The 2021 Jeep Cherokee sees the base trim gain additional safety equipment. The Cherokee now comes standard with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. A new Latitude LUX trim joins the lineup, which is also what this year's 80th Anniversary special edition is based on.
Choosing Your Jeep Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee is available in five main trim levels: Latitude, Latitude Plus, Latitude LUX, Limited, and Trailhawk. Pricing starts at $27,805 including destination for the Latitude and reaches $36,845 for the Trailhawk.
The Cherokee is available with three different engines. The Latitude and Latitude Plus feature a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and don't offer any of the others. The Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk all get a 3.2-liter V6, and the Latitude and Limited also offer a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for an additional $695.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|2.4L 4-Cylinder||180 hp||171 lb-ft||25 mpg|
|3.2L V6||271 hp||239 lb-ft||23 mpg|
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder||270 hp||295 lb-ft||26 mpg|
All engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmisson. Only the Trailhawk comes standard with four-wheel drive, the rest of the lineup starts with front-wheel drive. However, 4WD is available across the board for an extra $1,500.
Its heavier-duty chassis helps the Cherokee score a maximum towing rating of 4,500 pounds with the V6, which is well above the segment’s average.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Cherokee is capable of seating five passengers. While its length and wheelbase are right in line with the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue, the off-road ruggedness and older platform equate to a less spacious interior.
Head room and rear leg room are good, but the cargo volume of 24.6 cubic feet behind the rear seat is well short of the competition. This opens up to 54.7 cubic feet by lowering the back row.
All Cherokee models receive forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning.
The Latitude Plus and above also get rear parking sensors, but only the Limited comes standard with adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and an automated parking system. Those high-end features are offered on the Trailhawk through the $1,195 Technology Group.
The Cherokee has a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.
The Cherokee starts with a 7-inch touchscreen with Uconnect4, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an audio input jack, one USB port, and Bluetooth. The Latitude Plus and above further get satellite radio and two rear USB ports.
The Limited and Trailhawk upgrade to an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Even at this level, buyers have to pay extra for navigation, HD radio, and wi-fi hot spot capability. These are found in the $1,295 Elite Package on the Limited, and the $2,395 Sun, Sound, and Navigation Group on the Trailhawk.
The larger touchscreen is offered on the Latitude LUX in its Comfort and Convenience Group ($995) package.
The Latitude looks fresh with features such as full LED headlights and taillights, automatic headlights, a chrome grille surround, body-color roof rails, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the base trim is equipped with cloth seating, a 3.5-inch digital gauge cluster, and six-way manually-adjustable front seats.
The Latitude Plus adds meaningful upgrades such as heated front seats, an eight-way power driver's seat, a heated steering wheel, push button start, remote start, fog lights, and cloth and vinyl upholstery. The Sun and Sound Group ($1,995) includes a dual-pane sunroof and an Alpine audio system.
The Altitude sub-trim is also available for $1,440. This model gets 18-inch black wheels, black roof rails, and black accents and badges. The interior is also dressed with gloss black trim and black accent stitching.
The new-for-2021 Latitude LUX includes leather seating, a power passenger seat, and the 3.2-liter engine.
The Comfort and Convenience Group is $995 and includes the 8.4-inch touchscreen, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and more. The 80th Anniversary sub-trim ($2,180) upgrades to 19-inch, the dual-pane sunroof, 8.4-inch touchscreen, 7-inch gauge cluster, and dual-zone climate control, among other things.
The Limited trim is as luxurious as the Cherokee gets. It comes with 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, dual-pane sunroof, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and the auto parking system. The interior is equipped with the 8.4-inch touchscreen, 7-inch digital gauge cluster, Alpine audio system, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
The High Altitude sub-trim adds the blacked out equipment that the Altitude adds on the Latitude Plus.
The Trailhawk is decidedly focused on delivering an off-road theme. To go along with its mechanical attributes – 17-inch wheels that afford a larger tire sidewall, a redesigned front bumper for improved clearance, and off-road suspension – the Trailhawk also presents unique styling details such as a rear skid-plate applique, red tow hooks, and Trailhawk badging.
In terms of the Cherokee hierarchy, the Trailhawk builds on the Latitude Plus while offering many of the features otherwise reserved for the top-tier Limited trim. It offers the Sun, Sound, and Navigation group for $2,395, and a handsfree power tailgate by way of the $695 Comfort and Convenience Group.
While there is no shortage of available mechanical and aesthetic features, the Latitude Plus trim offers the best value in the 2021 Jeep Cherokee lineup.