Many of us remember full well the high critical acclaim the Grand Cherokee got from the numerous car reviewers in the 90’s. In the 1998 the original model was replaced with a new Cherokee with impeccable styling and all the sweet upgrades. Now, we see the third generation of the Grand Cherokee being sold in dealerships, debuted for the 2005 model year. This time it has a new four wheel–drive transmission Quadra Drive II, boasts a DVD-player and the powerful 5.7 liter V8. Also, a 3.7 V6 took place of the revered 4.0 straight 6 engine.
Some of the criticism that the new model receives is that it follows the recent trend in SUV’s, namely better on-road performance, but decreased off-road capability – quite a few folks that took it off road did not like its new axle articulation, especially during low-speed maneuvers. Some were not too sure about its performance over the uneven terrain. The new design is also not liked by some who see it as overly harsh and brutal, lacking the clean silhouette of the previous model.
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee
So is it worth considering the pervious Grand (WJ) which can be found well under $15.000?
Well let’s look at some of the pros and cons of buying the second generation model, which was in production 1999 – 2004.
You get a really nice looking SUV for a fraction of the price, which with proper care will serve you many years to come. With this model the spare tire is relocated under the floor to great relief of owners. It has the new clean sheet V8 power train, which is now lighter, and gets much better fuel economy and the updated straight 6 engine with 10 horsepower added.
These engines have always been reliable and even allowed for moderate overheating. The automatic transmission has also proved to be very reliable, serving as much as the vehicle itself.
Another notable feature is the realization of its off-road potential via a use of the Quadra-Drive transfer case, which can be set to ‘4-All Time’, ‘Neutral’, and ‘4-Lo’. Achieving the powerful 2.72 reduction gear ratio for 4-Lo position can take one to some of the harder places to reach.
The interior has plenty of space for the passengers and the frame was strengthened with the help of Porsche experts. Moreover, over 70 % of the underbody is made of high-strength steel.
Cherokees over 100,000 miles will more than likely require tune up for the cylinder head, after which the engine will regain its powers. The V8 with high mileage may consume quite a bit of oil.
The suspension would need a good check-up, as the previous owner might have been an active driver and it could have suffered quite a few serious blows. Special attention is to be taken with the bushings and the axle beams. Other things would vary from car to car.
To sum it all up – it’s not a bad deal at all to find a good used Grand Cherokee, but as with anything else – proper care must be exercised to find a sold specimen. Do your homework and use a trusted mechanic, and you may find a true gem!