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Old 10-12-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,618 posts, read 3,149,811 times
Reputation: 1034

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We would love some advice. Here are our options:

99 Jeep Grand Cherokee is at a wholesale dealership so we know none of its history. It is white with that gray plastic trim at the bottom. It has an Inline 6 engine. Tires are fair. 157,000 miles on it. Price $4995. '99 version was a new model with the spare moved under floor in the back. There are other luxury and space additions, etc.

98 Jeep Grand Cherokee with all the bells and whistles. Black/Slate color. It has a 5.9 V8 engine and the previous owner says it gets 14-17 mpg town and 19-21 mpg highway. 187,000 miles on it but it has a new trans. It also has new tires. Price $3550. It's boxier looking than the 99. Spare is located on side in the back.

They are basically in equally good condition with no issues to speak of. Both are 4x4's.

My husband is a Chevy guy as is his mechanic so we were looking for a Chevy Blazer when we started but those are harder to find and the ones we've seen have had issues so we started opening up our thinking. When we saw the 99 Jeep in the lot, we loved the way it felt looked. Then we saw the 98 Jeep advertised on Craigslist and now we are in a dilemma.

We don't plan to sell whatever we get but if we ever did want to, should we take that into consideration?

If you have any advice on these two options or any other suggestions, I'd appreciate it. We live in the country and feel a 4x4 is best but have been told a front-wheel drive would be just fine. I will be driving this about 50 miles a day, mostly highway miles. We live in in southwest MO where snow and ice are common in winter. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
12,729 posts, read 40,934,857 times
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I didn't know the Grand Cherokee ever came with an inline 6, sure that's not a Cherokee?

Without looking at these in person I can't really give much of a pick on which is better. Offhand I think the 98, with new tires, new transmission, and $1500 lower price is probably the better deal.

Although. Really neither one is ideal for what you want to do, I would suggest you look at Subaru cars in this price range.

Good, serious snow tires will make a lot of difference as well as the 4WD/AWD.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:43 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,618 posts, read 3,149,811 times
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You are absolutely right, Mitch. My husband had read something that got him confused. The 99 is a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with a V6 engine.

We know absolutely nothing about Subaru's. What can you tell us about them and what would you suggest?
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 21,657,404 times
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if you like the Grand cherokee might as well add the dodge durango to the list as they are based on the same platform and used durangos can be had for a bit less than a comparable Grand cherokee.

IMO I would stay away from late 90's early 00's dodge products with high mileage and look more towards finding a late model 99-06 chevy yukon/tahoe or suburban they may be a bit more expensive but they are twice the SUV and have twice the quality/fit & finish/reliability than any early 00's dodge product would have.

something like this...
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,485,928 times
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No, the Grand Cherokee used the same 4.0 I6 the Cherokee did. They didn't quit using that engine in the Grand Cherokee until after the killed the Cherokee and replaced it with the Liberty, which used a V6. I think the 4.0 continued in the Grand Cherokee until 2004.

The 1998 is the last year of the old bodystyle, the 1999 was the first year of the new one.

I think a Subaru would be a better bet. I had a 1999 Grand Cherokee, and the engine / transmission worked fine, but all the little stuff started going wrong all the time.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:17 PM
 
840 posts, read 2,395,564 times
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Love my JEEP! I have a 99 JGC Laredo, 4x4, V8 Quadra Drive we bought new. Now has 92,000 miles. Inline 6 would be correct that, or a V8. My friend has a 2000 Durango. She seems quite happy with it. It's not given her any major problems. I chose the Jeep over Durango for better design and the seating is much more comfortable. Durango seats are lower inthe cab and I just don't like Dodge interiors, at least of that era. GC gets slightly better mileage than Durango. We get about 30-45 days a year with some kind of ice/snow on the road. It usually doesn't build up. I drive about 10 miles across town each day. I've always felt very safe and comfortable on the road which is important to me as I do NOT like driving in winter conditions. I had a friend impressed with it's handling in the slippery roads. She had a Passport and a Subaru.

Oh and we also have a 2001 Chevy 2500 quad cab with about 120,000. My experience is fit, finish, and reliability have been about equal. We just had a $1700 repair bill on the Chevy when a sensor went out. Nothing big on the Jeep yet, except the rotors.

Goes without saying the '98 will always be a year older in age and body style.

When it's time, I'm not looking forward to trying to replace my Jeep! (And yes there have been a few little things, but I love my Jeep!)
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
12,729 posts, read 40,934,857 times
Reputation: 10320
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I didn't know the Grand Cherokee ever came with an inline 6, sure that's not a Cherokee?

Without looking at these in person I can't really give much of a pick on which is better. Offhand I think the 98, with new tires, new transmission, and $1500 lower price is probably the better deal.

Although. Really neither one is ideal for what you want to do, I would suggest you look at Subaru cars in this price range.

Good, serious snow tires will make a lot of difference as well as the 4WD/AWD.
Well, I stand corrected about the inline 6 in the Grand Cherokee, thanks for that.

In general Subaru cars are going to be more economical and probably more reliable than Jeeps. Before the Jeep guys start bashing me, the Jeep is far more capable off-road, but that's not what you said you wanted to use the car for.

If you can drive a stick, get a stick, both better fuel economy and better feel when driving in slick conditions.

Offhand just be aware that some 2.5 L Subaru engines had head gasket problems, if the head gaskets are replaced with the new and improved version, they don't typically fail again. In 97 IIRC the 4-cylinders, 2.5 and 2.3, went to an interferance type design such that if the cam belt breaks, the engine is toast. These engines do get a bit better fuel economy, IMHO it's a dubious "upgrade" but there in rust country you may not find many older Subie in good enough nick to bother with. The 6-cylinder cars have chain-driven cams, are more powerful, but a bit thirstier. You pays your money and takes your choice.

There are other AWD cars out there but AFIK no one makes as good and as cheap car with good AWD as Subie.

Again, tires, if at all possible spring for 4 steel wheels (junkyard is fine) and 4 "real" snow tires such as Blizzaks.

If you put 4 Blizzaks on an AWD Subie, you are as "loaded for bear" as you are going to get regarding winter driving.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 21,657,404 times
Reputation: 5123
problem with a used dealership selling jeeps for $5K is they got them for $3K and 160,000 miles is alot and chances are you would be the 3rd owner right when it is going to need alot of work done to keep going. I mean yeah a nice V-8 jeep grand cherokee 4x4 is great but I would have atleast $3-4K set aside for major repairs like if the transfer case goes south or the tranny gives out those things can become 2-3 grand repairs very fast.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:07 PM
 
784 posts, read 1,583,354 times
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I would personally get the 99. It has 30,000 less miles. The I-6 has been none to last practically forever. and that 5.9 is a freaking gas hog!!! It would be nice if you could find a ~99 with the 4.7 for a little extra pep as they are pretty heavy vehicles. They are both good choices, but the 99 is a little more modern, slightly more roomy, and just overall nicer.

I too would check into something like a 99-03 Subaru Forester. they are close to equally as roomy on the interior, AWD and great in the snow! As mentioned the headgaskets CAN be a pain, but same could be said about the 99-01 Jeep I-6 motor (regardless of application be it cherokee, grand cherokee etc)
Not to mention the forester will get much better gas mileage

Regardless, providing each vehicle has been well maintained and doesn't appear abused i'd say you are looking at some decent choices
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,485,928 times
Reputation: 2396
Also, you didn't specify which 4X4 system was on the Jeeps. They have different types (QuadraTrac, QuadraTrac II, QuadraDrive) which affect value and reliability.
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