XJ vs TJ: Which Is More Reliable, Jeep Cherokee Or Wrangler

Wrangler, Cherokee, and their generations are totally separate vehicles though each of them has exciting off-roading capacity in any place of the united states. If Cherokee XJ is the east, wrangler TJ is clearly the west.

I will talk about some major facts about jeep XJ vs TJ to find out which one is worth it for you. If you are a regular off-road traveler, wrangler TJ is for you, and if you are a family man who goes office regularly and wants some adventure, Cherokee TJ is for you.

Cherokee XJ Vs Wrangler TJ


The jeep wrangler is a special type of jeep that can remind you of the awesome war history of the United States of America. Look at a jeep in a movie related to second-word war; either jeep wrangler or Willys from the side of appearance.

Jeep TJ is the second generation vehicle of jeep wrangler produced by American motors corporations in 1996 as a model after wrangler YJ. This can be called a modern jeep compared to all other jeeps produced before 2000 in Toledo, Ohio. Manufacturer jeep tried to add multiple features for better off-roading capabilities with multiple trim levels.

Cherokee XJ is from the same manufacturer named jeep with quite different looks from all wranglers. Its appearance is closer to a usual car though it is created for the outdoor family trip and on-road driving.

Jeep Cherokee XJ and all other Cherokee jeeps are not very relevant to war histories like wranglers and Willys. This XJ came on the market in 1984 as an 84 model with a medium 2.5L AMC 150 engine and the Base trim level.


Jeep Wrangler TJ is a popular vehicle till now though it was like a king in the wrangler industry before revealing the jeep JK in 2007. TJ used several engines with multiple trim levels like SE, X, Sahara, Unlimited sports, apex addition, Rubicon, Rocky mountains edition at different times.

TJ engine

So, first, TJ used 2.5l AMC straight-four engines with 3-speed 30RH automatic and 5-speed AX-5 manual transmission from 1997 to 2002. They had used a 4.0L AMC straight-six engine that was considered one of the powerful engines before the company stopped their production. 

Cherokee XJ used 2.5l AMC 150 gasoline engine with 105 hp from their walking in the offroad vehicle industry. There was no significant upgrade before stopping XJ manufacturing in 2001. XJ 1994 to 2001 engine had been from 2.5l turbo diesel engine with 114 hp that was quite distinguishing to a wrangler.

So, I think as a bigger and beautiful jeep, TJ offered a more qualified and powerful engine in their time frame than a Cherokee XJ.

Trim Level

wrangler was an older jeep and had a great war history so that they tried to add each upgraded feature to keep vehicle history alive. The SE trim level offered AM/FM stereo with two speakers, vinyl seats, a rear removable bench seat, a right-hand-drive (RHD), and a flip-out front window for easy mail delivery.

TJ tomb rider
TJ Tomb Rider

Last Willy’s edition was really cool with multiple features and a powerful engine upgrade. This edition used 4.0l engines, fog lamp with tow hook group, cd players with seven speakers, and decals with beautiful jeep name.

This model can be swapped with most of the JK accessories that means you can try your attractive JK-led headlights in Willy’s edition. TJ used essential features in their different edition (Rubicon, Golden eagle, Rocky Mountain, Sahara, Tomb rider, freedom, etc.) that had been popular in that period. 

XJ Orvis
XJ Orvis

XJ also used multiple trim levels like Base, Wagoneer, Limited, Sport, country, classic, Orvis, 60th anniversary with essentials features like AM/Fm radio, better air conditioning, exterior decals, keyless entry, leather door panels, overhead consoles, led brake lights and the others. So looks and facilities really vary from vehicle to vehicle, trim level to trim level, which also depends on your taste and intention.

Transmission System

Both used manual and automatic transmission from the beginning and ending of the manufacturing. Cherokee XJ has added Borg-Warner T-4 four-speed manual and Chrysler A904 three-speed automatic transmission in their 1984 jeep. New Venture Gear NV3550 five-speed manual and Chrysler 30RH three-speed automatic transmission had been included in the last edition 60th anniversary.  

Cherokee transmission system

Wrangler TJ used 3-speed 30RH automatic and 5-speed AX-5 manual transmission in the SE trim level. Jeep TJ was last manufactured in 2006, and the jeep company included a 5-speed NV3550 manual with a more powerful automatic transmission system. 

The better transmission system is a clear sign of a powerful engine; as a result, I can say jeep TJ is a more offroad capable vehicle than a Cherokee. 

Price And Looks

At first sight, you can easily recognize whether it is TJ or XJ for their distinguishable looks. Cherokee XJ is not much aggressive and lowered Jeep than a wrangler TJ as it is made for both off and on the road. XJ is a car-shaped vehicle where TJ is like a giant. 

Though there is a noticeable distinction between the two jeep’s look, the price is almost near. If you want to buy a Cherokee XJ freedom edition or wrangler TJ tomb rider edition, the price is available from 25000$ to 33000$ through the wrangler price is a little bit higher. Two jeeps are from the same era, but the thing that matters much for pricing is the trim level.


Jeep XJ was in the market from 1984 and officially stopped manufacturing in 2000 in the united states of America until a valuable grand Cherokee came. But this vehicle was fully available in Europe and Asia till 2014, and as a result, you can still get original manufacturing if you are a non-US person. 

TJ started in 1997 and had officially been manufacturing for almost ten years until wrangler JK came. But still, you can get a lot of used TJ in the united states and all over the world. 

Better Fuel Economy

Jeep Cherokee has a 30.5-gallon fuel tank that ensures longer riding in the city than a wrangler. A wrangler TJ needs 7.1 gal/100 mi, whereas a Cherokee XJ needs 5.6 gals/ 100 miles.

The wrangler is a giant vehicle, and it requires more fuel than others jeeps, so using gas is a suitable option. Be careful, and you should ensure regular maintenance for economy gas mileage in the jeep. 


XJ is a jeep that you can compare with Grand Cherokee than a wrangler TJ. Both of them are awesome for usual travelers though I always prioritize TJ for more off-roading capability.

I think you have enjoyed what I wrote between XJ vs. TJ. If you want to add some top distinguishable features between two jeeps, comment be below, and I will be grateful. 

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