2021 Jeep Cherokee

2021 Jeep Cherokee Review: Compromised Compact Off-Roader

The Jeep Cherokee has been around, in one shape or another, for close to fifty years in the USA and is currently in its fifth generation. Now a compact SUV, it provides a seven-slotted alternative to rivals like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, except unlike those, this has genuine off-road chops and a class-leading towing capacity of 4,500 lbs. In its mission to beat the best, Jeep sells the Cherokee with three engine options, ranging from the 180-horsepower 2.4-liter Tigershark to a 271-hp V6, with an available 2.0T four-banger rounding out the range with 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic is standard across the range and you can select either front- or all-wheel-drive, with the Trailhawk model using the latter to make it one of the most capable off-roaders in the compact crossover realm. With a broad selection of trims, the Cherokee follows the philosophy that there's a specific trim for every type of buyer, but with wayward handling and a clumsy gearbox, it's not the most complete vehicle in the segment.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Jeep Cherokee?

The 2021 Cherokee comes with a stuffed bag of new odds and ends across all trim levels. Safety levels get a significant boost thanks to new standard driver assistance features such as LaneSense lane departure warning with lane keep assist, full-speed forward collision warning with active braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection systems, and rain-sensing wipers. The Latitude now gets new front power windows and the Latitude Plus and Trailhawk add heated front seats, remote start, and more. The all-new Latitude Lux debuts with Nappa leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and more luxury features, while the Limited features a dual-pane sunroof, auto headlights, and adaptive cruise control, among others.

A few trims have been culled, including the Upland, North, Trailhawk Elite, and Overland, but others have joined the ranks, like the Freedom and 80th Anniversary, although these are mostly centered around visual upgrades.

Pros and Cons

  • Few rivals sell a V6
  • Class-leading towing capabilities
  • One of the best off-roaders in its class
  • Lots of standard safety features
  • Less cargo space than rivals
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Too many trims with no purpose

Best Deals on Cherokee

2021 Jeep Cherokee Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Latitude Plus
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Latitude Lux
3.2L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive

2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV Exterior

There's no doubting the fact that the 2021 Cherokee crossover is a good-looking car, especially when you compare its face to the alien-looking design it had before Jeep facelifted it. Wheel sizes range from 17-inch items on lesser trims to 19s on trims like the High Altitude and 80th Anniversary Edition. LED headlights are standard across the team roster while fog lamps are present on all but the most entry-level trims. Roof rails are standard on most with the exception of the off-road-focused Trailhawk, which gets other model-specific cues like skidplates and unique badging. Many of the trims are special-edition derivatives with unique styling cues, like the Freedom model with its Oscar Mike decals or the 80th Anniversary with Granite Crystal exterior detailing and model-specific badges. A sunroof is standard on the Limited and available on the Latitude Lux and Plus.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Front Angle View Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Rear Angle View Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Side View Jeep
See All 2021 Jeep Cherokee Exterior Photos


The newest Jeep Cherokee remains a compact crossover SUV but has slightly larger exterior dimensions in comparison to competitors like the Toyota RAV4. However, within the lineup, the dimensions differ slightly from model to model. The wheelbase, for instance, ranging from 106.48 inches on front-wheel-drive models to 106.6 on all-wheel-drive derivatives, while the Trailhawk with a lockable 4x4 system stretches this to 107.1 inches. The latter trim is shorter overall at 182.9 inches compared to the 183.1-inch length of other trims. The width ranges from 73.2 in. on standard models to 74.9 on the Trailhawk, while heights vary from 65.7 to 67.8 inches. Given that the Cherokee is actually capable of doing some off-roading, the Trailhawk has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and the best approach, breakover, and departure angles of 29.9, 22.9, and 32.2 degrees, respectively.

With a variety of configurations, the curb weight of the Cherokee can be as light as 3,590 lbs but as heavy as 4,260 lbs on the 2.0T-equipped Trailhawk.

  • Length 182.0 in
  • Wheelbase 106.5 in
  • Height 65.7 in
  • Max Width 73.2 in
  • Front Width 62.7 in
  • Rear Width 63.1 in
  • Curb Weight 3,590.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

The Jeep Cherokee SUV's bold styling grabs attention, and what better way to keep that attention by coating it in a crazy paint color? Jeep offers its compact SUV in a wide range of colors that will appeal to both the young at heart and those that like an understated look. These range from the no-cost Bright White and $245 options including Billet Silver Metallic, Light Brownstone, Diamond Black, and Slate Blue to more vibrant options like Velvet Red, Olive Green, and the particularly obnoxious Spitfire Orange. Some trims have a highly limited, and boring, palette, while some - like the Trailhawk - get access to vivid shades like Hydro Blue.

  • Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat
  • Diamond Black Crystal Pearlcoat
  • Velvet Red Pearlcoat
  • Olive Green Pearlcoat
  • Slate Blue Pearlcoat
  • Light Brownstone Pearlcoat
  • Spitfire Orange Clearcoat
  • Granite Crystal Metallic Clearcoat
  • Sting-Gray Clearcoat
  • Sangria Metallic Clearcoat
  • Hydro Blue Pearlcoat
  • Spitfire Orange Clearcoat, Build Out: 09/29/2020
  • Bright White Clearcoat

2021 Jeep Cherokee Performance

All-out performance doesn't play a significant role when it comes to family-friendly and affordable compact SUVs, which is why Jeep makes no official 0 to 60 mph or top speed claims, although you can expect the turbocharged model to complete the 0-60 sprint in the upper six-second region. It's safe to say that the 2021 Jeep Cherokee is more than capable of completing your everyday journey without breaking a sweat. Still, with three engine options to choose from, performance does vary significantly.

When driving around on the daily suburban and city grind, the Cherokee offers good performance from all its powertrain options. Still, it should be mentioned that the base 2.4-liter engine with its 180 hp and 171 lb-ft will struggle when fully loaded or trying to overtake on the highway. The larger capacity V6 or smaller-displacement turbocharged four-pot, on the other hand, provide confidence-inspiring performance. All models can tow 2,000 lbs with a Class II hitch, but the turbo and V6 models boast the most impressive capabilities. Equipped with the Class III hitch from the Trailer Tow Package, they can tow 4,000 and 4,500 lbs, respectively, some of the best figures in the segment and ones that mean the Cherokee is a real utility vehicle.

FWD and AWD are available, but the Trailhawk, which gets standard AWD and a special 4x4 system, is much more capable than most, with its Trail Rated badge indicating genuine off-road prowess.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Side Perspective Driving Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Side Perspective Driving 1 Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Gauge Cluster Jeep

Engine and Transmission

There are three engines to choose from with the availability of some of these limited by trim. From the Latitude all the way through to the Altitude, you get the trusty 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine. This engine produces 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque but requires a good amount of revving out to get the best from it. It's not our favorite engine around and we feel like the relatively large displacement doesn't correspond to drivability. A lot of this comes down to the nine-speed automatic gearbox, which is indecisive, never seems able to reach ninth gear, and is constantly hunting.

Above this, the rest of the range up to the Trailhawk is saddled with the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine - an adaptation of the larger 3.6L unit found in just about every other Jeep product North of the Cherokee in size. It's rare to find a V6 in the compact crossover segment, with this one producing 271 hp and 239 lb-ft, which contributes toward solid towing capacities, but is paired with the same gearbox. Still, it's a better performer in a lot of ways, with better low-down grunt and stronger high-end potency. It's a suitable partner for the Trailhawk, too, as the linear delivery of its naturally aspirated torque curve makes it ideal for off-roading.

Latitude Lux, 80th Anniversary, and Limited models get the option of a 2.0-liter turbo engine, while this mill is standard on the High Altitude. It almost matches the V6 by producing 270 hp, but out-torques it by a healthy margin, generating 295 lb-ft of twist. This engine revs to a lowly 5,800 rpm, but the torque is what matters. The gearbox is recalibrated for this configuration with a shorter final drive and mapping that is supposed to be better suited to the torque band of the turbo motor. Sadly, the engine lacks character and the gearbox is still slow and does little to mitigate the inherent lag from the four-cylinder. Its performance improvements on the road make it better than the V6 for the most part, but it's nowhere near the standard of the Mazda CX-5's turbo 2.5L.

The gearbox is a frustration in all configurations, and while it has a manual mode that's supposed to help, it simply ignores the driver's prompts almost all the time.

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo, 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.4L Inline-4 Gas, 3.2L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

When Jeep facelifted the Cherokee for 2019, it went about shaving weight. This was a smart move as it makes the Cherokee handle much better. It corners flatter than one would expect, because of this, while retaining a softly-sprung nature that bodes well for comfort. On that side of things, revised dampers, bushing, and anti-roll bars have all improved the way it handles. Previously, there was a vagueness to the front end that bordered on scary, not just on-road but off it, too, where the front felt like it could wash out at any moment. With the V6 engine, the front still feels a little wayward, but the 2.0T feels far tighter, keener to turn in, and better tied down.

