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Cherokees are nice but they're pretty fucking thirsty. It's hard to overstate just how much petrol you'll be putting into one of those things.
To be honest, no old 4x4 is going to be 'reliable' in any modern sense of the word, but most of them respond well to basic maintenance. I have had a number of Land Rover Discoveries, and while it's hard to call any Landy reliable, the engines run forever as long as you keep on top of them. A 200/300Tdi has basically no electronics, so it's a great car to cut your teeth on as an amateur mechanic. It will always be my first choice, but I'm very much in love with them, so I'm hardly objective. The parts are abundant and I guarantee there's a specialist within 50 miles of you.
I would say the most notoriously solid 4x4 in that price range would be a Toyota Hilux. The Surf model is particularly practical. If I wasn't such a Land Rover fanboy I'd probably have one.
Just a point to hold in your mind is that no 20 year old car is going to be guaranteed to be reliable no matter what the reviews say. You have no idea the abuse a car might have taken in that time frame, and with 4x4's they may have climbed mountains and shit every week, pulled huge loads all the time, you never know.