1990 Jeep Cherokee is one of the most popular and well-loved cars in the world. 2001 marks the end of the production of this spectacular jeep. But even now, 15 years later, we can still see this car running strongly and handsomely on the street, either in its original form or with slight modification. It is a living proof that this fabulous car from Jeep is incredibly well-built and it has stand strong against the test of time. Whether you are a collector or you need something fierce and tenacious for your daily activity, this car is really a good option. But of course you know that buying a car is a huge decision and it doesn’t come cheap, especially when you are considering buying a car that has not been in production for more than a decade. So, to help you make an informed decision, make sure you read this article carefully and find out all the things you need to know about this famous compact SUV.
Image : 1990 Jeep Cherokee Loredo source : http://www.jeepforum.com/gallery/data/4/medium/Da_Jeep_Resized.jpg
Brief History and Development
Jeep Cherokee was first developed in 1974 under the name SJ. This SJ series was a full-size SUV which were very popular until the society demanded smaller and more compact SUV. In 1984 the XJ or 1990 series came into the picture and became an instant hit, particularly in America and China. In 1998, 1990 Jeep Cherokee Sport was launched and now, it becomes the mother or modern Sport Utility Vehicle.
This car received new update almost every year since its first production in 1984. We can see many amazing changes in the engine specifications, interior and exterior design. While the base model only contained radio FM and vinyl upholstery, the newest model in 2001 were already equipped with 16 inches alloy wheels and keyless entry. It was also widely used by government and police officers. During the first year, there were 92.326 Jeep Cherokee XJ produced and it peaked in 1996 with a very impressive number of 286.463 buyers.
After several years of success, the company decided that it was time to replace the XJ with a more sophisticated model. Thus, the ZJ series, or also widely known as 1990 Jeep Grand Cherokee, was brought into development. And it turns out that the J series become Jeep’s most popular car even to this date. But since the number of sales of the 1990 XJ series kept on rising despite the popularity of the latest ZJ model, the company decided to produce both series at the same time. The XJ production was stopped in 2001 while the ZJ in 1998. In China, the production of the 1990 Cherokee didn’t stop until 2013.
Jeep Cherokee the 1990 series is equipped with sophisticated engine, even to the standard of this age. The base model which was produced around 1984-1985 is equipped with 2.5 L AMC 150 engine with single barrel carburator. The engine is capable to produce 150 horse power @ 5000 RPM. 1990 Jeep Cherokee mpg is 17/22. For the 91 to 96 model, the same engine is used but it is equipped with Chrysler MPI. The power increases significantly up to 130 horse power @ 5250 RPM with 149 pound feet of torque.
Due to popular demand in Europe and some other countries, the company decided to add a diesel engine variation to the lineup. The first one is 2.1 L Turbo Diesel Renault Douvrin J8S engine which is used in the 85 to 94 model, particularly in North America area. This engine is capable of producing 85 hp @ 3750 rpm and 132 pound feet of torque. The second diesel engine, the 2.5 L Turbo Diesel VM 425, is used between 1994 until the last day of production. This engine produces 114 hp @ 3900 RPM with 221 pound feet of torque.
At first, people prefer a mid-size SUV that could perform well enough to help them move around. However, during the early 90s, the trend shifted again. People started to demand more powerful mid-size SUV that could run fast and act like a sport car. That was when AMC decided to add super powerful 4.0 L AMC 242 engine to their 91 model. It performs excellently with 190 horse power @ 4750 RPM. This model is very popular and the engine is used up to the 2001 model. So, if you can get your hands on one of the latest model of XJ series, you can enjoy this powerfully fast engine.
This car is available in both manual and automatic transmissions. 1987-2001 models in the 4.0 L I6 engine have 4 speed automatic transmissions while the other models have 3 speed automatic transmissions. Meanwhile for the manual transmissions, most cars produced before 1987 are equipped with 4 speed manual transmission while the newer ones already has 5 speed manual transmissions.
Exterior Design Jeep Cherokee 1990
This car has one of the most iconic shapes of all time and you don’t need to look twice to recognize it. In the exterior, we can see a striking resemblance between the Cherokee XJ series with its predecessor, the SJ series. It is a standard SUV with 2 door car. However, to distinguish their brand from other competitors, the company decided the cars to come in both two door and four door versions. This is a breakthrough because other SUV manufacturer such as Ford and Chevrolet didn’t have a four door mid-size SUV at that time. The measurement is 70.5 x 165.3 x 63.3 inches.
Unlike other SUV in the 80s and 90s, XJ didn’t have separate body on frame construction. Since this is a mid-size SUV, it has a lightweight yet very sturdy single monocoque. It has Jeep’s signature grille and emblem on the driver’s side body. In 1997, the fiberglass was changed with a better steel lift gate on the rear hatch. The design was developed to be more aerodynamic and the construction material was changed into something more sturdy and durable. The cars produced in 2000 and 2001 were equipped with stylish 16 inches alloy wheels.
