Is the 2021 Jeep Cherokee a good SUV?

Yes, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee is an excellent SUV in terms of off-roading capabilities and towing power. If you spend a little more, you can upgrade to a beefier engine for a sportier ride too. However, rivals like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V seem to be more attractive for families. 

2021 Jeep® Cherokee Trailhawk | Jeep
2021 Jeep® Cherokee Trailhawk | Jeep

RELATED: These Used Jeep Cherokee Years Need To Be Avoided

With an MSRP of about $26,310, the Jeep Cherokee does have a competitive price. The Ford Escape starts off a bit lower with an MSRP of $24,885, and the Honda CR-V begins around $25,350. But let’s see why the Cherokee ranks below these other options. 


2022 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 2022 Jeep Cherokee is more than capable of completing your everyday journey without breaking a sweat.

When driving around on the daily suburban and city grind, the Cherokee offers good performance from its powertrain options. The larger capacity V6 or smaller-displacement turbocharged four-pot provide confidence-inspiring performance. The Cherokee is a real utility vehicle and boasts some of the best towing numbers in this segment. It can tow 4,500 lbs with the V6 and 4,000 lbs with the 2.0-liter engine.

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

How does the Jeep Grand Cherokee Compare to its Competitors? 

Some of the models that rival the Jeep Grand Cherokee include the GMC Terrain, Toyota 4Runner, Nissan Pathfinder, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Lexus GX, Land Rover Discovery, Dodge Durango, Kia Telluride, Chevrolet Traverse, Volvo XC60, Jaguar F-Pace, and GMC Acadia.

Here’s how the Jeep Grand Cherokee compares against these based on ground clearance.  

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At 8.6 inches high, the Jeep Grand Cherokee sits higher than nine competing models. These include the GMC Terrain, Nissan Pathfinder, GMC Acadia, Kia Telluride, Chevrolet Traverse, Lexus GX, Dodge Durango, Jaguar F-Pace, and Volvo XC60.

This is, of course, if you’re looking at the Laredo, Limited, Summit, and Overland trims. The Trackhawk and SRT trims sit lower at 8.1 inches and only compare to the Lexus GX and Dodge Durango. However, they have better ground clearance when put beside the GMC Terrain, Nissan Pathfinder, GMC Acadia, Kia Telluride, and Chevrolet Traverse. 

When it comes to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, the only two vehicles that have a higher ride height include the Range Rover Sport and Land Rover Discovery. The Discovery is ranked top among many other SUVs that boast the largest ground clearance in the US. It is, however, defeated by the Range Rover Vogue which rides at 11.6 inches. 


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Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee Looks

The Jeep Cherokee has been recently restyled with a refreshed grille and nose and new LED headlamps. The look of the Jeep Cherokee bears a slight resemblance to the slightly smaller Jeep Compass. Its appearance overall is a bit improved but not overly bold like its larger Grand Cherokee brother. There is an off-road equipped Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model that features more aggressive off-road accessories, including red tow hooks, and beefier off-road capable tires.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee features a look that continues to grow on us after all these years. Off-road abilities? The Jeep Grand Cherokee has got plenty, thanks to 8.6 inches of ground clearance. There are other Jeep trim levels, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and the Jeep GC Trackhawk, with supercharged HEMI engine and quad pipes out-back.

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2022 Cherokee Problems and Reliability

No recalls affected the 2022 Cherokee, but the 2021 model was recalled twice for issues including front lower control arms that may fracture and a transmission oil cooler hose that could leak. 2020 models were also recalled, this time for a faulty rearview camera display image and a steering rack gear that could fail.

On a positive note, the number of complaints by owners is also relatively low and the latest J.D. Power Quality & Reliability score is a stellar 82 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.

Compass vs Cherokee: Interior Space Comfort

When you take a seat in the 2021 Jeep Compass or Cherokee, you’ll notice how similar their dimensions are. It’s not really a question of which vehicle has more space for passengers, as headroom, legroom, and shoulder room only vary by an inch or two.

The most noticeable difference is the amount of ca

The most noticeable difference is the amount of cargo volume you’ll have. With the rear seats folded down, the Compass offers 59.8 cubic feet of space compared to the 54.7 cubic feet in the Cherokee.

Both SUVs have the same standard amenities, so it comes down to the Jeep that aligns with your preferences. Their interiors include 6-way manually adjustable driver and front passenger seats, cloth seating, and Jeep’s ParkView® Rear Back-Up Camera to help you navigate tight parking spaces.

You’ll also have control over your media with a 7-inch touchscreen display ready to play music via Apple CarPlay® or Android Auto™.

2. It doesn’t have the best ride quality

The base engine in the Jeep Cherokee is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder option that provides 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. Car and Driver found it to have a lackluster acceleration and felt as if it was dull compared to the V6 and turbocharged engines. 

2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk | Jeep
2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk | Jeep

Also, the Cherokee feels a little bulky. This could make it more difficult to maneuver in tight areas. While the steering is weighted and accurate, they wished it could be a little more responsive on the road. 

However, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee does have a comfortable ride. The seats are supportive, and the handling is decent, despite the suspension feeling a bit stiff. Also, bumps in the road are absorbed without much jouncing.

Shop the New JEEP Wrangler at Bice Motors

Our Jeep® dealer in Alexander City, AL, is your home for 4×4 SUVs, off-road vehicles, and high-clearance vehicles. You're certain to find the Jeep® Wrangler ground clearance you need for future adventures. If you're planning to four-down tow your Jeep® vehicle behind an RV or heavy-duty truck, be sure to ask our team if you can flat tow a Jeep® Wrangler and how to set up your Wrangler for neutral towing.


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