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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, so I've been doing a lot of researching and looking and I'm trying to decide between what year/model of Cherokee I would like my first one to be. My original first pick would be a 1996 Cherokee Sport, from what I've read it was a good year and has a lot of features I'm looking for, 4x4 being one of the musts. I've also heard that the 2000 XJ wasn't a bad year either, and I found a really clean one with 157k miles and in mint condition for 6k.

What year Cherokee would be the best first choice, which has fewer problems than the rest and can still be found relatively cheap?
 

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I don't know what you've been reading but you literally picked the worst two years of cherokees according to the entirety of the internet. Now, in reality they aren't bad at all, but the internet and everyone on it will tell you that 2000 was one of the years with the bad head casting that is prone to cracking/warping, and that 1996 was a model change year, where things shifted from the original body to the later one (front clip and grille, rear hatch, etc).

97-99 is what you want for a better front axle and good head casting in the late body style, or early 90s if you want early body style. Don't get me wrong, 2000 and 96 will do you just fine, but if you are researching the best years, my answer is above.

You have bigger issues to watch for besides a specific year though. These things are 20-30 years old. They are rusty, worn out and have miles on them. Find a good one and the year is basically irrelevant.
 

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Well. Ha ha, it depends. Cherokees are getting harder and harder to come by. And are going up in value. To say you want a 96 sport is great, but finding one may be impossible.
Our regular members have cherokees all over the spectrum, and I'm sure we can all give you valid reasons for which one is best. But honestly, you can't go wrong with any. Practically all the parts are interchangeable so if you don't find exactly what you are looking for, you can build it. All that being said, what are you plans? Just a daily driver, overlander, offroading beast, or just a weekend warrior?
98-99 ( I think that's correct) had overheating issues due to a bad head. Very early models have renix engines and closed cooling systems, 96 and newer have OBD II diagnostics. Do you have mechanical ability to do your own repairs? These answers will help us keep you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well. Ha ha, it depends. Cherokees are getting harder and harder to come by. And are going up in value. To say you want a 96 sport is great, but finding one may be impossible.
Our regular members have cherokees all over the spectrum, and I'm sure we can all give you valid reasons for which one is best. But honestly, you can't go wrong with any. Practically all the parts are interchangeable so if you don't find exactly what you are looking for, you can build it. All that being said, what are you plans? Just a daily driver, overlander, offroading beast, or just a weekend warrior?
98-99 ( I think that's correct) had overheating issues due to a bad head. Very early models have renix engines and closed cooling systems, 96 and newer have OBD II diagnostics. Do you have mechanical ability to do your own repairs? These answers will help us keep you.
This is all good to know, and it will mostly be a daily driver, and hitting trails whenever possible, I live in Arizona and heat may be an issue. And i have alot of family that is very mechanic savvy and I'd say I'm a capable learner.
 
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