This car is very powerful and stable. That’s why many people lift and modify this car into an off-road vehicle. And trust me, if you love going off-road, you will prefer your 1990 Jeep Cherokee lifted. You can easily find a nice Jeep Cherokee with some modification, especially in the tire area, that will be really suitable for off-road and other extreme activity.
Interior Design of 1990 Jeep Cherokee
The exterior didn’t have too many over the 18 years of production. But the interior is a completely different story. There are at least 13 variation of Cherokee XZ interior over the course of years. The base model which was launched in 1984 was equipped with AM radio with two choices of upholstery, vinyl or cloth. Over the years, the upholstery was the one that got the most changes. The latest model came with either leather or cloth upholstery with plaited pattern.
But the most famous trim level in the car’s history is definitely the 1990 Jeep Cherokee Laredo. It was launched for model 85 to 92 and came with chrome accent, plaid pattern and leather-vinyl upholstery on the seat. This is also one of the most sophisticated older models because the interior was equipped with AM/FM radio, four modern speakers as well as keyless entry and air conditioner.
When the Sport edition was launched in 1988, the interior started to see some more beautiful changes that made the users more comfortable in the car. A combination of cloth and vinyl upholstery was introduced and in some series, the interior was covered with beautiful faux-maple wood.
To commemorate the 60th birthday of the company, a special Jeep Cherokee was produced in 2001. It has specially designed floor mats and the first time ever AM/FM cassette radio in Jeep Cherokee history. While for the exterior, it comes with monotone paint, astonishing 16 inches alloy wheels and special Jeep badges.
What People Love about This 1990 Car
There’s a reason why this car is still popular even it has been out of production for 15 years. It worked perfectly then and it is still does until now. It responded to the demands of the society and it left remarkable impression in the heart of the users.
The first thing that sets this car apart with its competitor is the 4 door version. Back in the day, mid-size SUV always came with only two doors. It was not the most convenient way to get in the car since the passengers had to fold the front seat to get to the back seat. But it was a common practice so nobody was complaining. But the company came with a great 4 door invention and it led the SUV industry ever since.
Beside the 4 door invention, people love this car because of its super strong engine. Even though it is a mid-size SUV, but it has similar power with fancy off-road car. That’s why many people still use this car for off-road activity even up to this time. To make the car more off-road looking, you can buy one that has been modified. But if you have a hard time finding a good modified off-road car, you can buy 1990 Jeep Cherokee lift kit and do the modification by yourself. Because of this variety of suspension, you can use various size of tire for this car.
Image : 1991 Jeep Cherokee Limited source : http://www.jeepforum.com/gallery/data/10/visittoatlanta2001-2-200.jpg
What People Don’t Really Like about This Car
Unfortunately, some users have found some faults within this car, especially problems that arises because of old age. One of the biggest problems is called death wobble. Death wobble usually happen after you hit a bump or when you ride in such a high velocity. Your car will start to shake back and forth out of the blue. It can be very scary especially because it happens so suddenly when you are moving. Most of the time, this problem happens because of unbalanced tires or faulty front-end joints.
Overheating also becomes one of the most common problems in Jeep Cherokee, especially in the rigs. This problem mostly happens in the older model around the early 90s because they have enclosed heating system. Actually it is not a problem at all. But when one of the components is not performing right, overheating will happen. Make sure you check the thermostat and the fans. Most overheating problems happened because of a damage in those parts.
You also should be careful with tire shimmy and bump steering. In fact, most of the problems usually happen in Jeep Cherokee are happened around the tire. Your car becomes more prone to tire problems if your car is lifted. So, make sure you do the lifting carefully and only use 1990 Jeep Cherokee parts approved by the manufacturer.
The Newest Addition in Jeep Cherokee Family
Since 1974, Jeep Cherokee has become America’s favorite. It gave birth to so many innovation from the full-size SUV (SJ series), the mid-size (XJ series) and of course Jeep Grand Cherokee 1990 (ZJ series). Jeep Cherokee keeps going strong and never fails to amaze us. And the good news is, the newest addition in Jeep Cherokee family is coming to us in 2017. The 2017 version will get a facelift and more spacious luggage. But it will keep the signature aerodynamic design, sturdiness and stability of Jeep Cherokee. The price will start in $80.000. It is pretty expensive but it’s worth it considering this is a Jeep Cherokee.
But if you want to go vintage and stay true to the XJ series, you are free to find a nice 1990 Jeep Cherokee for sale. If you want a newer model with Air Conditioner and keyless entry, you should buy the 2000 or 2001 model. If you live in China, you can get many new and more sophisticated models since this car was in production until 2013. But if you want to get the original vibe of Jeep Cherokee, the earlier 90s model is the most suitable choice for you. But no matter which one you choose, this car is a very good choice, especially if you love going off-road.