The brakes feel strong, too, with good feel through the pedal and a good amount of stopping power, no doubt aided by having less weight to bring to a halt.

There are better compact crossovers on-road, but the Cherokee is much improved now. However, where it truly shines is off the beaten path. The Trailhawk is built with this in mind, endowed with a specific suspension tune, all-terrain tires, and even Jeep's Active Drive II AWD system. The latter is an important bit of information as it has a locking rear differential, a four-low mode, and dedicated rock-crawling driving modes. It's no Wrangler on the rocks, but there's no other compact quite this capable - except for maybe the Ford Bronco Sport. Even in Trailhawk guise, though, the Cherokee is composed on the road.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Gas Mileage

The downside to big engines is big fuel bills, and the Cherokee will never be able to challenge eco-warriors like the Honda CR-V in this department. The 2.0-liter, in addition to being the most potent powertrain, is also the most efficient when paired with FWD, returning 23/31/26 mpg city/highway/combined, while AWD drops gas mileage figures to 21/29/24 mpg. The 2.4L engine manages 22/31/25 mpg with FWD and 21/29/24 mpg with AWD, and, as predicted, the V6 is the thirstiest. Try 20/29/23 mpg in its most efficient FWD form. With its various off-road suited bits and pieces and an AWD system that places greater strain on the motor, the Trailhawk is by far the thirstiest model at 18/24/21 mpg.

A fuel tank capacity of 15.9 gallons applies across the board, so the potential range in mixed driving conditions is anything between 333 and 413 miles to a tank.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    15.8 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 22/31 mpg
* 2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude FWD

2021 Jeep Cherokee Interior

The perception that Jeep only builds stripped-down, utilitarian vehicles is long gone, and even the most humble of Jeep offerings has a contemporary interior that is both stylish and comfortable. The 2021 Cherokee interior is no different; the design might be simplistic, but the overall feel is welcoming and family-friendly and still retains a sense of class, in part due to a design that is heavily inspired by the larger Grand Cherokee. All knobs and buttons are within easy reach of the driver, and the build quality is up to standard. But the cabin is more cramped than the best in the segment, with limited day-to-day storage space. Likewise, the trunk is below par, especially given the Cherokee's external footprint.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Dashboard Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Gear Shifter Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Infotainment System Jeep
See All 2021 Jeep Cherokee Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Narrow windows and high sills amplify the effect that the Cherokee has a claustrophobic cabin, but the numbers suggest it actually has one of the larger interiors in the compact crossover segment. The Honda CR-V leads the way, but up front, the Cherokee fares relatively well with up to 39.4 inches of headroom and 41.1 inches of legroom. The rear of the five-seater crossover is where things get a little tighter but are still able to best the Toyota RAV4. Here you get 38.5 inches of headroom and 40.3 inches of legroom. Ingress and egress are relatively easy, but once behind the wheel, visibility is limited by those narrow windows, creating awkward blind spots towards the rear of the car.

The seats themselves are comfortable and supportive. Base models get manually adjustable front seats, but higher up in the range, eight-way power-adjustable front seats with four-way lumbar control become standard.

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.1 in
  • Front Head Room 39.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.3 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.5 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The Jeep Cherokee interior features a balance of hard plastics and soft-touch materials and feels well put together. Seeing as most Cherokees will spend their time hard at work transporting family members, pets, and lots of cargo, Jeep has rightfully decided to fit the base model cars with hard-wearing cloth seats, offered in all black or a combination of black and Light Frost beige. The interior also features Liquid Titanium accents and door-trim appliques. The Freedom trim retains the base black cloth but boasts contrast stitching in silver and Oscar Mike embroidery on the seatbacks. Latitude Plus and Altitude variants get combination cloth/premium vinyl in either black or black/Ski Gray, while the Latitude Lux, Limited, and High Altitude step it up to premium leather in the same combinations. The 80th Anniversary sticks to black leather with Light Tungsten accent stitching, and the Trailhawk gets hard-wearing combination cloth/vinyl seating in black with orange stitching. Premium leather can be equipped here for $1,195.

