Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,100 – $3,500*


1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo


1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Wagoneer


1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee


1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee interior


1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee interior

Pros:
  • Antilock brakes
  • Wet-weather traction (4WD)
  • Passenger and cargo room
Cons:
  • Engine noise
  • Fuel economy
  • Reliability (early models)

We rate the Grand a step behind the Ford Explorer, but both lead the field in refinement, ability, and overall quality. An Explorer is more trucklike, a trait that some buyers like and others do not, but the Grand Cherokee offers impressive on- and off-road performance, plus a broad range of engine and 4WD choices. Early Grand Cherokees suffered some reliability problems, so a later model might be a better bet.

Overview

The Grand Cherokee came only in a 4-door body with a one-piece rear liftgate. Standard features included a driver-side airbag, 4-wheel antilock brakes, and a 5-speed manual transmission. A 4-speed automatic transmission was optional. Standard engine for base, Laredo, and Limited models was a 190-horsepower, 4.0-liter 6-cylinder. Later in the 1993 model year, a 5.2-liter 220-horsepower V8 became standard in the new Grand Wagoneer (a one-year-only, top-of-the-line Grand Cherokee). Three distinct 4WD systems were available. Part-time Command-Trac; Selec-Trac, a full-time system that could be switched between 2WD and 4WD; and Quadra-Trac, a permanently engaged 4WD system. Two-wheel-drive models arrived late in the 1993 model run.

Yearly Updates

1994 Grand Cherokee
Side door-guard beams were installed, and the base model was renamed SE. Grand Wagoneers were deleted, but the V8 engine was optional on all models–automatic transmission only.
1995 Grand Cherokee
In 1995, only SE and Limited models were available, plus a Laredo option for the SE. All Grand Cherokees now had all-disc brakes, and the V8 engine gained 15 pound-feet of torque. A flip-up liftgate window joined the option list, and the 5-speed manual transmission was dropped.
1996 Grand Cherokee
A passenger-side airbag was added for 1996, in a redesigned dashboard. Outside, a restyled grille dipped into the front bumper, and optional fog lamps were integrated into that bumper. A new steering wheel contained cruise-control switches and a center horn pad. Front and rear shoulder belts gained height adjustment.
1997 Grand Cherokee
Given the host of revisions made last year, changes to the 1997 Grand Cherokee were minimal.
1998 Grand Cherokee
Jeep added a monster 5.9-liter V8 to a new model named 5.9 Limited. ‘The big V8 came only with Quadra-Trac 4WD and an automatic transmission. Jeep’s flagship was redesigned for ’99.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Initial Grand Cherokees came only with a 4.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine, which developed 190 horsepower (185 in ’96 and ’97). A 220-horsepower V8 went into the Grand Wagoneer, introduced later in the 1993 model year. When that model was dropped in ’94, it became optional for all 4WD Grand Cherokee models. Not until ’97 did 2WD models get the V8. In 1998, Jeep introduced the limited-edition 5.9 Limited model. It held a 5.9-liter V8 that made 245 horsepower. Depending on model, Grand Cherokees might have any of three 4-wheel-drive systems; or 2-wheel drive, introduced during 1993. Torque output from the V8 grew from 285 to 300 pound-feet in 1995. Command-Trac disappeared after 1995.

ohv I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.0/242
Engine HP 185-190
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 200-225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
16/20
15/20
16.5
ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.2/318
Engine HP 220
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 285-300
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

14/18

13.3

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.9/360
Engine HP 245
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 345
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

13/17

14.6

Road Test

Base-engine power is adequate for most drivers, but the 5.2-liter V8 is much better, especially in low-speed acceleration. It delivers strong off-the-line pickup as well as brisk passing response. The 5.9-liter in the Limited model has even more power at low speeds. We averaged 16.5 mpg in a 6-cylinder Grand Cherokee, and a meager 13.3 mpg with a V8. All three engines can get noisy, though they’re much quieter when cruising.

