This is my 2nd Jeep Grand Cherokee, so I already know what to expect. I had a 96 prior to getting my 98. They're the same with very few changes if any that a typical buyer would even know, and most dealers wouldn't know either. Overall mine is great condition, and considered low mileage (150k) for being 20 years old. I have the 4.0L Straight 6 and it gets up and moves just fine. Gets mid 20's for fuel economy on the highway...its a box on wheels going down the road its not going to get excellent fuel economy...if you want that buy a Prius. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is quite a capable vehicle in stock form, handles snow/ice/mud very well (with the right driver of course). I opted for the Selec-Trac 4WD system in my 98. My 96 had the Quadra-Trac 4WD system. Both do great in snow/ice, but the Selec-Trac gives you the best of all worlds, 2WD, 4WD part time and full time, neutral and low range. The Quadra-Trac is full time 4WD with neutral and low range. These were offered with the 4.0L Straight 6 engine, a 318 (5.2L) V8, or a 360 (5.9L) V8 for only the 98 model year. Any of these engines will give you great performance, the 5.9L V8 was a special package option of course. Fuel economy averages around 12-14 in town, depending on your driving style, 4WD usage, terrain, speed, etc. Highway fuel economy is going to be mostly based on your speed and driving style as well as the tires you have. Expect low to mid 20's for regular highway driving at a steady speed and around 65mph, any faster and your fuel economy will of course drop just like any other vehicle. My 96 Grand Cherokee had 232,000 miles on it when I sold it, and it still ran and drove great. My current 98 has 151,000 miles on it and needs new stabilizer bushings and such, but nothing that keeps it from being extremely reliable. The 6 cylinder models are rated to tow 5,000lbs, I can tell you they'll tow more but I wouldn't recommend doing so on a regular basis...also they no longer have an auxiliary external transmission cooler so if you want to do any towing I'd definitely recommend having one installed. The V8 models are rated for 6,500lbs towing. The back seat split folds 60/40 giving a very nice roomy cargo area. My Jeep has the flip up glass in the rear hatch, making loading and unloading smaller items pretty easy, and keeping things from falling out that have been stuffed into the cargo area. The spare tire does take up quite a bit of interior space on the left side of the cargo area, however. Regular maintenance and good quality fuel and these things are going to take you anywhere you want to go anytime you want to go regardless of weather. They have very good road manners even in crosswinds and they are balanced very well making them go in the snow/ice much better than many other similar vehicles.
I do admit, I joke about my Jeep being a POC. But to be fair, I got my first last year (2WD) from a dirtbag liar, and it had never been serviced aside from oil- the battery was 13 years old!! Now that I've seen to the old and rotting Engine bay, the car is a gem. Still rock solid engine and transmission. Got it with 170K and I've put over 40K on it in the past year. The car was overpriced for what I was getting, but the interior was spotless. The speakers still sound really nice with classic '80s playing. The seats are in a lot better condition than my SO's '07 saturn. I love this car so much I've bought another. This one is a 4WD, and in rougher shape due to leather seats and a busted front light but I'm ready to get it just as nice as mine currently is. I wouldn't ever trade my Jeep for another. If you want to buy a JGC Laredo, just make sure you focus on a few things: Is the PCM in good shape? How does it sound on the test drive? What do the hoses look like? And lastly, if the interior is good, then you're golden.
Well when i first got the jeep I was worried but it turned out pretty well, and yes I mean it has about 194,xxx on it but for a inline 6 it's nothing, I do have a few leaks, the oil pan is a giving on all(most) jeeps, the rest pinon seal is leaking but that's not to bad to fix, and then some seals causing the trans to leak, but other then that, she runs and drives and has never quit on me, not even on the cold days, my brother vehicle with a good battery still died and mine just cranked right up, the fuel pump on this keeps are known to go out so just beware , hmm it does good off-road also, even know with front and rear open diff. It goes good, hmm on road it had a lot of torque!! But HP. Not to much so just keep that in mine, on mine jeep I can average about 20-21 MPG on HWY, and about 15-16om city driving . She does like to drink has so just keep that also in mine. But I have gone places where I couldn't in my civic, but I'm glad I got the jeep! Well worth it just keep it nice on the inside(engine bay, and all the trans) and it should be a great SUV .
They didn't make too many of them, they're in high demand. There's also a club for just this model. Minimal repairs since owning vehicle. Most luxurious Jeep model and year I've seen. Gas Mileage could be better, 20-22 on the freeway, less in town. Still going strong after 20 years. Still looks nearly new. Has 194,000 miles, had to put in a new cooling fan two years ago. Shop could not find a replacement, had to put in a different one. The cooling fan is electric and has two speeds. The low speed fan switch just went out, the high speed switch is OK. The shop was unable to find a replacement that day as they're not stock, I'll have to find one on my own. Oh yes, when I put in the new cooling fan, I found out at a later date the shop stole the front part of the drive shaft. The vehicle didn't have the power it as supposed to have while climbing a mountain. I called a friend and told him, he didn't know what to make of it. When I reached my destination, the starter went out. A guy from Auto Zone crawled under there, replaced the starter, told me the front part of the drive shaft was gone, as in stolen.
I just read another guy's post. He runs the heck out of it, stomps on the gas, drag races from one traffic signal to the next. He also states he has to run premium fuel. I always run mid-grade when driving in town, but I drive the vehicle gently. For a while, I was accidentally running 87 as that's what my other vehicle uses, I didn't notice a difference. There was some slight pinging but I had to put the window down and drive by a concrete barrier to hear it. When I'm traveling cross country and going into the mountains, I use premium fuel.
I can't tell you how much problems the jeeps we have get. Me and my dad both own the exact model 1998 Jeep even both of them being the same color. My dad has the 4.0 and I have the V8. They have always been nothing but trouble for many years. His has been in the shop forever, mine has 240000 miles now. It leak oil all the time always has, leaks coolent, leaks transmission, transmission slips also even when fluid is full, O2 sensor went out recently (as expected), no heat, no a/c, and that's just the recent stuff, tried getting that to work like four different times and it always just goes back out. And many more things over the years, it's like every other month somthing breaks down on it. Now it's a metal death trap because everytime I slow down/mash the brakes/ come to a stop, the RPMs drop to zero and the jeep shuts off and brakes and steering lock up WHILE IM DRIVING. even as your turning into a parking spot, or almost ramming into the back of a car because the thing just decided to shut off. Alot of times in a nervous wreck when I get home from almost crashing. Have spent many times trying to get the problem fixed but four different machanics at four different shops can't figure it out. It's now sitting in the yard because Im too scared to drive the junk. Now driving a little Chevy s10 truck. maybe I can use the jeep as a dare for my friends to drive it and if they get back without crashing I'll give them a hundered bucks.