2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV Trunk and Cargo Space

The US market is crazy for crossovers, with many seeing the advantages of a spacious body when it comes to the practical aspects of life like shopping and going on family vacations. But despite sizable exterior measurements, the Cherokee is a little disappointing when it comes to its cargo bay. Behind the rear seats, 25.8 cubic feet is nearly 15 cubes behind the RAV4 and CR-V, although you can drop the dual-level floor to unlock a total of 27.6 cubes. The rear seats fold to open up 54.7 cubic feet, which is simply not competitive with the class-best. On top of this, the lift-over height is awkward, so heavier objects are likely to result in a few scuffs on the rear bumper.

The interior cubbies are average for the segment, but far from exceptional. The door pockets are short and the center storage bin is narrow, albeit relatively deep. Ahead of this are two cupholders, there's a glovebox ahead of the front passenger and a slot for your smartphone in front of the gearshift lever. The rear-center seatback folds forward to create an armrest.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Front Seats Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Trunk Space Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Trunk Space 1 Jeep

2021 Jeep Cherokee Infotainment and Features


The number of standard features on offer in the 2021 Jeep Cherokee varies greatly, depending on trim, with the base model offering a rather rudimentary experience. That doesn't mean it isn't decently kitted, though. The seats may be manually adjustable and you may only get standard air conditioning, but you also get tilt-and-telescopic steering adjustment, power windows, and automatic headlights. It's not much, but at least Jeep hasn't skimped on safety, as for the new year, every model ships with blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning and auto-braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and a rearview camera.

In contrast, the upper trims put on a premium show with hands-free power liftgates, dual-pane panoramic sunroofs, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated power-adjustable seats (available from all but the base model), and a heated steering wheel. You'll also find adaptive cruise control, park assist, and keyless entry either standard or available on these upper models, while true luxury items like heated and ventilated seats can be equipped optionally.


In charge of entertaining passengers is a competent Uconnect 4 infotainment system that is pretty intuitive and easy to live with daily. The base model comes fitted with a standard seven-inch touchscreen display, but higher up on the trim ladder, from the Limited onwards, an 8.4-inch unit becomes the norm. Standard infotainment features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, Bluetooth streaming with voice command, SiriusXM radio, and a six-speaker sound system. The High Altitude car features navigation with standard SiriusXM travel services - optional on other high-ranking trims like the Limited and Trailhawk. Most trims have access to a nine-speaker Alpine sound system that includes a built-in subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier, a system that is standard on the Limited and High Altitude.

2021 Cherokee Problems and Reliability

After it was facelifted for 2019, the Cherokee had its fair share of teething issues with nine recalls affecting it. In recent years, those seem to have been resolved, although, at the time of writing, there are two recalls applicable. The first is for a transmission hose that may leak, and the other for the front lower control arms on certain models that may fracture. The number of complaints by owners is also relatively low and the J.D. Power Quality & Reliability score is a stellar 85 out of 100, which bodes well for ownership.

Jeep's warranty coverage includes a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty, and roadside assistance for the same period. Three year's access to the Jeep Wave customer care program is also included with complimentary maintenance.


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ Unlimited Miles

2021 Jeep Cherokee Safety

Despite new safety features being made standard across the lineup for 2021, the Cherokee still receives relatively average safety ratings. In the NHTSA's review of the Jeep Cherokee, it attained four out of five stars on the overall rating. The IIHS gave it scores of Good across all crash tests in its Cherokee review but scored the headlights only Acceptable or Marginal. The optional crash avoidance systems were rated Superior.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

Jeep provides a fair amount of standard safety features on the Cherokee. All cars come standard with eight airbags including dual front knee bags, and the usual slew of acronyms for various braking, stability, and traction assists. For the new year, Jeep made a range of driver assists standard on all models, so every Cherokee now has blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency collision braking and full-speed forward collision warning, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, and a rearview camera. The Technology Group package adds adaptive cruise control, auto high beam headlights, side distance warning, and Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist for $1,245 on the Trailhawk.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Jeep Cherokee a good car?

