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2021 Jeep Cherokee Review: Expected Release Date, Prices, MPG, And Performance

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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist July 09, 2020 at 12:07 PM
With news of new 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV being just around the corner, Jeep has certainly brought some very good news for all the SUV lovers out there. The current Cherokee has recently received a thorough update and hence a full-blown update is highly unlikely. Unlike its elder sibling the Grand Cherokee, the 2021 Cherokee is not going to be a part of the exciting cars list to be launched for the 2021 model year. The current model is already a popular choice in the segment but with the 2021 update, Jeep is sure to attract some more footfall to its dealerships this year.

 Named after the ancient North American Cherokee tribe, the Jeep Cherokee was originally sold as Jeep Wagoneer and its current model has been in the market for quite some time now. It has evolved over the years but a major update has been long overdue. Being one of the first compact SUVs to have been launched in the United States, the Cherokee is an important vehicle not just for its parent company FCA, but also for this segment as many Americans associate the Cherokee with the small SUV segment.

2021 Jeep Cherokee will feature an updated front facia

The 2020 Jeep Cherokee is known for its stunning looks and performance, and the 2021 model, is sure to continue doing that. We expect it to be launched later this year and will be an entirely new car. This time it is will be based on the platform which means that its physical dimensions and cabin space will remain the same. However, the 2021 model year is also rumored to get a hybrid model that can add to its sales. But what else you can expect from the 2021 Jeep Cherokee? Let’s find out

What to expect in the engine department?

As the 2021 Jeep Cherokee will be just a carryover model, we expect only minor changes in terms of its engine options along with other changes. A hybrid model with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine could be offered this time and you will be able to available from the base trim itself. A plug-in hybrid is rumored to be released after some time of its launch. We anticipate that the rest of the line-up is will offer the same engine options. The current model offers twelve trims with two types of engines. With the current standard 2.4L 4 cylinder engine that cranks out about 200 horsepower, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV might not be a very powerful SUV in its baseline trim. The 2021 model could offer a V6 engine that might trickle down from its elder sibling, but there is no news available on it for now.

The 2021 Jeep Cherokee will get a 2.4L Inline-4 as the base engine option

Next in the line-up is the 3.2L V6 24V engine that cranks out roughly 300 horsepower and is an engine that is very decent for the price it comes at. If even 300 hp does not do it for you, you still do not have an option to upgrade the engine to a V8 like in the Grand Cherokee. The regular 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV is speculated to top out at around 350 Horsepower even if a more powerful engine is offered. Something worth noticing is the smooth 9-speed automatic which comes standard, shall continue even with the 2021 model. Also with so many trim levels and drivetrain options, the performance of this car, is something that can't be underestimated especially considering the competition.

Although there has been no official information about the 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV we expect it to be better than the present Cherokee and beat it in every aspect. Coming to the pricing, the prices are going to differ from the 2020 version, not too much but it is expected to cost more. The current Cherokee can be had in Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland, and Trailhawk trims which the 2021 model shall also offer.

Models

2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude SUV (Expected)

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan S

2020 Chevrolet Equinox L

2020 Honda CR-V LX

Base MSRP

$25,190

$25,190

$24,795

$19,420

Engine

2.4L i4 Regular Unleaded

2.0L I4 Intercooled TSI

1.5L I4 Turbocharged

1.4-liter I4 regular

Transmission

9 Speed automatic

8 Speed automatic

6 Speed automatic

6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual

Horsepower

180 hp@ 6400rpm

184hp@ 4400rpm

170hp@ 5600rpm

184hp@ 6400rpm

Torque

171 ft-lbs@ 4600rpm

221ft-lbs@ 1600 rpm

203ft-lbs@ 2000rpm

180ft-lbs@ 3900rpm

*2020 Figures used for reference.

As you can see the 2020 Jeep Cherokee SUV baseline model with the 4 cylinder engine, cranks out around 180 horsepower which is decent looking at what the others have to offer. Also for the 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV if the V6 is considered it will certainly outperform all the others in its class. A tough competition in terms of performance is being faced by Volkswagen Tiguan and the Honda CR-V LX, which both outperform the current Jeep Cherokee SUV.

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV deliver?

