The 1997 Jeep Cherokee was originally a great leap forward for the sport utility vehicle (SUV) market. It was one of the first vehicles that offered excellent off-road capabilities in a vehicle that didn't require the driver to be specifically trained to handle it. Pre-dating the luxury SUV boon, it features few amenities, even as optional features. However, this results in offering excellent performance for a very low price tag.
The 1997 Jeep Cherokee is a bargain for drivers who want a good off-road vehicle but are unconcerned with the amenities that are commonly found on many modern SUVs. It's is an inexpensive, utilitarian vehicle that gets the job done. Even though it lacks many modern comforts, the smooth ride does allow it to be a fairly comfortable vehicle to use. The robust design of the Jeep Cherokee makes it a good investment as a used vehicle. Some Cherokees were used for decades and still runs with admirable performance.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 4.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, three-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: Jeep Cherokee SE, Jeep Cherokee Sport, Jeep Cherokee Country
The 1997 Jeep Cherokee receives some minor refinements to the front and rear styling. The instrumentation was updated substantially, and the exterior paints also gets a more polished finish.
The 1997 Jeep Cherokee is a fairly short SUV measuring in at 167.5 inches long with a wheel base of 101.4 inches. It's available as a two-door and four-door vehicle, whereas optional features include alloy wheels, roof rack, and a camper towing package.
The 1997 Jeep Cherokee is a very utilitarian vehicle. The only standard feature across all models is an AM/FM radio. Optional features include a center console, leather trim steering wheel, rear window defroster, power heated mirrors, power mirrors, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, cassette player, Infinity audio, and air-conditioning.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Jeep Cherokee carries performance as a high point, although it's more specialized than other SUVs. For the price, it's one of the best available for getting through difficult, rough terrain. Roadway performance is generally mediocre; however, the short length of the Jeep Cherokee does help significantly. Although it might not be overly nimble, especially compared to modern crossover SUVs, it can get into tight spaces due to its short length.
Dual-front airbags are a standard feature on all Jeep Cherokee models. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are available as an option.
EPA Fuel Economy
Jeep Cherokee, four-cylinder: 18/22 mpg city/highway
Jeep Cherokee, six-cylinder: 14/19 mpg city/highway
- Nice performance options
- Good value
- Good off-road performance
You Won't Like
- Outdated design
- Many basic off-road equipment options need to be added
- Cramped rear seat
Rugged off-road performance for any driver.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Ford Expedition
- GMC Yukon
- Lincoln Navigator
- Nissan Pathfinder