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The 2021 Jeep Cherokee is Here (Video) on Everyman Driver

Compact crossovers are all the rage these days, but most are only slightly more rugged than commuter cars. The Jeep Cherokee is a welcome exception, with a name built on its off-road abilities. It can also tow up to 4,500 pounds, which is top-of-class. The cargo area is small, and fuel economy is subpar, but the interior comes with many standard features. The Jeep Cherokee is for drivers who want a small SUV that’s comfortable on- or off-road.


  • Better off-road capabilities than rivals
  • Superb 4,500-pound max towing capacity
  • Easy-to-use Uconnect infotainment system


  • Lacks the sporty handling of other crossovers
  • Fuel economy is below-average for the class
  • Cargo capacity could be better

Drivers can select between three engines for their Cherokee. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder makes 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. It’s not very fast, but it works well enough for daily driving. The EPA estimates the front-wheel-drive variant should return 25 mpg combined. That’s not a very high score for the compact crossover segment.

Upper trims get a 3.2-liter V6, which has plenty of power and can tow more. It produces 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy slips to just 23 mpg combined.

The High Altitude trim gets a unique engine — a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes about the same horsepower as the V6, but torque is now 295 pound-feet. It’s plenty of pulling power for steep hills and dusty trails. Surprisingly, it offers the best fuel economy of the bunch, at 26 mpg overall. All new Cherokees have a nine-speed automatic transmission and a 15.8-gallon fuel tank.

Drivers who want a vehicle they can comfortably drive on-road and off will appreciate the Jeep Cherokee’s strengths. Unlike most crossovers, it comes with a four-wheel-drive system that has a low range for maximum traction. It also makes the Cherokee a good choice for those who live in environments that get a lot of snow.

The Jeep’s stout towing abilities make it a practical way to transport a small boat or RV. The interior space is adequate, and there are many standard tech features. Drivers have access to a suite of advanced safety aids that provide extra peace of mind. Cargo space isn’t as good as rivals, nor is fuel economy, impacting the Cherokee’s credentials as a daily driver. But overall, for drivers looking for something small and affordable that can handle dirt trails as well as stop-and-go traffic, the Cherokee could be right for them.

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