Originally Posted by VMan
I am also considering Jeep - either the classic, boxy, rugged-looking Cherokee Sport, or the more refined Grand Cherokee. Thoughts?
Before I got deep into this thread I was going to recommend a Jeep. I consider the Grand Cherokee the poor man's Disco, or perhaps the smart man's Disco.
Between myself and my parents we've had each major style of Grand Cherokee (and each have a different favorite). My favorites are the late first generation (1996-1998). The newer ones are physically bigger, or feel that way. I also like Cherokees because they are physically a bit smaller and I don't mind the classic styling. You give up a lot of wind noise at highway speeds though. Both have similar powertrains, solid axles, etc.
My mother's new one doesn't have a low range in the transfer case, but there are other t-cases available with low range. That might not even matter to you, but I like it because I live in the mountains. In snow, with 4Low and first gear, I can creep down some pretty steep hills and never touch my brakes. You feel like you could get out and walk faster.
I really think you have all the domestic SUVs, and then Jeep. There is no competition to me between an Explorer, Envoy, Blazer, Trailblazer, Durango, crossovers, etc etc etc and a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee.
I can't think of any unplanned maintance issues. Luckily, Jeep dealerships are easy enough to find, unlike Land Rover mechanics. The reliability issues with Discos are a shame, because otherwise they are great vehicles.