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The ’90s are back, baby. Just watch an auction for any car, truck, or SUV that’s somewhat – kind of – sort of cool from the ‘90s; it will likely go for a shocking amount of money. And you can double that shock if it has low mileage and isn’t even that cool. So, put on some Pearl Jam, dig this 1995 Jeep Cherokee XJ Overlander, and mash through the desert with no worries other than what might happen with Y2K.

Jeep Cherokee front grill with added lights on a 90s overlander
1995 Jeep Cherokee XJ Overlander | Phillip B

1995 Jeep Cherokee XJ Is a Perfect Jeep

There are so many insane overland rigs these days. Folks are spending well into the six figures to build/buy overlanding rigs that look like they are more meant to storm a fortress than go camping for the weekend. The truth is, you don’t need a Panzer tank with 277 ft of ground clearance to take an off-road trip. 

This 1995 Jeep Cherokee XJ proves that point in spades. As noted by Expedition Portal, this Jeep is over a foot shorter than a modern-day Honda Civic. Think about that. 

It’s the XJ’s nimble stance and footprint that has made it the off-road legend that it is today. Most modern overlanding rigs are tall, long, and heavy. That is all good and well until you come across a trail too small to take these rigs through. This Cherokee will skate right past the monster rigs with ease. 

What makes the Jeep Cherokee XJ so great off-road?

Classic 90s off-roader, Jeep Cherokee kicking up dust in the desert
Overland Jeep Cherokee | Phillip B

This era for Jeep was a truly unrivaled time. The main reason for this was the 4.0-liter inline-six that powered the Jeep Cherokee and the higher-end Jeep Wrangler TJs. This engine is powerful, torquey, and tougher’n boiled leather. 

This killer engine, along with a 3.5-inch lift Rubicon Express suspension system, roof rack, and auxiliary lights, is all most off-roaders need to get deep into the wilder places of the world. 

Although there is plenty of paint fading and visible wear and tear, the Jeep’s current owner has spent years getting his Cherokee into fighting shape. The 90s may not feel like a long time ago to some, but the paint on the hood of this ’90s Jeep Cherokee says different.

“I have managed to fix most of the quirks you might experience with this specific Jeep over the years, such as upgrading the cooling system (fan clutch, water pump, thermostat), replacing the engine mount, replacing the rear main seal, changing the headliner, etc.”

Buy this overlander or build one like it yourself 

Overland Jeep Cherokee XJ interior with tan seats
1995 Jeep Cherokee XJ interior | Phillip B

The owner is shedding his 90s Jeep Cherokee XJ to help finance a Wrangler build. However, he is so proud of the 90s overlander that he says he is in no rush to sell and has yet to post a price on the Expedition Portal forum. 

The coolest part of this XJ is that, unlike so many serious overlander rigs, the XJ didn’t undergo years’ worth of custom fabrication and tens of thousands of dollars in high-end rigging. 

This is simply a solid off-roader from the factory where someone put a lift, roof rack, front and rear bumpers, lights, and a few other aftermarket bolt-on accessories to make this unstoppable beast. This is a truck that anyone with a little time and money can build themselves. So, forget EarthRoamer or any other $500,000 plus rigs and build something super capable with a tiny fraction of the cost.


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