With every automobile there are going to be variable opinions about reliability. For instance, my grandfather owns a Cadillac Catera and has had it since it was brand new. Try going to the dealership to find parts and they are either no longer available or it is going to take nearly a month to get what you need. Countless times the salesman have attempted to convince him to trade the car in and have literally told him it is just a piece of junk. That is not how grandpa sees it though. Having driven the car I can say when it does run it rides well. I can remember after I bought my Jeep Cherokee that my grandfather asked me a ton of questions and actually questioned why I wanted an “old” vehicle and why I wanted to go offroading. He insinuated I was spending a lot of money, which if you wrote everything down I had done whether it be upgrades or maintenance/repairs, wouldn’t come close to what he has spent fixing his Catera. Plain and simple, it is just not reliable like my Jeep Cherokee.
My Jeep may be over 20 years old and some will see it as ready to go to the scrap yard (which infuriates me). A few dents here and there doesn’t make it a bad vehicle. What does is under the hood and the drivetrain if you have had to constantly make repairs. I so want to ask people how many times their automobile has left them stranded, been repaired by them and how many miles they actually have on theirs? Now I will give credit to my Toyota friends that their automobiles do just as good as my Cherokee. I am amazed at some of the mileage stories I have heard from long time Toyota owners.
If you are a Jalopnik.com reader you may have recently come across an article about the top ten best used cars to buy with your tax refund. In case you haven’t though, their #4 pick is the Jeep Cherokee: http://jalopnik.com/5902578/the-ten-best-used-cars-to-buy-with-your-tax-refund/gallery/8 .
I used to think that a car with over 100K miles was getting worn out. Not with a Jeep Cherokee and according to my Jeep friends, that is barely breaking it in. My boyfriends Cherokee has 350K miles on it with original parts; mine has around 220K miles on it though I have changed out the engine and transmission.
The original owner of my Cherokee didn’t take care of her very well so when I brought her home I discovered a cracked head. That’s no biggie since I went to Pull-A-Part junk yard in Atlanta to get another one. Six months later I purchased a Grand Cherokee from my uncle just for the engine he had spent lots of money on overhauling. The only reason why I changed out my transmission was because of my rough off roading skills. I apparently had crimped the lines together. Looking at the prices for new lines I realized I could just buy another used transmission. I ended up getting one for free from an XJ friend though which was even better.
So I have had to replace a radiator a time or two (due to manufacturer defects), a battery that cracked, a water pump and a throttle position sensor. Those are all normal maintenance repairs that happen in the life of an automobile. The times that I have been stranded on the side of the road are because of operator error, mostly running out of gas thinking I could go just a little further down the road to a cheaper gas station. Once was a new radiator that split at the tank which was plastic (sigh).
In the five years that I have owned my Cherokee I have driven it a lot. One year I decided to make a spur of the moment trip to Texas for Thanksgiving with two of my kids in tow. While my mom was in a panic because my Jeep was “old” in her eyes, I was confident I would get there and back, 1,800 miles later. I have driven it to Harlan, Kentucky which is a four hour drive one way at least once a year and sometimes twice. I lived in Cookeville, Tennessee about 100 miles one way from my hometown at least twice a month for a year. I just about drive my Cherokee everyday taking my kids to school and running errands.
Before I owned the Jeep, I had a 2000 Mazda MPV mini van. It was fancy with the leather seats, sun roof and video player, but I wasn’t happy with it. I liked it because it had room for my kids and their stuff I had to tag along when they were babies and toddlers, but it wasn’t me. I made the decision I wanted a vehicle I could easily find parts for, do a lot of the repairs on my own and was known to be reliable. After talking with my best friend I learned the Jeep Cherokee fit all three categories. I remembered my step dad owned a Cherokee and loved it. He drove it until it fell apart and it had close to 300K miles on it when he sold it.
Out of the nine automobiles I have ever owned which includes two Hondas and Mazdas, Chevrolet and Fords, the Jeep Cherokee has been the best and most reliable of them all. It is the one and only vehicle I have ever been happy with. Ask my three kids what their favorite vehicle has been and they will tell you the Jeep.