1998 Jeep Cherokee

Change Vehicle

1998 Jeep Cherokee

Search Inventory Near You


Available in 12 styles:  Cherokee 2dr 4x2 SE shown
Print


Asking Price Range
$1,014–$7,746

Estimated MPG

16–21 city / 20–25 hwy


See Photos & Videos


Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 2

By 

AZCentral.com
Here's the compact sport-utility vehicle that started the trend, the Jeep Cherokee, whose boxy form has aged successfully into a modern classic.

At one time, it was the yuppie family car of choice, the vehicle to be seen in while doing suburban chores such as toting home gardening supplies, schlepping the kids off to school or taking the golden retriever out for a romp.

Or it was the eminently practical, go-anywhere, rough-and-tumble Jeep wagon for traveling under inclement conditions to ski slopes and campsites.

Either way, it seemed to strike a lively chord when it first appeared in 1984, and remains a popular item in the ongoing mad rush to ditch sedans for sport utes.

In many ways, the Cherokee has held up nicely, and it's well-priced compared with the legion of expensive sport-utility vehicles crowding the highways and cluttering showroom floors. In other aspects, including its cramped interior, sparse amenities and buckboard ride, Cherokee seems stuck in the Stone Age.

Our 1998 test craft was a value-priced model that offers a lot of sport ute for less than $20,000. The simple, unadorned exterior with plain steel wheels was nonetheless attractive and contrasted nicely with some of the more overwrought luxury-barge utes being hawked these days.

A five-speed stick shift hooked up with a four-cylinder engine provided enough motivation for most applications, and certainly enough for crawling over rugged terrain. The setup was fun to drive, too, feeling macho and trucklike.

But on the highway, the limitations of the four-cylinder were obvious. Freeway merging, passing and steep grades were daunting. For extra power, the Cherokee is also available with a powerful 4.0-liter straight-six, a venerable but good-running engine. It's the better choice.

Although the drivetrain seemed to work well, there were worrisome noises on this brand-new tester, including groans from the clutch on takeoff and a high-pitched whine apparently from the engine belts under acceleration.

Compared with its competition, the Cherokee's ride is heavy and stiff, feeling clunky and old-fashioned. Its front end, with its heavy off-highway gear, stumbles over rough pavement and porpoises at highway speeds.

The power steering has been improved for '98, and it's quicker and more direct.

Inside the Cherokee, the interior also seems out-of-date, with a tight, narrow cabin, truck-style dash and sparse gauges. The seats are not terribly supportive, and for the driver, there's absolutely no place to put that left foot when it's not working the clutch.

As a relatively low-priced model, there were no electric windows, central locking or other toys, except for, oddly, power-adjustable side mirrors. I gladly would have traded the power-adjustable side mirrors for central locking.

The cargo space behind the back seat is broad and roomy, especially for a small vehicle. But why does Jeep insist on mounting its spare tire on the inside, steal ing cargo room? It's not terribly difficult or expensive to mount it on the outside, as does essentially all the competition.

For all its warts, the Cherokee is still a bargain compared with others of its ilk. Women buy the Cherokee almost 3-to-2 over men, and this classic box still holds nearly 10 percent of the compact sport-utility-vehicle market.

Still, what if Chrysler did the same sort of makeover of the Cherokee that it did with the Wrangler? With Wrangler, the automaker was able to accomplish a reasonably inexpensive transformation of the original four-by-four, making it more modern and better performing without losing its appeal or boosting its price.

Chrysler could do the same with the Cherokee, designing a better suspension and a classier interior while keeping the styling intact.

It would be grand. Not the Grand Cherokee, the redesigned and more-expensive version, but just a grand Cherokee, still low-priced and still high class.

1998 Jeep Che rokee

Vehicle type: Five-passenger, four-door wagon, rear/four-wheel drive. Base price: $17,990. Price as tested: $19,625. Engine: 2.5-liter in-line four, 125 horsepower at 5,400 rpm, 150 pounds-feet of torque at 3,250 rpm. Transmission: Five-speed stick shift. Curb weight: 3,181 pounds. Length: 167.5 inches. EPA fuel economy: 18 mpg city, 20 mpg highway. Highs: Budget price. Rugged four-wheel drive. Classic styling. Lows: Cramped interior. Low engine power. Buckboard ride.


    Expert Reviews 2 of 2

Featured Services for this Jeep Cherokee

  • Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.
  • Not sure what auto repair should cost you? Use our price estimator.
  • Get help with car repair now on Cars.com. Visit Repair & Care

Search Inventory Near You

Calculate Monthly Payment

What will my monthly cost be?

Check Payment

Calculate Affordable Price

What is the most I can afford?

Check Price

More Calculators

Compare finance offers to decide what's right for you.

Certain specifications, prices and equipment data have been provided under license from Chrome Data Solutions ("Chrome Data"). ©2013 Chrome Data Solutions, LP. All Rights Reserved. This information is supplied for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the express written consent of Chrome Data. Chrome Data makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, including without limitation any warranty of merchantability or fitness for particular purpose, with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice.