A practical and durable 'go anywhere' Jeep Cherokee XJ in astonishingly good condition, top specification and with documented service history - ready to be enjoyed.
At a glance:
- Jeep Cherokee XJ 4.0 Limited
- 4.0 litre six cylinder petrol, automatic gearbox, two & four wheel drive
- Original high specification
- Moss green pearl metallic paint with tan leather interior
- 154,219 miles
- Masses of service history, will also have a fresh 12,000 mile annual service
- MOT to January 2021
- HPI Clear
The Jeep Cherokee (XJ) was manufactured and marketed by Jeep from 1983 to 2001. The models were originally marketed as 'Sportwagons' and became the precursor to the modern sport utility vehicle (SUV) as that term was not yet in use. The XJ spawned competitors as other manufacturers noticed that this Jeep design began replacing regular cars. It also began to supplant the role of the American estate cars or 'station wagons' and 'transformed from truck to limousine in the eyes of countless suburban owners.' The XJ was a significant link in the evolution of the 4x4, whilst journalist Robert Cumberford, writing for Automobile, called the Jeep XJ one of the 20 greatest cars of all time for its design, and "possibly the best SUV shape of all time, it is the paradigmatic model to which other designers have since aspired". The XJ was also selected in 2011 as one of "10 cars that refuse to die" by Kiplinger.
The XJ Cherokee introduced for the 1984 model year was the first Jeep with a ladder-boxed chassis integrated into a single monocoque unit rather than the traditional separate body-on-frame construction. The design was rigid and sturdy with approximately 3200 welds in a completed body, yet lightweight, this uniframe construction allowed outstanding performance compared to previous models.
American Motors's compact XJ Cherokee was to be replaced by a new and larger model known as the ZJ (later named the Jeep Grand Cherokee when introduced in 1993). However, The XJ's continuing popularity caused Chrysler executives to rethink this decision, and while the ZJ models were introduced in 1993, these XJ models were retained until 2001. The Jeep XJ has remained a popular choice by off-roading enthusiasts due to its potent off-roading capability in stock form. Its popularity has resulted in strong ongoing aftermarket support in the form of a wide variety of products. After 13 years of production, February 1997 saw the Cherokee receive updated exterior and interior styling, receiving a steel tailgate (replacing the fibreglass one used previously), restyled rear lights, additional plastic mouldings along the doors, as well as a new front header panel that featured more aerodynamic styling. The spare tyre was moved from a rear exterior bumper mount to an interior location to de-content the rear bumper. The interior was similarly updated with an all-new design and instrument panel. A stiffer unibody frame brought improvements to noise, vibration, and harshness and new door seals that reduced wind noise at higher speeds. These facelifted '97 onwards models are far nicer to drive, own and run, and are considered 'the ones to have'. The Cherokee XJ remains a popular vehicle among off-roading enthusiasts, whilst Popular Mechanics listed the XJ as one of "the 25 greatest boxy cars of all time".
The history of this car:
The car was first registered new in the UK on the 31st December 1997, with 5 owners in total over the last 21 years. One previous keep owned the car from 2008 to 2018 and it was his pride and joy. Looking at the superb condition, particularly of the exterior, it is clear that this car has been cherished and well cared for throughout its life.
This is the 4.0 Limited version, with the most desirable colour combination; moss green pearl metallic with tan leather interior - Everybody seems to love the green Jeeps! The Limited version was very generous trim level including options such as electrically operated leather seats, cruise control, air conditioning and walnut (albeit plastic walnut) trim. The 4.0 litre is the best choice for power, comfort and smoothness, as opposed to the slightly agricultural diesel, or underwhelming 2.5 petrol. It comes equipped with automatic transmission and switchable 2/4 wheel drive with high and low ratios. The car is presented unmodified and in the same specification as when it left the factory, apart from an updated Alpine CD player and refurbished wheels. The car also has a fitted tow bar with twin electrics, which appears to be new and unused, with a very capable towing limit of 3135kg. The original wheels have recently been refurbished as the Jeep wheels were prone to the clear lacquer failing, and the car also had new Avon Ranger ATT tyres fitted.
According to online sources, at the end of 2017 there were only around 800 of these Jeep Cherokee 4.0 Limited automatic models still taxed on UK roads, making this car increasingly rare and desirable and likely to become a sure-fire future future classic. The prices seem to be rising rapidly for these XJ Cherokees, and finding one like this in such great condition is increasingly difficult.
The Jeep has masses of service history, book pack and old MOTs. The car will have a 12,000 mile annual service carried out by my garage, making it ready for immediate enjoyment by the next owner.
