Funny Thing About the 1987 Jeep Cherokee Laredo

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The XJ Jeep Cherokee is nothing to laugh at, but something about this retro review of the 1987 model might make you chuckle.

Most of the time when I watch MotorWeek, I do it with wide eyes and a thumb on the remote as I turn the volume up. It was a part of my childhood and a way of bonding with my parents. I have great affection for it and its evaluations of vehicles. However, there’s something host John Davis says in the above video about the 1987 Jeep Cherokee Laredo that made me laugh to myself and shake my head.

It certainly isn’t the fact that the new-for-’87 4.0-liter I6 solved the power problem that the XJ had had for a while. It even boosted towing capacity to 5,000 pounds. That was a cool little Jeep history lesson.


ALSO SEE: What Forum Members Have to Say 1987 Jeep Cherokee

The same goes for the shift-on-the-fly lever for the Selec-Trac four-wheel drive system, which did away with the previous console-mounted vacuum switch. The above video also informed me that some people, at least those at MotorWeek, found the interior of the Cherokee to be evocative of the Range Rover’s cabin. In fact, the Cherokee Limited model was once positioned as a rival to the famous British luxury off-roader.

I found all of those little tidbits and the many others in the video interesting and stimulating to my inner nerd. None of them made me laugh. A statement at the 3:42 mark of the video did, though. I’m not knocking MotorWeek because at the time it didn’t have the 30 years of hindsight that I have right now. I just found this amusing:

“While most Cherokee wagoneers will never go far off road, it’s good to know they can handle rough terrain.”

Yes, because Moab is not that far off road. Neither is the Rubicon Trail. That’s just the name of a store that sells hiking boots, right?

I’m sure MotorWeek has learned in the years since they made the video above just how far many Cherokee owners take their rigs into the rough. The show posts a lot of its content to Youtube. All its people have to do is look up Cherokee videos on another channel to find out.

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum, Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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