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Why some say Cherokee XJs are not real Jeeps

Today I read an interesting discussion in Jeep Cherokee XJ group on Facebook, where one Cherokee XJ owner was asking the group members that he keeps hearing sometimes that Cherokee XJs are not real Jeeps. Why do people say that?


Here are some interesting comments from the group members on why some people say Jeep Cherokee XJ is not a real Jeep. I neither agree nor disagree with these statements, but am sharing here only to address this question.

One member, named Keny, wrote it's "because the first Jeeps were these. Then they became into Civilian production the CJs, then Wranglers. That's basically why. If you want to be on production wise. How ever, Willy's owned Jeep and expanded the Jeeps being offered into the station wagon and pickup, so, those "non-Jeep" say.

Jeep Cherokee "is a real jeep but my 99 xj still cant quite compare to my old 99 tj wrangler. Wranglers are just better. Wrangler is like a Toyota t100 compared to a Tacoma. Its just not as good of quality and its pretty weak in comparison. Just my opinion i have frame stiffners now so most my complaints are taken care of and the XJ feels a lot stronger. If your first jeep was a wrangler like me there is going to be a lot about the XJ you wont like," writes group member Dusk.

Luke, another group members says it's because " XJs are missing the drop top summer party vehicle feel that you get in a Wrangler and all the comfort issues that come with it. I don't think it has much to do with actual wheeling. Basically, "if you don't understand the suffering we go through to daily drive a Wrangler, you can never understand the passion we feel."

Actually, the whole "not a real Jeep" thing is just pointless. The new Cherokee is a Jeep, the new Renegade is a Jeep. The fact that they are different doesn't change the fact that they are Jeeps and made by Jeep.

Jeep is a brand, but its one of the more unique brands in the auto industry, writes a group member named Kenny. "Up until recently, Jeep always had its own line without any "cross over siblings" Liberty/Nitro and I want to say Compass/Caliber are shared and now the Grand Cherokee/Durango. Before that, Jeep only shared minimal stuff. Then Chrysler plucked the AMC 2.5 in '96 for the Dakota trucks along with Jeep using the 5.2/5.9 in the GC and then when they dropped the 4.0 in the GC, the 3.7 and 4.7 were shared. The Wrangler, after dropping the 4.0, even used the minivan 3.8 V-6 for a few years before the 3.6 was put in them. Jeep is more watered down than ever.

Don't Miss: Two Types of Jeep Owners and the Jeep Wave That You May Not Understand Please leave your comments in the comments section below for discussion. If you liked this article and think it may help your friends, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.


Justin (not verified)    December 6, 2017 - 1:14AM

To me the people that don't wave don't understand what the jeep life is about to me it's about the long nights staying up working on your rig the meeting new people on the trails showing how your rig explains how u are as a person it's a way of life not just a weekend hobby I have had 3 jeeps and I've noticed some small things like when I got my Cherokee people don't wave as much when realistically I know more about this jeep than most of the guys who won't wave they don't understand what it's about to them it's just send it to the shop and let them do it

Jim (not verified)    December 6, 2017 - 3:44PM

How could anyone say an XJ is not a "real" jeep? They have bad electrical wiring, they rust as soon as they left the dealer's lot, noisy interiors, temperamental cooling systems and they rust. All the qualities of any CJ or wrangler that I have seen.

Jeffrey Peddie (not verified)    September 23, 2019 - 9:02PM

In reply to by Jim (not verified)

I have a 1995 Jeep Cherokee that has more mods and fixed wire harness, Mind you that the Jeep Cherokee was never made for the 4.0l Renix or High Output. And Jeep is very stingy with the D44 axles if any jeep model needed the D44 it would of been the Jeep XJ because it's always a $700 beater XJ towing out a $50k JKUs. We all were suckered into buying the name of Jeep and here we can't even get along with a difference of opinion for the model.

Brian (not verified)    December 6, 2017 - 3:45PM

Interesting write-up. XJs are definitely not Wranglers, but they’re definitely Jeeps. The 84-96 were a little more jeep’y than the 97-01, which were a little more Mopar’y. Loved my 90 just as much as my 97, but both had the same jeep issues and problems.

Linus (not verified)    December 6, 2017 - 3:45PM

Any jeep that is renowned for its off-roading ability is a real jeep. Jeeps that are not renowned for that, are not. I.e. Compass, patriot