Jeep’s entry in the compact SUV category is the Cherokee, a modern take on one of the brand’s best-known nameplates. The Cherokee returned in 2014 after a 12-year hiatus during which time the Liberty model took its place.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
New for 2021, Cherokee’s entry-level Sport trim includes heated front seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, a 7.0-inch infotainment display, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing wipers.
The next-up North trim gains a heated steering wheel and a windshield wiper de-icer.
Altitude trim adds Nappa leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel, and the off-road specialist Trailhawk gains blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
Jeep offers the Cherokee in Sport, North, Altitude, Trailhawk and Limited trims. All but Sport are standard with four-wheel drive. Engine choices include a 2.4L four-cylinder (Sport and North), a 3.2L V6 (available across the line), and a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder (offered in Altitude, Limited and High Altitude). All engines are matched with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Note that Jeep sells three four-wheel drive systems in the Cherokee: a basic Active Drive I setup, a more advanced Active Drive II arrangement, and a off-road-ready Active Drive Lock system.
Cherokee Sport comes fitted with 17-inch steel wheels, LED auto on/off headlights, a 7.0-inch infotainment display, six-speaker stereo, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a 3.5-inch driver info display, cloth upholstery, air conditioning, power windows, heated front seats, chrome grille trim, black side mirrors (power-adjustable) and door handles, and tire fill alert.
North trim’s key additions are body-colour mirrors (heated) and door handles, 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite radio, LED fog lights, premium cloth seating, an eight-way power driver’s seat, bright roof rails, a heated/leather-trimmed steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting.
An 80th Anniversary package for North models adds granite crystal grille surrounds, power-folding side mirrors, 18-inch wheels, navigation, a 7.0-inch digital gauge display, four-way power front passenger seat, leather upholstery, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Trailhawk trim reverts to 17-inch wheels, a manual front passenger seat and manual-folding side mirrors and adds tow hooks, blind spot monitoring/cross traffic alert, accent-colour grille trim/door handles/side mirrors/roof rails, skid plates, and a 115-volt power outlet.
Altitude gains back 18-inch wheels and a power front passenger seat, and adds gloss black exterior trim, but gives up the 115-volt outlet.
Limited trim gets back the 115-volt power plug and then brings chrome exterior trim, power tailgate, dual-zone A/C, driver’s seat memory, and an integrated garage door remote.
High Altitude models get 19-inch wheels, and a nine-speaker stereo with subwoofer.
A Trailhawk Elite package echoes the base Trailhawk’s off-road kit and adds a hands-free tailgate, dual power front seats, dual-zone A/C, and a garage door remote.
A Sun and Sound group adds an upgraded stereo and a panoramic sunroof.
The Advanced Safety group is where you’ll find driver assists like forward collision warning with active braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.
To lower-end trims, a Comfort Safety group brings an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind spot monitoring/cross traffic alert, a power tailgate, dual-zone A/C, heated side mirrors, and rear park assist.
The Technology group bundles adaptive cruise, automatic high beams, active parking assist, and a side distance warning.
The Luxury group brings a fore-and-aft adjustment for the rear seats, carpeted cargo trim, ventilated front seats, and a hands-free tailgate.
Jeep’s fuel consumption estimates for the Cherokee’s 2.4L engine are 10.8/7.5 L/100 km (city/highway) with FWD and 11.2/8.0 with 4WD.
The 2.0L engine’s ratings are 10.4/7.6 (FWD), 11.2/8.0 (4x4 Active Drive I), and 11.5/8.6 (4x4 Active Drive II).
Finally, estimates for the 3.2L V6 are 11.9/8.2 (FWD), 12.2/8.6 (Active Drive I), 12.8/9.0 (Active Drive II), and 12.9/9.7 (Active Drive Lock).
The Jeep Cherokee is designed to compete with all kinds of popular compact crossovers, including the popular Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape. Other competition comes from the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, Hyundai’s Tucson, the Kia Sportage, VW’s Tiguan, the Subaru Forester, and Mazda’s CX-5.