Why does it seem that used Grand Cherokees are cheaper than used Cherokees with similar mileage and years? Am I correct in saying most share the same reliable I6 4.0 engine? Why don't the Grand Cherokees cost more?
Cherokees cost more because they are more in demand by wheelers. More people build cherokees than grand cherokees. They are also better on gas, come with better stock rear axles, better t-cases and better transmissions. Go XJ for a wheeler ZJ for a dd
Last fall I was test driving XJs, and I test drove one ZJ that was a lot nicer and had leather then any XJs. So the ZJ was up at the top. But yes, XJs are more in demand. Several I test drove were POS that the owners were asking top dollar for. That experience made me wish I had bought one when they were new!
The XJ is from when Jeep was its own brand before Chrysler took control of the Jeep brand. Granted the XJ had some changes mostly in the dept of interior design/upgrades and the 4.0 engine development but that motor was still nothing found in the Chrysler family outside of Jeep. The XJ is more Jeep than Chrysler...
The entire reason the ZJ even came to be is when Chrysler did a market survey they found the most common garage neighbor or car in the next garage bay of a XJ owner was BMW, Benz, Caddy, and other luxo makes. Chrysler designed, produced, engineered, and planned every aspect of the Grand Cherokee meant to target those who wanted luxo feel in a SUV a VERY new concept at the time way before trucks started morphing into the car like comfort vs truck ute. The ZJ is more Chrysler than Jeep.
The ZJ was never meant to be as off road able as the XJ. The XJ was never meant to be as on road comfortable as the ZJ. IMHO the XJ is a far more reliable model overall compared to the ZJ and that is another reason why 150k mile 10yr old XJ's will be the same value as 100k mile 5yr old ZJ's.
I bought my 95 XJ with 172K miles on it. It was in over all great shape. Needed a few small things but nothing that would not be expected. Tires were shot. Rear bumper was dented and missing 1 end cap. Manual windows and locks. 4.0 auto t-case was re built by jeep but i couldnt tell you when. Tranny had about 30K miles on it. I paid $1500 Around here thats a killer deal. It was worth twice that in the condition i bought it in. Every state however is different.
ive had a xj that had a 4.5" rough country lift with 33's on it. its was nice for what i used it for its was boht a dd and a wheeler. the only thing i didnt like about the xj is that how friggen unbelievablely stiff it was wheelin. i mean it was like driving a full size chevy through the woods idk about you guys but i know i like a smoother ride than one where im breaking my back. i just bought a 93 zj with 167k on for an astonishing $160.00 because the front diff was shot but the kid didnt know anything about fixing cars. i fell in love when i finally got it road worthy only because i got a GC limited so it has every option its great and i took it out the other day (keep in mind it's still completely stock) wiht my friend whos has a 00 tj wiht a 3" and 33's and i kept up wiht no prob at all. the only downside from personal expeirence i can tell you for sure is that the zj will feel flimsy i guess you could say when the xj is a very solid vehicle. what i mean is when you start my zj you can feel every time it turns through the entire truck but on an xj all you feel is the power from the motor. and what 4x4 greg says about the luxo thing is wrong they made the zj to compete with ford cause they had the explorer and chevy had the s-10 blazer and jeep had ... but the luxury is very nice i plan on putting a 4" rough country in my zj very soon and i like having springs rather than leafs springs are softer and easier to install. trust me if you get an xj plan on making holes in the cargo floor to get at the leaf spring bolt nuts because the weld that holds the nuts to the body break and everyone i know that has an xj had done the same if they decided to put in new shackles.
My XJ is not harsh off road. Flexes very well, and handles great. Maybe yours had a crappy brand lift or a home grown lift who knows. Anything lifted will ride hard but i have never seen a cherokee ride that hard, ever.
I think part of it has to do with a lot of the luxury features in the ZJ. They are nice to have, but tend to stop working after some time. My dad has a 96 Grand, bunch of issues with the climate control, the memory settings never worked right either. The XJ probably gets better mileage too, although I never compared my old XJ to my dads ZJ.
The XJ is a few hundred lbs lighter than the ZJ and has a better transmission. Same gear ratio other than the ZJ with the tow package which came with 3.73 gears. The XJ has more grunt behind it the ZJ is a bit of a pig. Thats mostly due to the transmission. Mileage on the XJ is better but not by much. I own a 95 XJ and a 96 ZJ and they are both pretty close stock for stock. They are both great Jeeps and can both be built to be amazing off road. Even stock they both do very well.
If I were to get another station wagon Jeep, I would definitely go for the V-8 ZJ, I had the 4.0L in my Cherokee, and it was fine most of the time, until I hooked up a boat, then it was really slow. Pulling the same boat with my Dads V-8 Grand was much better. I think the difference in mileage is larger when you compare the V8 grand to the 4.0L Cherokee.
i do know that my xj had a 4.5" rough country lift wiht add-a-leaf and rear shackes and it was not home grown. and i do know that my zj gets about the same mileage my old xj got and ive had 3 xj's a 89,94 and a 95 and i think it all depends on how often your foots in the gas pedal cause my digital read out tells me that i average about 18 MPG and thats what i got with my xj with 33's so stock maybe it woulda been better but idk its was never stock when i had it. and i would love to have a v8 in my zj but i know the 4.0 is wayyyyyyyy more reliable than anything ive ever driven
My dads 93 ZJ pulled a 2500 lb pop up for 12 years and 150K miles. No problems never even had to replace the transmission. Yes it had the tow package and 3.73 gears. Is the V8 more powerful, sure but it's a Jeep not a sports car! The 4.0 more than does the job.