laredo for 5 years now and it has been, by far, the worst vehicle I've ever owned (and I've owned a lot). Let's start with the... Exterior: mine is the green/gold color and the paint has been peeling off of the top and hood since before I bought it (primer failure/paint defect). The driver's door hinge is worn out and the door sags. I went through an automated car wash and the clear plastic face of both head headlights fell off (?!) so I had to replace them. Safety Issues: There is a factory recall because of a chance of the Jeep exploding if hit from the rear (?!) Electrical Issues: The Crankshaft Position Sensor failed (also a common issue with these Jeeps) and left me stranded on a secluded stretch of road for 4 hours - my mechanic thought it was the fuel pump, so I ended up buying a fuel pump AND the CPS. The Jeep developed an issue where it would sporadically stall (usually at the LEAST convenient time and location) and wouldn't crank back up for 2 minutes. After replacing multiple parts over the course of 8 1/2 months and almost getting killed several times as it stalled in the middle of a busy intersection, it was determined that there was a bad connection with a wiring harness that plugs into the Powertrain Control Module (also a design flaw). A series of zip ties and wooden wedges behind the PCM fixed that problem. The instrument lights flicker off and on while driving with the lights on, because of loose electrical connection somewhere. The AC fan only works on the 3 lowest settings (not on High) unless you jiggle the wiring harness behind the glove compartment. Drivetrain: I had to replace the rear axle because the carrier bearing housing broke (and apparently this is common on these jeeps). The transmission slips and leaks. I had to replace the water pump twice, the cooling fan twice and the radiator. I've replaced the starter twice. The freeze plug on the back of the head developed a small leak that I didn't catch until the Jeep ran hot and blew the head gasket and cracked the head (I was in the middle of a long bridge and couldn't pull over). This head freeze plug rusting out is also (supposedly) a design flaw with the 4.0... something about the factory casting sand getting lodged around it, causing it to rust. Other: the carpet on the passenger floorboard is constantly wet because of a design flaw with the ac condenser drain tube. All 5 of the door lock actuators (rear lift gate too) stopped working/disintegrated because they are cheaply made. ...I'm sure I've missed something... there has been so much I've been through with this Jeep... never again will I own a Chrysler product. My Ford Expedition - same year (97) with 250k+ miles... I've owned it for 13 years and I'VE REPLACED THE SPARK PLUGS AND WIRES!!! PERIOD!!!
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
185 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
185 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
185 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
185 hp @ 4600 rpm
See all Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV features & specs

Safety

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
    Marginal

More about the 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Overview

The Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV is offered in the following styles: TSi 4dr SUV 4WD, Limited 4dr SUV, Limited 4dr SUV 4WD, Laredo 4dr SUV 4WD, Orvis 4dr SUV 4WD, Laredo 4dr SUV, and TSi 4dr SUV.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV?

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Find a used Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $17,883.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 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