The Cherokee name has been around for nearly five decades on the back of a Jeep product, but while some have been large and some have been small, none have been as accomplished an all-rounder as the 2021 Cherokee. Prior to the 2019 facelift, this was one of our least favorite compact crossovers, but Jeep worked hard to improve its faults and many of them have been addressed. However, there are still some issues. The gearbox is our biggest gripe, as it lets down every engine option, no matter how much promise it has. We'd go so far as to say it stops us from fully enjoying even the range-topping engines. The lack of cargo space is another gripe we have, as even the smaller Compass has similar capacities with far better access. The Cherokee is not the most refined crossover on-road, but the enhancements that have been made make it a better companion. There's plenty to like, though, like an available V6 engine and best-in-class towing capacity. Higher trims also have really pleasant interiors, and the infotainment across the range is easy to use and has tons of functionality. But the biggest selling point is the Trailhawk trim's off-road ability. If you want a compact SUV with real off-road clout, this is it. But, if you spend more time in the drop-off at your kids' school than you do on dirt trails, we'd recommend looking elsewhere.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 Jeep Cherokee?

Nine trims with a broad spread of ability and specification mean there's likely a Cherokee vehicle to fit your budget. The price of a new Jeep Cherokee starts at $27,455 for a Latitude in FWD. The Freedom steps it up to $28,405 and the Latitude Plus has an MSRP of $29,525. The Latitude Lux is the first to break 30 grand by asking $30,875, while the Altitude is a little pricier at $30,965. An 80th Anniversary model has a price tag of $33,055. At the top of the order, the Limited-badged Jeep Cherokee has a cost of $35,030, the Trailhawk $36,330, and the High Altitude $37,720. All models except the Trailhawk are standard with FWD. Adding AWD increases the price of the Cherokee by $1,500, but certain trims have access to the Trailhawk's Active Drive II AWD system for $1,395. These prices exclude the $1,495 destination charge and other fees you'll likely have to pay when looking at Jeeps for sale at your local dealership.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Models

Between the core models and the various special editions - no matter how cosmetic they are - there are a total of nine new Cherokee SUV models for 2021: Latitude, Freedom, Latitude Plus, Altitude, Latitude Lux, 80th Anniversary, Limited, Trailhawk, and High Altitude. The first four get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the next four a 3.2-liter V6, and the High Altitude a 2.0T four-cylinder as standard. A nine-speed automatic gearbox is the only transmission option.

The Latitude kicks off in relatively bare specification. Here, you get 17-inch painted alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, and LED headlights. Open the cabin and there are cloth seats with manual adjustment, power windows, and standard air conditioning. A seven-inch infotainment display partners with six speakers, and has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality, Bluetooth, and standard AM/FM radio. The standard safety consignment is appreciable: blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and a rearview camera.

As a tribute to the US military, the Freedom gets bespoke styling like Oscar Mike star decals, 18-inch Satin Carbon wheels, and an American flag on the fenders. The interior gets specific detailing on the seats, too. And in support of the troops, $250 from every purchase is donated to the USO.

A step up to Latitude Plus has a small price bump, but lots more features. Fog lamps and a windshield wiper de-icer are added outside, while inside, premium cloth/vinyl seats, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's throne, heated steering wheel, SiriusXM radio, rear USB ports, keyless entry, and remote start are added.

Like the Freedom, the Altitude is primarily a styling upgrade. It gets gloss black 18-inch wheels and various black accents but is otherwise the same as the Latitude Plus.

The Latitude Lux is new for 2021. Its upgrades focus on the interior with Nappa leather seating and power front seats, but it's also the first trim to get the V6 engine.

80th Anniversary models receive 19-inch Granite Crystal wheels, special badging, premium leather with Light Tungsten accent stitching, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, and the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen.

The Limited is equipped with a power liftgate, automatic high beams, power-folding mirrors, a seven-inch driver display, occupant memory system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, the Alpine nine-speaker sound system, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking with park sensors front and rear, and a universal garage door opener.

Available only with the 3.2L V6 and AWD, the Trailhawk gets a lifted suspension, lockable rear differential, underbody skidplates, 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, cloth/premium vinyl seats and reverts back to the standard six speakers and safety features of the Latitude Lux.

Last on the list, High Altitude models are the cream of the crop, standard with the 2.0T engine, navigation, body-color exterior trim, and the dual-pane sunroof.

