Jeep Cherokee vs Toyota 4Runner

Nostalgia often gives rise to thoughts such as “simpler times” or “back-to-basics”. In this edition of the Auction Dilemma, we check out two SUVs from the days when these were more workhorses than the leather-filled vehicles that cover today’s suburban car parks. Let’s look at a 1986 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer at auction at Bring a Trailer and a 1988 Toyota 4Runner SR5 at auction at Doug DeMuro’s cars and bids.

1986 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer

The Cherokee (under the Jeep’s XJ body code) as a soldier in the United States from 1984 to 2001 helped launch the modern SUV Will thanks to a lighter unibody platform. This approach was a radical departure from the carmaker’s heavy and bulky body-on-frame design that we last saw with the original Grand Wagoneer and previous generation Cherokee. Thanks to a painted body completed by the previous owner, this Jeep shows itself in good condition despite having 160,000 miles on the odometer. However, the vehicle’s history report shows a minor to moderate accident along the passenger side in 2001. No further details are provided.


The power comes from a 2.1-liter turbodiesel engine that comes from Renault. No surprise, as this was during the time of AMC (which owned Jeep) and Renault hookup (which preceded Chrysler’s takeover of AMC in 1987). Although overwhelming in the horsepower department (with an output of 86 hp), this small oil burner offers a little torque of 135 lb-ft. The power of this 4WD jeep is handled by a five-speed manual and a two-speed gearbox.

Take a look inside the cabin, and the geometric pattern on the upholstery is a dead giveaway as this Cherokee is descended from the Reagan administration. Still, the interior seems to be in good condition even though it has been on the road for 35 years. And this vehicle is definitely a great example of back-to-basics. There is no air conditioning and approximately the only interior upgrade is an aftermarket sound system from Pioneer.


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1988 Toyota 4Runner SR5

Toyota 4Runners enjoy a reputation for robustness and reliability that is undoubtedly better than even older jeeps as its equivalent to the Auction Dilemma. The 4Runner, which first appeared in the United States in 1984, was a smart addition to Toyota’s range that sought to take advantage of the company’s truck platforms while embracing the growing SUV market. This first-generation 4Runner is a two-door SUV, somewhat common in the 1980s but virtually non-existent today. The vehicle’s history shows an accident-free background, where most of its 184,000 miles seem to have happened in New England. Given its mileage and location, the outer stains and rust on the underside are almost expected. Interestingly, this 4Runner has a detachable hardtop that can provide some fun summer adventures.


Under the hood, a 3.0-liter V-6, which was originally rated for 145 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque, sends power to all four wheels via a four-speed automatic. The 4WD system includes locking hubs.

Minus some upholstery defects, the cabin of the 4Runner is in decent condition, and the angular dashboard is another reminder of the 1980s. Like the Jeep, there is not much in the way of exteriors, but this Toyota has air conditioning.

Is one of the 80’s SUVs worth a back-to-basics bid?

Although they are far from perfect examples of SUVs from more than 30 years ago, both of these vehicles are still running examples that simplicity may be eternal. With two days left, the 1986 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer has a current maximum bid of $ 5,000. With a high bid of $ 4,000, the 1988 Toyota 4Runner has three days left in the auction.


Sources: bringatrailer.com, carsandbids.com, automobile-catalog.com

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