Introduced in 1972, the Jeep Cherokee has evolved from its origins as a full-size SUV to its current design as a small crossover SUV. With its approach and departure angles designed for off-roading, the reliable Jeep Cherokee can easily traverse boulders and streams and take you to places that would be impossible for most small crossovers. While smaller than the legendary Cherokees of the past, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee maintains the Jeep legacy of quality, durability, safety, and capability.
The largest of the Jeep family’s line up of small SUV models, the Cherokee stands alone due to its off-road capabilities. Available in front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations, the Jeep Cherokee offers impressive towing capacity with the right setup, while providing superior handling and offering a comfortable ride.
What’s New for 2020?
The Jeep Cherokee received several mechanical and cosmetic updates on the 2019 model year, and 2020 has few new changes. One of the most significant changes for the new model year is an Advanced Safety Group package. This innovative package of safety features includes rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind-spot monitoring, a lane departure warning system, and full-speed forward collision warning with active braking.
The Engine and Drivetrain
The base model Jeep Cherokee is front-wheel-drive and powered by a 2.4-liter, naturally aspirated in-line four-cylinder producing 180 horsepower. Coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the Cherokee is rated at 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway, with a combined fuel economy of 26 MPG, and a towing capacity of 2000 pounds.
Interior and Exterior
The Jeep Cherokee’s comfy cabin features 128 cubic feet of passenger space with comfortable, supportive seating for five with a six-way power driver’s seat and easy to use controls. Cruise control and audio controls are conveniently located on the manually tilting and telescoping steering wheel. The six-speaker AM-FM sound system with voice-activated audio control provides high-quality audio throughout the cabin area. An attractive dashboard that impersonates the bigger and more expensive Grand Cherokee’s and the well-appointed interior give the vehicle a luxurious and upscale feel.
Built to travel, the Cherokee provides three 12V DC power outlets and drink holders for the driver, front passenger, and rear occupants. The spacious rear 60-40 rear split bench seating increases the maximum interior cargo volume of the Cherokee to 54.7 cubic feet and cargo tie-downs ensure that large or bulky items stay in place. Integrated roof rack rails provide an easy way to transport bigger items that won’t fit into the cargo area.
Except for a couple of new color options, the exterior of the 2020 Cherokee remains the same with a blacked-out lower fascia setting off a stylish black grille surrounded by chrome. The exterior mirrors on both the driver and passenger side of the vehicle are remotely operated and heated to help deal with inclement weather. Fully automatic LED headlights and front fog lamps are standard on the Cherokee and include daytime running lights, delay-off headlamps, and remote activated perimeter approach lights.
Jeep Cherokee Safety Features
Jeep has always had a solid reputation for safety, and the 2020 Cherokee is no exception. The small SUV features a safety system that includes a total of six airbags include driver and passenger front airbags and side-impact bags mounted in the seats. The Cherokee further enhances safety with the addition of a driver and passenger side air curtain, which in the event of an accident, protects occupants of the first and second rows from flying debris or broken glass.
The 2020 Cherokee scored well in the IIHS safety test for the side impact test, the moderate overlap front test, and the roof strength test, and rear protection as well as for the seats and head restraints. Standard ABS brakes and electronic stability control with anti-roll round out the Cherokee’s safety features.
While the Jeep Cherokee has undergone significant changes throughout its lifetime, the 2020 model continues to provide the quality, durability, safety, and capabilities that are synonymous with the Jeep brand.