See All 2021 Jeep Cherokee Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Jeep gives buyers a number of packages or option groups, but they are limited by trim. For example, the Comfort/Convenience Group is limited to the Latitude Lux and Trailhawk where it adds a power liftgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control. A universal garage door opener, 115-volt outlet, seven-inch driver display, and 8.4-inch touchscreen. Because some of these are standard on the Trailhawk, it costs only $795 as opposed to the $1,195 fee on the Latitude Lux. Lesser models have access to the Sun & Sound Package, which equips the dual-pane sunroof and Alpine nine-speaker sound system for $2,145. On the Trailhawk, this costs $2,545 but also includes Uconnect 4C with navigation, HD Radio, and a full swathe of SiriusXM features. The Trailhawk can also be equipped with the Technology Group for $1,245 for the addition of adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, a parking assistant, and side distance warning. The Limited Elite Group is only available to the Limited trim as its name suggests, equipping ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, premium leather upholstery, a hands-free power liftgate, and a sliding rear seat. It also adds the Uconnect 4C Nav system, totaling $1,495.

To unlock the maximum towing capacity, you'll need the Trailer Tow Group, which includes heavy-duty engine cooling, a transmission cooler, Class III hitch receiver, and the various wiring harnesses for $895. This can only be equipped on AWD derivatives.

As far as individual options go, upgrading from the 3.2L engine to the 2.0T requires $695, while equipping Active Drive II 4WD with off-road suspension will add $1,395 to the bill.

🚗What New Jeep Cherokee Model Should I Buy?

Jeep has a tendency of giving buyers too much choice, with special edition after special edition that's nothing more than cosmetic. We'd avoid the Freedom, 80th Anniversary, Altitude, and High Altitude for that alone and stick with the core models. But then we're left with another concern - the regular road-going models don't really do any one thing better than the competition except for towing large amounts. That's why there's only one model we can recommend, but it's one we back wholeheartedly. The Cherokee Trailhawk is the ideal Cherokee, capitalizing on the larger-displacement V6 engine to be able to tow, getting standard 4WD and off-road suspension to climb rocks, and getting most of the necessary equipment you need. We'd slap on Spitfire Orange or Hydro Blue paint and throw in the $1,245 technology Group for the on-road driver assists. The Trailer-Tow Group makes sense, too, at $895. The other packages are tempting with hands-free tailgates, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, dual-pane sunroofs, premium sound, and onboard navigation, but in our eyes, they're unnecessary on an adventure vehicle like this. All in, you're looking at $37,825 including destination fees.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Comparisons

Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep
Jeep Compass Jeep
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Jeep Cherokee180 hp22/31 mpg$27,210
Jeep Grand Cherokee 293 hp19/26 mpg$33,275
Jeep Compass 180 hp23/32 mpg$22,280

2021 Jeep Cherokee vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep's naming convention gives away the core difference between these two models. The Grand Cherokee is the larger brother to the Cherokee, occupying the two-row midsize SUV segment. But it's not just bigger; it's more capable too. While the Jeep Cherokee crossover is a semi-off-roader, the Grand Cherokee is massively capable thanks to available air suspension and better 4x4 drivetrains. This is largely down to the platform's RWD basis. It also gets access to more engines, including V8 options and an SRT variant, all with way more power than the Cherokee, and the eight-speed automatic gearbox it's saddled with is a more intuitive partner. It can out-tow the Cherokee by a healthy margin with up to 7,200 lbs towing capacity. It has a larger trunk, by nearly 11 cubic feet. The downsides are a thirst that needs a big bank account to keep up and a higher asking price - the Grand Cherokee starts at $34,970, which is about the price of the Cherokee Limited. It's also not as easy to pilot on-road and parking is a bit tricky because of its size. The 2021 Grand Cherokee is the last model year before an all-new generation arrives, but it's still bigger and better than the baby Cherokee in most aspects.

See Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

2021 Jeep Cherokee vs Jeep Compass

With the growing popularity of crossovers, a number of manufacturers have two or more vehicles per segment, including Jeep. The Compass is also a compact SUV, albeit a smaller one than the Cherokee. Pricewise, it's around $3,000 cheaper, and specification-wise, you get a lot of the same stuff. However, you only get the 2.4L Tigershark engine with no V6 and turbo option, which limits its towing capacity to just 2,000 lbs. It has a shorter wheelbase, but more base cargo volume. The trade-off? Less rear-seat space by a couple of inches. You might think it's a small price to pay, given the actual price, but for us, it's a problem for the Compass. It makes it even smaller than rivals like the RAV4 and CR-V, and there's no real benefit elsewhere. The Cherokee isn't perfect, but at least you have access to the bigger engines and greater towing capacity. This makes it the better of the two, in our eyes.

See Jeep Compass Review

Jeep Cherokee Popular Comparisons

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$27,210 - $36,285
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