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1999 Jeep Cherokee Review
A timeless classic.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1999 Jeep Cherokee is a unibody compact SUV manufactured by Chrysler under its American Motors division. It shared its name with the original Cherokee SJ model, but steered away from the body-on-frame chassis and paved the way for the modern SUV. From the time of its introduction in 1984, the Cherokee’s unique appearance and popularity spawned a number of imitators. It is considered by many to be among the greatest and most influential SUVs of all time.
Engines: 4.0-liter I-6, 2.5-liter I-4
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Jeep Cherokee SE, Jeep Cherokee Sport, Jeep Cherokee Classic, Jeep Cherokee Limited
The 1999 Jeep Cherokee comes with a revised front fascia including body colored bumpers and grille. The vehicle is also available in two new exterior colors. Other changes made in the middle of this year include a revised four-liter engine to improve the intake manifold. This was done to meet the new low emission laws.
While the Grand Cherokee is aligned toward comfort and grace, the 1999 Jeep Cherokee keeps its focus on its rich heritage. The SUV retains the classic Jeep elements. Even though it has gone through changes since its introduction, it is still possible to see some aspects from the first 1984 model in the 1999 Jeep Cherokee. The exterior of the Cherokee has been changed a little this year, but it maintains its upright and utilitarian position among its more elegant rivals. This can either be a put-off for customers or one of the strongest selling points for the SUV.
The 1999 Jeep Cherokee maintains its old interior, with little to no changes in several years. The Cherokee is expectedly less roomy than a Ford Explorer or a Grand Cherokee, but it does accommodate four adults with ease. Legroom and headroom are average for all the seats up front. The rear bench also offers a decent amount of space, but there are a few problems. The low roof reduces headroom, and shoulder room is also a little less than required. The bench also fails to provide enough knee clearance for the passengers and entry and exit is difficult because of the lofty step-in and the narrow lower doorways.
On a positive note, the 1999 Jeep Cherokee offers a modern and convenient dashboard. Visibility is good, too, although larger door mirrors could have improved visibility for easier lane changing. The cargo space is more than adequate but adding the spare tire takes up most of the space. Nevertheless, there is a decent amount of space available with the seat upright and a long cargo floor with the rear seat folded down. The 1999 Jeep Cherokee can also be fitted with an outside spare tire from dealerships, which frees up a lot of space inside the vehicle. The vehicle tends to have a few minor interior rattles and some panel gaps around the tailgate and the hood.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Jeep Cherokee is available with two engines. The first engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which is used in the base SE model. This engine delivers 125 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. All other models of the Cherokee get a four-liter inline six-cylinder engine that delivers 190 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. The base engine mates with a five-speed manual gearbox or a three-speed automatic transmission. The six-cylinder engine is combined with the manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission.
The four-cylinder base engine of the 1999 Jeep Cherokee delivers only adequate acceleration when combined with the manual transmission, and the engine is overmatched with the automatic to do anything other than gentle cruising. The better engine option is the inline six-cylinder engine, which delivers power through the speed range and offers a fuel economy of a midsized SUV. Unfortunately, the dated design of the 1999 Jeep Cherokee makes it suffer from more road and powertrain resonances than any other competitive SUV in the market. Wind noise is also quite prominent at high speeds.
The 1999 Jeep Cherokee received three out of five stars for driver and passenger safety during frontal impact collision tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Low price tag
- Rugged appeal
- Optional ABS
- Powerful engine
You Won't Like
- Outdated engineering
- Uncomfortable rear seat
- Poor interior build
A timeless classic.
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