1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic (Specs And Features)

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If you are a fan of off-road riding and adventure but prefer to keep costs low, consider the 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic as your next vehicle option.

Many older cars and SUVs are overlooked because they may not seem as modern or advanced as today's vehicles. But if you want something affordable and high-performing, the 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic is a solid choice.

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic is a unique vehicle with a size of 166.9” x 64” x 67.7”. This design also includes a 4.0 L AMC 242 engine with a top speed of 112 MPH and a 0-60 acceleration in 9.5 seconds. You also have solid fuel efficiency between 17-20 MPG and a 20-gallon tank.

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee is a compact SUV that was one of the most popular models during its production run. While it was never considered the most luxurious or impressive vehicle, it was renowned for reliability and longevity, with an average lifespan of 200,000 miles. This guide will review the vehicle in-depth and look at all of the important specs and features it provides.

All of the data and information in this guide was compiled through research directly from Jeep and Jeep Cherokee Classic customers to ensure everything is accurate. Continue reading to learn more about this vintage SUV.

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1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic (Specs And Features)

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic is a rugged vehicle with a strong engine, an automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive. It has a vintage design with plenty of cargo space to take advantage of too.

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic was one of the most popular cars in North America during its time. This model year also saw an update to this car's exterior styling, making it look more sporty.

We will take a deeper look at everything it has to offer. Below you will find more about the specs and features this classic SUV provided.


The dimensions are the first thing to look at when reviewing this vehicle's specs and features. It is a relatively compact SUV for easy handling and solid speed.

It included a length of 166.9 inches, a height of 64 inches, and overall width of 67.7 inches. This includes a wheelbase size of 101.4 inches.

The Cherokee Classic is different from other Jeeps because it has a smaller engine, smaller wheels, and a shorter wheelbase than newer models. The design was perfect for drivers interested in an SUV but without being overly sized up.

Engine Type

The 4.0 Liter AMC 242 was an extremely efficient design that provided 190 or 193 horsepower, depending on your chosen model. This is excellent when compared to other SUVs in 1996.

It is a vehicle with an attractive design and a sleek and stylish body. This engine type is known for its reliability, durability, and power.

The 3964 cc displacement was also impressive and provided 4,600 RPMs of power. This also includes 231 lb-ft at 3,000 RPMs of torque.

This Chrysler MPI high-output engine ranked among the best in class during 1996 and beyond. It wasn't until 2001 that a new upgrade was made for the future Jeep models.

Fuel Efficiency

This Jeep model used regular unleaded fuel and provided decent fuel efficiency when compared to other compact SUVs during this era. You could expect an average of 17 city MPG and 20 highway MPG.

The fuel tank capacity for fuel was 20.2 gallons, meaning you could expect roughly 343.4 city miles or 404 highway miles with a full tank.

The shock absorbers and larger wheels also allowed fuel efficiency to remain stable. However, there were some recalls on this vehicle due to the fuel system and fuel line separation.

Towing & Hauling Capacity

Many drivers choose to use a Jeep Cherokee Classic because of the added towing and hauling capacity. It is known to be rugged and provide solid handling off-road too.

The maximum towing capacity of this vehicle was 1,000 pounds. The maximum payload capacity is 1,150 pounds.

While these numbers are not overly impressive, this is respectable for a compact SUV in 1996 when compared to the competition.

Interior Design

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic's interior comprises a dashboard, steering wheel, gearshift, and a center console. The dashboard has a clock with an analog face on it and an odometer with a digital readout.

The steering wheel is made from plastic and has rubber grips on the bottom to ensure that it feels comfortable to hold while driving. The gearshift lever is located in the center console between both seats.

The front seats are split 60/40 for easy access to the rear seats for passengers who may be sitting in them. The rear seats also have headrests for added comfort when sitting in them and can be folded down if needed.

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the 1996 Jeep Cherokee is rugged and has many features that make it stand out from other SUVs on the market.

The front grille has seven slots in it to help cool down the engine while driving in hot climates. You also had the option of purchasing a two-door or a four-door model.

The exterior design of this car is still popular among many people today. It has a low body length with an upright windshield and hood, giving it an aggressive look.

This car also has a roof rack on the back that can be used to carry things like kayaks or surfboards, and it also features side steps for easier access to the car's interior.

1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic Key Features

The Jeep Cherokee Classic is a reliable SUV with a 4-cylinder V6 engine, and it has many features that make it stand out from the competition.

The 1996 model came with a few key features and upgrades unlike any previous model worth mentioning. We have listed three of them below.