As the 2021 Jeep Cherokee will offer the same engine options, expect it to return similar fuel economy figures as well. The 2020 Jeep Cherokee SUV shows a huge variation with the different trim levels and engine configuration in terms of fuel efficiency. A high power turbocharged V4 is sure to consume more fuel for the performance that it gives. The highest-rated Cherokee comes with the 2.4 L engine and gives around 21 MPG as combined. The lowest rated version is its Trailhawk trim with the 3.2 L engine in AWD setup which gives about 21 mpg combined. This variation is only due to the different levels of performance in the trim levels. If it's okay for you to wager fuel economy for better performance, then we suggest you stick with its capable Trailhawk trim. But if you want a frugal city runabout with a Jeep badge then we'd recommend the Latitude trim. Here is how the 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV compares to the competition from the 2020 model year.

Model

2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude SUV (Expected)

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan S

2020 Chevrolet Equinox L

2020 Honda CR-V LX

MPG (city)

21

22

21

25

MPG (highway)

29

29

29

34

MPG (combined)

24

25

24

27

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

15.8

15.3

15.7

16.6

Range (city/highway) (miles)

348/490

337 / 444

330/455

415/498

*2020 Figures used for reference.

As anyone can notice, the fuel economy on the 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV might not be the top of the line but does not fall significantly behind in front of the competition. With decent MPG scores on the baseline engine, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee actually lines up third on the combined average. The front runner is none other than the frugal Honda CR-V which is the benchmark in terms of fuel efficiency. The Chevrolet Equinox shares the rank with the Jeep while the Volkswagen Tiguan is slightly more fuel-efficient.

What to expect from the 2021 Jeep Cherokee interior?

The Jeep Cherokee received an update in the previous year 2019 itself and hence we suggest you not expect much changes with the 2021 model’s interior. However, the interior of the 202o Jeep Cherokee remains as comfortable and premium as ever. This car does not cut costs in terms of premium-ness which can be validated from the materials used on the inside. Sure you may not find much to be appraised and a little bit of plastic here and there, but on the higher trims, you are sure to get both luxury and comfort. The overall visibility is also good if not great and it gives you a proper SUV feel.

The current model received some minor updates to keep it fresh, including the Amazon Alexa assistant to its upgraded infotainment system. Talking about luxury, you can customize the car to have leather all over. A full leather dashboard, steering wheel, and door panel look impressive and are soft to touch. With various wood accents all over, the car doesn’t feel cheap at all. The interior layout is pretty direct and you have designated spots for the designated controls making it a well thought out cabin.

2021 Jeep Cherokee's interiors will remain largely unchanged

Talking about the seats, the seats are leather, ventilated seats which are very comfortable and are power adjusted. The rear bench also has a similar configuration, but instead of sliding adjustments, the rear bench is fixed. But the fixing of the rear bench does not compromise with space at all. A six-footer can be easily seated and would still have 1-2 inches of legroom and headroom left. Also, the rear bench is foldable and comes in really handy when you need to transport a heavy load of cargo. Moving to cargo space, you get a very large trunk of about 30 cubic feet which is enough to store anything you wish to. Also, the secondary storage spaces, which are the glove box is decent in size and the front/rear cupholders with small cubbies on the center console really add to the practicality of the car. Under the leather armrest there is a deep cubby for miscellaneous items and also has a charging dock. The trunk also has a 12V power supply and hooks to hang grocery bags and other stuff.

Overall the interior is a premium, practical and ergonomic. Here are the details of the interior stacked against the competition from the model year 2020:

Model

2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude (Expected)

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan S

2020 Ford Escape S

2020 Honda CR-V LX

Passenger Capacity

5

7

5

7

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.4/57.6/41.1

39.6/57.0/40.2

39.9/55.9/43.1

40.6/56.4/40.9

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.5/55.1/40.3

39.1/55.9/36.5

39.0/55.2/37.3

38.4/56.0/37.3

*2020 Figures used for reference.

The interior space in all the SUV are nearly equal but the touch and feel inside the Jeep Cherokee SUV is much better than the others. Also, SUVs such as the Honda CR-V LX and the Volkswagen Tiguan offer seating for seven which the Cherokee won’t, even for the 2021 model year.

Does it come loaded with tech inside?

The 2021 Jeep Cherokee, being a 2021 update is expected to come packed with some software upgrades. Two of the major areas where this an update in terms of technology is expected are safety and infotainment.

