The least costly Cherokee, the Sport, comes with cloth-covered seats, a 5.0-inch touchscreen, 17-inch wheels, and the features in every Cherokee. It drives its front wheels only, with the less powerful, 2.4-litre, petrol engine.
Spending more for a Cherokee Longitude brings you the 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine and all-wheel drive (which Jeep calls Active Drive). Headlamps switch themselves on in low light, and wipers operate automatically when it rains. There are rear parking sensors. Both front seats are power-adjustable, and include adjustable lumbar (lower back) support. The tailgate power-opens. Dual-zone climate control lets you set different temperatures for each side of the cabin. Ambient lighting generates a soft glow in the cabin when driving at night, and the steering wheel is wrapped in leather.
There’s also Selec-Terrain, which allows you to adjust the way the car responds to you for different conditions – such as snow, sand, or sporty on-road driving. It affects when the auto gearbox shifts, how abruptly the car responds to the accelerator, and the behaviour of features such as traction control.
Choose the Limited, the most luxurious Cherokee, and in addition to the Longitude features you get leather seats, with heating for the front seats. There is satellite navigation, and a better sound system with more speakers and digital radio, controlled from a much bigger touchscreen at 8.4 inches. Very bright bi-Xenon headlights dip automatically for oncoming vehicles, and front parking sensors are added.
Wheel diameter increases an inch on the Limited, to 18 inches, and tyres are lower in profile for a racier look. A diesel engine has been available, but now all Limiteds use the petrol V6.
If you want to tackle very steep, rough or boggy off-road tracks in your Cherokee, you can spend a bit more again for a Cherokee Trailhawk. It has the petrol V6 engine and most of the Limited’s equipment – leather trim and the bigger touchscreen, for example – but with more hardware for driving off-road. The wheel diameter returns to 17 inches and there are unique bumpers and other styling tweaks, including hooks for extracting your Trailhawk if it gets stuck.
The Trailhawk gets better ground clearance (it rides higher, so that it is less susceptible to damage on rough ground), and its bumpers are better for off-road use. It also has a dual-range four-wheel drive system called Active Drive Lock. The Lock refers to the locking rear differential employed by this system, which helps the Trailhawk maintain drive even if only one wheel has grip. Metal skid plates protect its underside if you hit a rock or stump.
The Limited and Trailhawk are available with an optional Technology pack, which includes several sensor-based driver-assistance and safety features. There is Adaptive cruise control, which will match the speed of a slower car in front automatically. Among the active safety features are a forward collision warning, autonomous braking that works at city and highway speeds, lane keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring, and a rear cross-traffic alert. (For more on these systems, please open the Safety section below.)
Unlike petrol Limiteds, the previously offered Limited diesel came with a dual-range four-wheel drive system that Jeep called Active Drive II. It was much like the system on the Trailhawk, but it did not lock the rear diff.
(The former Cherokee Blackhawk is a Longitude with cosmetic changes, plus bigger wheels and touchscreen like the more expensive Limited. The Cherokee 75th Anniversary is a similar remake of the Longitude, but with a cosmetically different theme.)