Jeep Cherokee SW 1993 - 2001

Jeep Cherokee SW 1993 - 2001

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • A tough and good off-roader
  • It comes well equipped


  • Limited space in the back
  • The running costs are extremely high
  • It is one of the most unreliable 4x4’s


Jeep are one of the few 4x4 companies that people associate with excellent off-roading ability and are only bettered by Land Rover. The Cherokee is no exception. It was imported into the UK to appeal more to city dwellers with its ruggedly good looks and high equipment levels. It was thought that these owners would be less concerned about its running costs which are exceedingly high. The interior is surprisingly cramped especially in the rear and the seats lack proper support. The cabin also feels outdated now and the engines are all rather disappointing. The 4.0-litre petrol offers good performance, but it is extremely thirsty. The diesel offers good economy figures (for a Jeep), but is the slowest engine available.

Exterior and Interior

The Cherokee is a good looking, rugged 4x4. It has very square and angular lines that help to make it feel aggressive and solid. The interior is rather disappointing though with limited legroom for the back seat passengers. The seats aren’t very supportive either making longer journeys uncomfortable. The boot is a reasonable size, but isn’t that impressive, but you should be able to get the families luggage in easily enough. The cabin feels dated and the dash is poorly laid out making it difficult to use the first few times you drive the vehicle. Everything does feel very robust and solid to touch though. When choosing a trim level steer clear of the Sport trim and instead go for either the Limited or Orvis models as they both add air con, alloys, cruise control, electric windows, leather upholstery and a good range of safety features. The Orvis adds a few luxuries including a CD multichanger.

Performance and Economy

The entry level 2.5-litre petrol gives offers very uninspiring performance and isn’t much more economical than the larger 4.0-litre engine only managing 20mpg. The 4.0-litre offers better performance reaching 60mph in 9.2 seconds, two and a half seconds faster than the 2.5-litre. Although 17mpg is far from being impressive, the performance it gives you over the smaller unit is enough to opt for this engine, only if you insist on not driving the diesel version which is the best option. The diesel engine is the best all-round engine even though it is the slowest taking 12.7 seconds from 0-60mph. It offers better low down pulling power than the petrol’s which is better for towing and off-roading. However, the main selling point is the fuel economy which comes in at 31mpg. Insurance costs are likely to be more expensive for the Cherokee than its competitors so be prepared for high running costs if you want to own a Cherokee.

Like to Drive

The Cherokee performs fairly well on the road with limited body roll in the corners due to its low roof and low centre of gravity. It is also fairly easy to drive feeling smaller than it actually helping to make it less daunting to drive around town. The steering is a bit vague though and the ride can be uncomfortable, especially over rougher road surfaces. If you decide to take it off-road you will see just how well it tackles mud, water, sand steep inclines and pretty much anything else you throw at it.

Faults and Repairs

The Cherokee has proven to be one of the most unreliable 4x4’s with the majority of its problems arising from the suspension and running gear. There have also been several recalls with the more worrying ones being in 1995 regarding the drivers airbag, in 1996 due to handbrake problems and another in 2000 over fears that the airbags could go off without warning due to control module suffering from corrosion. If you looking to buy one go for a good model and only for one that has a full service history as neglected cars will give you nothing but problems. The servicing and repair costs won’t come cheap either with Jeeps labour rates being higher than that of its rivals.