Jeep Cherokee Laredo

What are the positives and negatives of owning a 2004 Jeep Cherokee Grand Laredo?

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12/12/2008

I own a Graphite (dark gray) 2004 GC Laredo. I commute in it, and take it 4-wheeling on some of the most rugged terrain imagineable, in the CO Rockies. It's a superb performer in all ways, and I love it.

POSITIVES: Even the trimmed down Laredo has solid Dana axels, great offroad capability thanks to the Quadra-Trak system, and large 16" rims with big snow and mud capable 225/75R16 tires from the factory. The ride is awesome for an SUV/truck and it inspires driver confidence. You sit up nice and high, nad have lots of steel around you, so you are safer then in a sedan. There is not a feeling that you might "top over" in cornering like some of the "hybrid" trucks such as a Fourunner. 2004 is the last year of the hardcore offroad GC's. The 2005's and after are more SUV and less offroader. If you want a smoother yet less capable ride go one year later. On the other hand, the pre-98 models were a very different vehicle still, and often have horribly high mileage and wear, and are best only considered by those that are prepared to deal with frequent mechanical issues. NEGATIVES: The Laredo is the lowest option package for this model. You won't have most of the fancy electrical system gadgetry that the LTD and ultimate Overland editions have. (Of course, if you intend to 4x4 this becomes a positive, since it's less things to break, and leather seats + mud is a bad combo.) Many have high mileage, or have been driven hard offroad, so be careful not to buy one where the factory warranty has expired, or get an extension/after-market warranty to be sure. The V-8 PowerTech engine gets between 18mpg city and 22mpg hwy, so if your looking for a grocery getter or soccer mom SUV perhaps consider something else. This ain't no mini-van folks, it's a real live "general purpose" recreational vehicle. It's harder to park, back up and otherwise maneuver this 3 ton beast than any sedan, so carefully consider if you really need this level of traction, or if a Subaru or even a smaller Liberty type might be more appropriate. Even the Laredo package is an expensive vehicle, with (as I write this) a nice low mildeage truck selling for $16K+. The LTDS and premium package models of this year still go for ~$20K which seems a bit much to spend on something nearing the end of warranty life, especially if you plan on abusing it offroad. Ediit: All depending on your Transmission, transfercase and trim level. If you can find a Laredo with the selectrac (242) and a V8 with minimal options it will last forever. For more info visit www.jeepforum.com of www.wjjeeps.com Research this first. The Jeep has a lot of unresolved issues with 'phantom' problems. I believe even a class action lawsuit over one of the issues. My wife owns one and I never knew the depth of the problems with the Jeep until I started researching it. I'd say DO NOT BUY but research and learn for yourself. Even the dealerships cant fix them. The factory is avoiding the issues. Educate thyself, buyer beware.