These days, compact SUVs crowd the lineups of manufacturers across the industry; however, few make an impression quite like the 2020 Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep Cherokee is a compact SUV with plenty of personality and will stand out on any stretch of road. However, the Jeep Cherokee is much more than just a charming face; it is a full-on adventure car ready to take on anything when configured to do so. While other SUVs may promise an uncompromising level of off-road versatility, the Jeep Cherokee can truly provide it. The Jeep Cherokee is available in a number of different trims, including the Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland, and Trailhawk. Each trim is unique in its own right, offering a variety of different features to satisfy a variety of different drivers. Sleek and comfortable, but still rugged and powerful, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee attempts to tick all of the boxes, and it’s to no surprise that it does so with a brilliant flourish. If you’re looking for a compact SUV to drive around town or take on a truly rigorous cross-country road trip, the Jeep Cherokee is certainly the perfect vehicle for you.
Engine power is a big deal for many SUV drivers, and for a good reason, it takes a lot of horsepower and torque to move something as significant as an SUV, even a compact one like the Jeep Cherokee. So, it should come as no surprise why the Jeep Cherokee is well-powered from the start. However, unlike some SUVs, the Jeep Cherokee doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy for power-delivery, as right out of the gate, the Cherokee gets an EPA estimated 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway making for 25 MPG combined.
Entry-level performance in the Jeep Cherokee is pretty solid, as it sources power from a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine that puts out 180 horsepower and 171 lb-ft worth of torque. This introductory powertrain is assisted by a 9-speed automatic transmission that makes for some nimble handling when put to the test, and considering that front-wheel drive is standard, the Jeep Cherokee can be designed as a well-rounded city-driver. Although, if you do want more power, you can certainly find it in higher trims.
That leads us to the 3.2-liter V6 engine, which is responsible for 271 hp and 239 lb-ft worth of torque. This is a true old-school engine and is the most powerful available in the Jeep Cherokee. Offered with that same 9-speed automatic transmission and the option of an all-wheel-drivetrain, the V6 version of the Jeep Cherokee certainly gets the job done. The V6 powertrain also has the greatest towing capacity, topping out at 4,500 pounds compared to the base model’s 2,000-pound capacity. Although the V6 is a great buy, it isn’t the only beefier engine on the Jeep Cherokee.
Somewhat new to the Jeep Cherokee lineup is a 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine that makes 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft worth of torque. While the turbo-4’s power delivery is somewhat similar to the V6 engine, the torque rating is where this turbocharged engine truly shines. While it does take a lower tow-rating of 4,000 pounds, it is still a great pick if you need something that is torque-focused.
Of course, we’d be mistaken if we didn’t cover the off-road experience offered by the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk edition. The Trailhawk model is somewhat famous in the Jeep world for delivering a full-package of off-road gear right off the bat. In the trail-rated version of the Jeep, Cherokee drivers can expect beefy off-road tires, a higher ground clearance, a lockable rear differential, and traction management software, making it a seriously versatile compact SUV.
The inside of the Jeep Cherokee is about as impressive as one can expect. Given the Jeep Cherokee’s reasonable size, rear passengers get up to 40.3 inches of legroom. Meanwhile, those in the front get 40.1 inches to work with. When filled to max capacity, the Jeep Cherokee is still rather comfortable, something that other compact SUVs can’t boast. Cargo capacity is also well-delivered with 29.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity when the rear seats are up and 54.9 cubic feet when those seats are folded down. As a result, the Jeep Cherokee can make the perfect road trip vehicle, capable of hauling both people and luggage with relative ease.
On top of that, you can find extra cargo space thanks to an array of well-placed cubbies, a sizeable glove box, and a quite spacious center console. The interior furnishings of the Jeep Cherokee are as to be expected, with base models sporting a hardy cloth upholstery, and higher trims offering genuine Nappa leather. The seats are also designed to give plenty of support to both drivers and passengers, so yes, long drives are hardly an issue.
So the spacing and interior materials are suitable, but what about the technology? Well, interior technology in the 2020 Jeep Cherokee is just as well-dished-out, with even base models getting a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen system that is integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base model Latitude also gets USB charging ports, satellite radio, a power-adjustable driver’s throne, and fog lamps. Higher trims of the Jeep Cherokee expand on what is established in the base model, with improvements like a larger 8.4-inch infotainment screen, heated and cooled front seats, satellite navigation with up to date traffic information, and big 19-inch wheels. And if you purchase a Trailhawk edition, you’ll get a Jeep Cherokee that is completely covered in stylistic surprises that you won’t be able to find on any other model.
The Jeep Cherokee may be tailored for adventure, but it can make a great family car too. With plenty of room for luggage and passengers and the option for an extensive range of safety equipment, the Jeep Cherokee can be a solid town-car when configured for it. Plus, none of the fun off-roading features would be enjoyable if you did not have that extra safety reassurance. There are a wide variety of features packed into the Jeep Cherokee that can lend for greater peace of mind behind the wheel, all of which can be found in a broad safety equipment package.
One such feature is lane-departure warnings, a system that uses several cameras and sensors to detect the lane-lines in the road. Not only can this feature read the road, but it can also alert you when your wheels extend beyond these lane-lines preventing the dangers of lane drift. This feature can also be paired with active lane control, which takes things a step further by automatically adjusting your steering wheel so that you stay within the designated lane lines.
Another feature that seems plucked right out of a science fiction novel is Jeep’s forward-collision warning system. Like lane-departure warnings, forward-collision warnings use sensors and cameras to follow the flow of traffic in front of your vehicle. If you threaten to collide with the car in front of you, the system will alert you and give you a proactive warning to potentially help you avoid the accident altogether. You can push things to the next level with automatic emergency braking, which like active lane control, takes control of your vehicle to provide an extra level of safety. In this case, the system automatically activates your brakes when it senses a collision is imminent. While these features can’t guarantee that you’ll never get into an accident, they can provide far greater awareness and protection than your typical safety gear.