The Interiors of the 2021 Jeep Cherokee will remain largely unchanged

Talking about the infotainment system on the 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV, the current base model has a 4-inch touch screen display which is very responsive and is quite user friendly. While the 4-inch display is small, you can upgrade it with the tech package from Jeep. Also to take care of your music listening, there is a standard 6 speaker system, which might sound a bit cheap for such a premium car. Although if you really want to enhance your experience the 10 speaker setup is available as well at extra cost. Also, there is a digital driver’s display and steering wheel-mounted controls to help you with driving aids. Here are some of the highlights of the infotainment system:-

  • Android Auto and Apple Car Play Compatibility
  • 4” Touchscreen Infotainment System with Navigation
  • SiriusXM Radio and Travel Link with 5 years Subscription
  • 9 Speaker Music System with Subwoofer
  • FM/AM Radio connectivity with HD Radio
  • USB and 3.5mm Jack Aux connectivity
  • Bluetooth with Integrated Voice Command
  • Steering Wheel Mounted Controls

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV?

The 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUV is not going to be a complete facelift from the current model, but there are some rumored changes in the exterior. One thing that has been talked about in a while is the sharper looks of the Cherokee. As the exterior dimensions would remain the same, it would have no impact on the interior room. Also, the front grille, with the matt black grills and chrome accents and the LED daytime running lights are something that is expected to receive an update. Moreover, there is not much to talk about but being a fifth-generation semi-luxury SUV there are a few expected tweaks.

the headlights on the 2021 Jeep Cherokee have been completely redesigned

Talking about the exterior of the current model, the front fascia is as beautiful as it was since it came out. Sure, this time around Jeep has made the Cherokee look a lot more sporty with the large front grille, LED headlights, fog lights, and lower front grilles and vents. Also, the hood has two scoops for the dual heat extractors on it which look extremely good. Overall, the Cherokee not only looks good but also adds functional aerodynamics on the car which really uplifts its performance.

Model

2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude (Expected)

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan S

2020 Ford Escape S

2020 Honda CR-V LX

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3655

3721

3552

3337

Length (in.)

182.0

185.1

178.1

182.1

Width (in.)

73.2

72.4

72.4

73.0

Height (in.)

65.7

66.3

66.3

66.1

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.7

7.9

7.8

7.8

Wheelbase (in.)

106.2

109.8

105.9

104.7

Track Width (in.) F/R

62.7/63.1

62.2/61.8

61.5/61.6

63.0 in / 63.7 in

*2020 Figures used for reference.

Currently, the Jeep Cherokee is neither the longest nor the widest car in its segment. However, carrying the symbolic Jeep front slat grille, it is certainly a distinctive SUV. The 2021 model could add some chrome here and there but apart from that, we do not expect many changes except some new colors for the new model.

Will the 2021 Jeep Cherokee be worth my money and time?

If you’re looking for an SUV that offers good performance, premium interior space with great customization, and an ergonomic cabin, Jeep Cherokee is definitely an SUV for you. With a price tag of around $35,000 with the necessary upgradations, it is a great value for money. Yes, the fuel economy is not too great but it is not too bad either. It is still a delight to the eyes and it offers the most sorted ride and handling characteristics making it the perfect everyday SUV. Since its facelift back in 2019 that went through a significant overhaul upgrade in almost every department rumor has it that the 2021 model would largely remain unchanged from its predecessor. Hence, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee will be the same car on most fronts but it shall continue to rule the segment with its numbers.

Also Read:

Check out our In-Depth Review of the 2021 Jeep Compass.

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Ford Bronco.

2021 Jeep Cherokee FAQs

Is the 2021 Jeep Cherokee safe?

The NHTSA evaluated the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee with an overall safety rating of five stars. Using a simulated frontal barrier head-on collision with similar vehicles at 35 mph, the safety organization combined the vehicle’s five-star front passenger-side crash test with the driver’s side front test rating of four to reach the overall front crash four-star rating.

What warranty the 2021 Jeep Cherokee offer?

The 2021 Cherokee will offer bumper-to-bumper basic warranty coverage for 2 years and unlimited kilometers. You will also have access to roadside assistance to get your Jeep to the dealership in the event of a breakdown.

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