The 1996 Jeep Cherokee was originally a great leap forward for the sport utility vehicle (SUV) market when it was first released. It was one of the first vehicles that offered excellent off-road capabilities but could still be easily driven as though it were a normal passenger vehicle. It predates the boom of luxury SUVs on the market, and it features few amenities, even as optional features. Rather than focusing on improving the interior luxury, it offers a high performance off-road vehicle at an affordable price.
The 1996 Jeep Cherokee is a bargain for drivers who want a good off-road vehicle but are unconcerned with luxury or the interior amenities that are commonly found on many modern SUVs. It's a cheap, utilitarian vehicle that performs very well in its designed role of moving across difficult terrain. Even though it lacks many modern comforts, the smooth ride does allow it to be a fairly comfortable vehicle to ride in. It's also a robust, well-designed vehicle, and some models have been used for decades and still run with admirable performance. Compared to modern off-road SUVs, it can often be bought for a fraction of the price while offering roughly equivalent performance.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 4.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Jeep Cherokee SE, Jeep Cherokee Sport, Jeep Cherokee Country
The 1996 Jeep Cherokee is equipped with improved engines and an upgraded four-wheel-drive system. New color options are available, and the standard equipment is increased over the previous models.
The 1996 Jeep Cherokee is a fairly short SUV measuring in at 166.9 inches long with a wheel base of 101.4 inches. It's available as a two- and four-door vehicle depending on the model selection. Optional features include alloy wheels, roof rack, and a camper towing package.
The 1996 Jeep Cherokee is a very sparse vehicle in terms of features. The only standard feature across all models is an AM/FM radio, and optional features include a center console, leather trim steering wheel, rear window defroster, cruise control, cassette player, and air-conditioning.
Performance & Handling
The Jeep Cherokee made performance a priority, although it's more specialized than many other SUVs on the market. For the price, it's one of the best SUVs available for getting through difficult, rough terrain. Roadway performance is generally mediocre. However, the short length does help significantly. It might not be overly nimble, especially compared to modern crossover SUVs, but it can get into tight spaces thanks to its short length rather than agility.
The 1996 Jeep Cherokee receives a standard driver airbag, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes are available as an option.
EPA Fuel Economy
Jeep Cherokee 2WD, 2.5-liter, manual: 17/21 mpg city/highway
Jeep Cherokee 2WD, 2.5-liter, automatic: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Jeep Cherokee 2WD, four-liter, manual: 17/20 mpg city/highway
Jeep Cherokee 2WD, four-liter, automatic: 16/21 mpg city/highway
Jeep Cherokee 4WD, 2.5-liter, manual: 17/20 mpg city/highway
Jeep Cherokee 4WD, four-liter, automatic: 14/18 mpg city/highway
Jeep Cherokee 4WD, four-liter, manual: 15/20 mpg city/highway
- Nice performance options
- Low price tag for what it offers
- Good off-road performance
You Won't Like
- Outdated design
- Many basic off-road equipment options need to be added as aftermarket
Legendary off-road performance.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Ford Expedition
- GMC Yukon
- Lincoln Navigator
- Nissan Pathfinder