V6 Power Now Comes Standard. The 2022 Jeep Cherokee’s lineup has been trimmed down for the model year. Last year, the Cherokee was available in a total of nine trims. For 2022, Jeep is offering the compact SUV in four trims.

Unlike last year, when the Cherokee came standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the 2022 Cherokee is equipped with a 3.2-liter V6 engine. The V6 is a powerful engine, cranking out 270 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. This is one of the more powerful engines in the class and endows the Cherokee with strong performance. With this engine, the Cherokee has a class-leading towing capacity of up to 4,500 pounds.

A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine continues to be optional. The turbo engine makes the same horsepower as the V6, but brings 295 pound-feet of torque. Depending on trim level, the turbo four-cylinder engine is an extra $695. While the turbocharged engine has a little bit of lag off the line, it feels peppier than the V6. It also brings better fuel economy with a combined rating of 26 mpg. The V6 can get up to 23 mpg combined.

Seriously Capable Off-Road. The Cherokee may not be as capable as the Wrangler or Grand Cherokee, but it’s one of the more capable off-roaders in the compact class. In the Trailhawk guise, the Cherokee comes with off-road suspension, heavy-duty skid plates, all-terrain tires, and a more rugged design. The Trailhawk trim also comes with Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction control system and a locking rear differential.

For drivers that aren’t interested in tackling grueling terrain, even regular Cherokees offer enough capability to handle dirt trails without breaking a sweat. The base X trim should provide most drivers with enough off-roading capability, as it comes with all-terrain tires, standard 4WD, and a one-inch lift.

When not off-roading, the Cherokee delivers a balanced ride. The SUV’s suspension is relatively firm, which keeps body movement in check, while the SUV rides over bumps smoothly. The steering doesn’t provide a lot of feedback, but it’s accurate and has a nice weight.

Easy-To-Use Tech Features. For 2022, the Cherokee gets a tech upgrade with a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen. Last year, the compact SUV came standard with a seven-inch screen. In addition to the 8.4-inch touchscreen, the Cherokee comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and six audio speakers.

Jeep’s infotainment system is one of the easier ones to use thanks to intuitive menus, simple controls, and quick response times. The 8.4-inch touchscreen also has sharp graphics.

On the safety front, the Cherokee comes with a long list of standard safety features. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking are all included. Compared to the competition, the Cherokee is missing standard adaptive cruise control, but it’s available on higher trims.

Passenger Space Over Cargo Space. On the outside, the Cherokee is larger than the majority of options in the compact segment. Because of that, one would expect the Cherokee to be more spacious than it is on the inside.

Because of the Cherokee’s design which includes small windows and a high beltline, the compact SUV leads passengers to feel confined. The SUV does have roomy seating for adults in both rows.

When it comes to cargo capacity, the Cherokee has one of the smallest cargo areas in the class. With the rear seats in place, the SUV offers up to 25.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Lowering the adjustable cargo floor increases cargo capacity to 27.6 cubic feet of space. Folding the rear seats down results in a total of 54.7 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s one of the lowest figures in the segment.

Final Thoughts. Thanks to a few updates – we’re not sure if they’ll stick around throughout the entire year – the 2022 Jeep Cherokee is a more competitive SUV than before. Unfortunately, against newer, fresher compact SUVs, the Jeep feels dated. It now comes with a powerful V6 engine and an impressive 8.4-inch touchscreen, but its off-roading capability is still the prime reason for choosing it over other SUVs.

In comparison, the all-new Mazda CX-50 brings all of the same strengths as the CX-5, but adds a more rugged design and extra ground clearance. The Hyundai Tucson doesn’t have the same off-roading capability, but has a more upscale interior, more high-tech features, and more fuel-efficient engines.

Check prices for the 2022 Jeep Cherokee »