48k Original Miles: 1988 Jeep Cherokee Laredo

Every now and then a 4×4 will come along, and you’ll look at it and feel that it would almost be wrong to point it at a dirt road, let alone take it into anywhere wild and rough. That’s virtually the case with this Jeep Cherokee Laredo because it is remarkably well-preserved. However, if you would like to get out into the wilds in a really nice vehicle, then the Jeep is located in Orlando, Florida, and is listed for sale here on eBay. With a BIN price of $16,500, or the option to make an offer, maybe it is time to make the most of the warmer weather and to hit the trails to some fresh adventures.

This Jeep has spent all of its life in California, only relocating to Florida earlier this year. There are no visible signs of rust, and the Spinnaker Blue paint looks to be flawless. Similarly, the panels are straight and true, with not a mark or minor ding to be seen anywhere. Honestly, I doubt that the Jeep has ever seen so much as a dusty driveway, let alone a rugged dirt track. The owner provides this YouTube video, which provides a good walk-around, and there really is nothing visibly wrong with the vehicle.

While the equipment levels in this Jeep may pale next to a new 4×4, back in 1988, this was pretty nicely equipped. What you get is air conditioning, an AM/FM radio/cassette player, and a tilt wheel. Everything else is very manual, with no power operation for the seats or windows. While it might seem to be basic, it also appears to be in amazing condition for its age. There is some slight wear on the lower edge of the driver’s seat, but that’s really about the only obvious flaw that I’ve spotted. I’m pretty sure that the grey carpet has never been sullied by a muddy boot in the past 31-years.

With a 4.0-liter straight-six engine under the hood which produces 177hp, the Cherokee was in danger of suffering in the performance stakes had the company followed traditional 4-wheel drive construction techniques of the time. The Cherokee was the first Jeep to be built as what was essentially a unibody construction, and boy did it reap the benefits of this. When the vehicle was under development, the company stated that choosing this method over the traditional body-on-frame construction resulted in a weight saving of more than 1,200lbs. That certainly isn’t something to be sneezed at and meant that the Cherokee provided surprising levels of performance. The engine in this vehicle is backed by an automatic transmission, while power steering and power brakes both make light work of the toughest conditions. The owner also claims that the Jeep has covered a genuine 48,000 miles, but doesn’t mention whether he holds any evidence to back this. The Jeep certainly seems to be in good mechanical health, and the owner provides this YouTube video of the Jeep running and driving, and as has been the case with the rest of the vehicle, there really is nothing to fault with it.

To be honest here, the price of this 1988 Cherokee Laredo is right at the top end of the market, but for me, there is a pretty good reason for that. I really doubt that you will find many Cherokees of this vintage that are as nice as this one is. I also doubt that you will find many where the mileage is below 100,000 miles because 200,000 miles is more common. Okay, so maybe the price will put a few people off this Jeep, but I’m pretty sure that someone out there is going to be willing to pay that much for it.


  1. Haig L Haleblian

    These were junk off the assembly line.

    • unclemymy Member

      Except for the 1987 that I had. A little over 290,000 miles when it was T-boned. Number 1, best vehicle I ever owned, and the value at the time was incomparable.

      Like 15
    • Eric

      The 4.0 is literally one of the best engines of all time. If properly taken care of, 4 to 500K isn’t out of the question. The Cherokee is on several lists, including Top 10 cars that refuse to die and the top SUV designs of all time.

      Haig, are you confusing this with a Jeep Liberty? LOL

      Like 7
    • Joshua

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, y 1995 Jeep Cherokee currently has 530,000 miles on the original drivetrain and tranny, which have never been torn into. I drive it 120 miles round trip a day to work. That motor/ transmission combo is one of the best ones ever created.

  2. Skorzeny

    I totally disagree with Haleblian. Great motors, the 4.0, and every vehicle of this era had issues. Think bell curve, some great, some average, some lemons.

    Like 8
  3. geezerglide85

    My wife’s had 230.000 before the tin worms took its toll. My ’98 has 193,000 and is still going strong. I wish I could afford another low milage one but I think they are worth more now than 10 years ago (if they have low milage and no rust). Great vehicles, just the right size and pretty good on gas if you are easy with the right foot. Power windows sometimes had gremlins, but this one has crank windows which I think is a plus.

    Like 8
  4. Joe M

    I had one of these, dark blue with the woograin sides and tan leather interior. When these were tuned correctly these trucks ran smooth. It was caught in a chain reaction accident on the highway and both the car that hit me and the car I hit had bad damage. The Cherokee only had slightly pushed in bumpers. The insurance company noted that it. had every option available. Should have bought it back at the auction. If they built these out of new parts in Mexico I would buy one today.

    Like 3
  5. Matt steele

    I had one ..a 2000.. had a suburban slide sideways across both lanes on an ice covered hill ..had nowhere to go..hit that sucker at 35mph ..blew both airbags and all it did was put a small crack in the grill ,cut airbags off and drove it till just under 300,000 miles.heat and air was golden.1 of the best 4×4’s I’ve ever owned.i gave to my step daughter and an hr later it was at the bottom of a steep ravine rolled over she was banged up but essentially ok..a lesser vehicle and she wouldn’t be here..it only got stuck once..high centered in a very deep snow bank..took 2 full sized Chevy 4×4’s in tandem and a lot of shoveling to get it out.i would love to have another one.

    Like 6
  6. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking Jeep Cherokee. I remember when the XJ Cherokee was on the market. The first time I saw one, I didn’t find it attractive, at least not next to its predecessor, the full-sized Jeep Cherokee.

    Like 2
  7. Scott

    Haig I don’t know where you are getting your info but I couldn’t disagree more. We bought a 1986 brand new and drove it until 2009 putting over 230,000 on it before giving it to our son who still owns it. Today it has a little over 300,000 on it and the only thing that has been done is one water pump and two alternators aside of normal wear items like brakes and battery. The Midsize Cherokee is one of the best SUV’s of all time and the 4.0 HO is unstoppable. The new owner will love this gem for years to come.

    Like 1
  8. Gay Car Nut

    Although I didn’t find the XJ Cherokee very attractive at first, I quickly changed heart. I find it more attractive than Jeep’s current generation Cherokee.

  9. SPC

    Hands down best Jeep/ Real SUV all time. Completely totally abused 250k is a cake walk, my 98 XJ Classic 21 years later 21 Chicago winter’s later 513k miles later still purrs like a cat. I own a 2017 MDX and a GX460 that’s wife’s only, still 99%of the time it’s XJ only for me. It was my very first new car purchase I still remember seeing get roll off truck in Geneva Illinois with 4.2 miles on odometer unreal.. Jeep today makes me cry, real shame.

  10. Car Nut Tacoma

    I regret that I’ve never owned or driven a Jeep XJ Cherokee. I’ve known people who have, and loved driving theirs.

  11. Car Nut Tacoma

    I’d buy a Jeep XJ Cherokee. I find them more attractive than the current generation Cherokee.

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