The Great Cherokee Debate: New or Used?

June 25th, 2013

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

Some will say Jeep has gone soft.

The original Cherokee, the more refined but still muscular Grand Cherokee, and the go-anywhere Wrangler have kept the Jeep brand name the only one on the shopping lists of America-loving off-road purists.

Owning a Jeep meant getting it dirty on the weekends, then proudly driving it to work on Monday still caked in dried mud. Somewhere along the line, owning a Jeep turned into taking it to family BBQs then driving it to work covered in nothing more than water spots from an over-spraying lawn sprinkler.

When Jeep announced the coming revival of the Cherokee name, enthusiasts clamored at the gates, hoping for a throwback to the boxy and capable greatness of yore.

What they got was, well, the new Cherokee.

Obviously the new design is like nothing ever seen before on a Jeep. I happen to believe that’s a good thing, and I think the Cherokee will far outsell the Liberty it will replace when it hits showrooms this Fall. The Cherokee will come in 4 trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk. Off-roaders will be interested in only the Trailhawk, which will begin just under $30,000 and be the only one of the 4 to come standard with 4-wheel drive while holding the ultimate Jeep benchmark of being Trail Rated. The other trim levels are essentially Honda CR-V competitors.

While I believe it’s a sin to sell any Jeep without 4WD, the standard powertrain on all trims except the Trailhawk is front-wheel drive.

2000 Jeep Cherokee in its natural environment

2000 Jeep Cherokee in its natural environment

So the new Cherokee will have some off-road chops, if you pony up for them. The other option, of course, is to stage your own Cherokee revival by finding a used one and bringing it back to life. You’ll save loads of money compared with new and get that retro cool look that is always in style.

Personally, I like this new Cherokee. A lot. I’m excited to test-drive one and see just how far Jeep has come since the mediocre days of the Liberty.

Where do you fall: Buy a new Cherokee, or go retro with a used one?

-tgriffith

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Used Jeep Cherokee
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
Used Jeep Wrangler
Used Jeep Liberty
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  1. Randy
    June 28th, 2013 at 08:20 | #1

    Can’t think of a better example of the grand failure of Chrysler than the Grand Cherokee, a bloated, overpriced, overweight padded-out gas hog with dubious quality.

  2. Chad
    June 25th, 2013 at 20:41 | #2

    New! Without a doubt. The old one is a run down beater, the new one is plain cool! Yeah for Jeep!

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