Upgraded Engine Management System

In 1996, the Jeep Cherokee Classic received a new upgraded engine management system. This was added to help increase the efficiency of this vehicle while creating a more eco-friendly machine.

One of the reasons for this upgrade was the new emissions regulations. This allowed Jeep to be in-line with these regulations while also creating new benefits.

This resulted in better vehicle reliability and easy diagnostics improvements as well. The upgrade was to a Chrysler "JTEC" PCM.

Remote Keyless Entry

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic had upgraded remote keyless entry. This allowed drivers to lock and unlock their doors without a key and start their cars without a key. It was one of the first vehicles in its class to offer this feature.

The improvement included a single-button infrared key. This was a new innovation that built upon the previously outdated version.

This upgrade is important because it helps to protect against theft and makes it easier for drivers to use their vehicles without having to have a physical key to open the door.

Selec-Trac Four-Wheel-Drive

The Selec-Trac 4WD feature allows your Jeep to switch between 2WD and 4WD quickly and efficiently. This means you can optimize your vehicle and only use the 4WD feature when necessary.

The key to this upgrade is its ability to deliver consistent traction without difficulty. The ability to switch between both is seamless too.

How Fast Is A 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic?

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic is a great car for anyone looking for a stylish and reliable vehicle. It also has reliable handling and sneaky levels of speed and acceleration.

It has a top speed of 112 MPH, which means it can go from 0 to 60 in 9.5 seconds. This is quite impressive when compared to other vehicles of its kind during the late 1990s.

Is The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic Reliable?

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic is a reliable car. It had many features that were ahead of its time. It has decent gas mileage and is not too expensive to maintain.

The only downside is that the cabin isn't very spacious compared to some other Jeeps, but this is a great option if you're looking for an affordable SUV.

Overall, this is a reliable vehicle that is worth the price tag. The anti-lock braking system and airbags are just some of the many features that make this car so great.

How Many Miles Can A 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic Last?

The Jeep Cherokee is a popular car in the US and has been around for over 25 years. It was first introduced in 1986 and became one of the most popular SUVs of its time.

It has been known to be a very durable vehicle, but how long can it last?

If you are driving your 1996 Jeep Cherokee every day, then you may only get 200,000 miles out of it before needing to upgrade or buy a new vehicle. It is extremely durable and has many reliable safety features to make it last longer.

Consistent care and maintenance are the keys to getting 200,000 miles from your 1996 Cherokee Classic. You should never overuse the tires, oil, or engine; regular services should be done. This is especially important once you reach 100,000 miles.

How Much Does The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic Cost?

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic is a limited-edition version of the original Cherokee that was sold in the United States from 1993 to 2001. It had a 4.0 L I6 engine and was available in either a two-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive configuration.

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic is one of the most iconic Jeeps ever made. It is also one of the most sought-after Jeeps because it has been discontinued for over 15 years, and there are not many left on the road.

However, prices do not quite reflect the rarity because other alternatives are available. Depending on mileage and condition, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $6,000.

1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic Compared To Other Jeep Models

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee Classic is an SUV that the Jeep company manufactured. It is a compact SUV and ranks as one of the best ever.

But you may be wondering how it compares to other options. Jeep released a few alternatives around the same time as this 1996 vehicle too. We look at each of them below to help you decide which is best.

Jeep Cherokee Country

The Jeep Cherokee Country was a part of this same line of vehicles. It was in production between 1993-1997 with a few amazing launches that were big fan favorites too.

The design was similar to the Laredo, with chrome accents and a flat black finish. This was the most similar design to the Cherokee Classic, but with a shorter lifespan.

It did not have as much engine power or durability either. However, you could expect strong performance with a 2.8L V6 engine and excellent acceleration, going zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds.

Jeep Cherokee SE

The Jeep Cherokee SE was released in 1994 with a production run until 2001 as a replacement option to the original base model. It was also renovated for police and official use too.

The design included vinyl and cloth upholstery, full-faced steel wheels, and a single two-door trim model. You could also use the 190 horsepower and solid turning and handling capabilities.

The speed was similar to the Cherokee Classic, with a maximum speed of 112 MPH. But acceleration was much slower, and it didn't provide the same strength or torque.

Jeep Cherokee Sport

The Jeep Cherokee Sport was the longer-lasting model of all those mentioned here, with a production run from 1988 to 2001. This included a similar interior design with steel or alloy wheels.

It included many of the top features you get from the 1996 Classic, like single button keyless entry.

This two-door model had an optional rear seat that could be removed to create a large cargo area, making it perfect for people who need to transport items that are too big for other vehicles but don't have any passengers.