This Jeep has covered 154,219 miles - an average of under 7,500 miles per year over its 21 year life. This mileage may be higher than some, but it drives superbly and you could be forgiven for thinking it has only covered 25,000 miles. No doubt this is due to the servicing record which has keep the car in superb mechanical order. With cars of this vintage, I tend to feel that mileage is less important that condition, and it's also worth remembering that 154,000 miles on long journeys and motorways is far less wearing for a vehicle than 50,000 miles on the school run...
On the Road:
I absolutely love these Jeeps, and this is possibly the smoothest and best behaved Cherokee XJ I have had the pleasure of driving. The car starts quickly and pulls very strongly through the gears. The engine has bags of torque and grunt and can be relatively brisk if encouraged. It's not a sports car, but it will get you anywhere you want to go, on or off road. Importantly, the drivetrain is quiet, no doubt due to regular servicing. The car sits happily on the motorway at 70mph with no untoward noises from the transmission, differentials, axles or wheel bearings. The steering is precise, the speedometer appears accurate and the brakes work smoothly and efficiently. It keeps perfect temperature, whilst the electric fan cuts in only on the hottest of days. It has a sense of purpose and poise on the road, and enjoys a high driving position with excellent visibility with its uncluttered design. It's a delight to drive and puts a smile on my face everywhere I have been in it. The interior is a wonderful place to be, and these facelift cars have a more modern feeling interior than their predecessors. This Jeep is rugged, capable and enjoyable - retro in an uncomplicated way and easy to maintain and enjoy.
This car could easily be used for everyday commuting, for safe family and/or pet transportation, as a working thoroughbred 4x4, full on mud-plugger, or just for pleasure as a weekend treat - by being capable of so many different uses these Jeeps represent brilliant all-rounders.
This car is fitted with the fuel injected 180 hp 4.0 litre (3960cc) AMC 242 straight six engine, one of four AMC engines kept in production when Chrysler bought AMC in 1987. Chrysler engineers continued to refine the engine and the last in the line of the AMC inline sixes, the 4.0 is regarded as one of the best Chrysler 4x4 off-road engines ever made. A Motor Trend long-term test of a 1997 Cherokee XJ noted "this long-lived OHV powerplant has a reputation for getting people where they need to go" as well as "much love expressed by owners for the torquey 4.0-liter/190-horsepower inline six." The engine is known for longevity, and can sometimes cover more than 300,000 miles without rebuilding. It also features a timing chain which should last the life of the engine, as opposed to a timing belt which needs changing at regular service intervals.
The car has the AW4 four speed automatic transmission which operates perfectly. The AW4 automatic transmission was designed jointly by AMC and Jeep and produced by Aisin-Warner. It has four forward speeds and shares many common parts with Aisin- Warner’s 450-43LE transmission. It first went into production in 1987 and lasted until the end of the 2001 model year. It was used in many popular Jeep vehicles, including the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Comanche. There is also the selector for 2 and 4 wheel drive with high and low ratios, should you require some off piste activity.
Sold with MOT until 3rd January 2021 with only one advisory; front brake pads wearing thin, and I will have new pads fitted when the car is being serviced, ready for collection by the next owner.
As you can probably see from the pictures, this Jeep is in really lovely condition. Maybe one or two little marks as you would expect, a few stone chips, but it's extremely presentable. There are no signs that it has ever been used off road, which is always encouraging. The car has nearly new tyres all round and recently refurbished alloy wheels in perfect condition. The interior is in good condition with wear noticeable on the front seats, more noticeably on the drivers seat which is now starting to show its age. I'm sure if you have been looking at these Jeeps, you'll agree it's really rare to find one with such an immaculate and wonderfully glossy exterior. It’s always difficult to express in words the condition of any car, and most people have differing opinions about condition, so the best way to get a true impression will be to view this lovely car in person. I’m confident that anybody with realistic expectations will be delighted to own and enjoy this really handsome four wheel drive.
The general value range (which seems to be increasing rapidly) for these Jeeps in good, road worthy and presentable condition with decent MOT is normally £2500 - £5,000 with immaculate examples (if you can find them) priced considerably higher. This car is offered to sell swiftly at a very tempting £3950, and I'm confident it would be the best one you will find at this price point. It is possible to find scruffy examples for less, but it is often more cost effective to buy a decent car, than to take a cheap scruffy one and then add significant investment to improve it.
This is a hugely entertaining 'proper' 4x4, in wonderful condition, coupled with serious 'go anywhere' credentials, it’s sure to put a smile on your face with every mile. Every now and then I come across a car which I'm sorely tempted to keep for myself, and this is one of those. However, the objective is to sell cars, not just to covet them. However, you may have to pry the keys out of my hands... Just saying. Finding one in great condition which hasn't had a hard life is tricky these days, the majority of those available are normally worn out examples, as they tend to be used for a purposeful outdoorsy lifestyle, as intended. This is a rare car in this condition, hence my desire to retain it for my own use..!