Interior room is good, though the spare tire takes up space. Head and leg room are generous all around, and three adults fit in the rear seat. Entry/exit to the front requires only a slight step up. Rear doors are narrow at the bottom and don’t open wide enough to allow large people to get in or out without bending a little. With the rear seatback up, luggage space isn’t much greater than in a midsize car. Even with the child seat that became available during 1994, rear seatbacks can be folded down to create a long cargo floor.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 3
30%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 7
70%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 44

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
105.9 179.0 70.9 64.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
79.3 23.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.9 39.1 40.9 35.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1998 Grand Cherokee 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 72
Injury 60
Theft 124

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: If the air conditioner gradually stops cooling, the computer (PCM) may not be sending a signal to the compressor-clutch relay to cycle off, which causes the A/C evaporator to freeze up. (1993-95)
Air conditioner
Description: If water leaks onto the floor on the passenger side or the air conditions stops cooling, the air conditioning drain hose might be blocked. (1993-96)
Automatic transmission
Description: If the transmission will not engage when first started, chances are the torque converter is draining down. A check valve in the fluid line leading to the transmission cooler should remedy the problem. (1993)
Automatic transmission
Description: The transmission won’t upshift for about the first quarter mile in cool weather due to defective cast-iron seal rings in the governor drive. (1993-94)
Engine misfire
Description: Rough idle and stalling can be traced to a defective idle-air-control motor. (1993-94)
Fuel pump
Description: If fuel pump may fails, a revised pump assembly should be installed. (1997-98)
Manual transmission
Description: High shift effort on 5-speed manual transmission may be remedied with a replacement shift shaft lever and shift detent plunger. (1999-98)
Oil consumption and engine knock
Description: Oil-pump-gear wear results in bucking and surging when the engine is warm and lack of lubrication when the engine is cold. (1993)
Oil leak
Description: The rear main seals on 4.0-liter engines are prone to leakage if the vehicle is operated in dirty conditions. (1993-96)
Oil leak
Description: A chronic oil leak at the filter on 5.2-liter engine is likely due to a warped adapter plate. (1995)
Transmission leak
Description: Automatic-transmission fluid leaks from the speed sensor in the transmission. (1993-94)
Vehicle shake
Description: If camber alignment cannot be brought into spec, countermeasure offset ball joints are available. (1997-98)

Recall History

1993
Description: Molded plastic pin that connects upper and lower steering-column shafts may be sheared; shafts could separate, causing total loss of steering control.
1993
Description: Eccentric cam-adjuster bolts in both front lower-suspension arm-to-front axle-bracket attachments may fail, causing vehicle to pull to one side.
1993
Description: Retainer clip that secures master-cylinder input rod to brake pedal could work loose, allowing separation, which may cause loss of braking.
1993
Description: Safety improvement campaign advises that center rear seat belt buckle may not be accessible for cargo stowage when right side of seatback is folded down.
1993-98 in 15 states and Washington, D.C.
Description: Front-disc brake rotors can experience severe corrosion if operated for extensive period in “salt belt”; can eventually compromise structural integrity, allowing wear surface to separate from hub.
1995
Description: Parking-brake release button can separate, so brake may not hold and vehicle could roll inadvertently.
1996
Description: Fasteners that secure alternator fuse could have improper clamp load; arcing could cause fire in engine compartment.
1996 w/Quadra-Trac, temporary spare tire, and 225/70R16 or 245/70R15 tires
Description: When temporary spare tire is in use, front axle can overheat; can force fluid out of seals, increasing risk of fire.
1997
Description: Airbag could deploy inadvertently when ignition is shut off.
1997
Description: Fuel-level sending unit degrades over time, causing gauge to show significantly more fuel in tank than is actually present.
1998
Description: Power-brake-booster vacuum-reservoir diaphragm can split or tear; may cause increase in engine idle speed and loss of power brake assist.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.