Exploring the Off-road Capabilities of Jeep Cherokee
Last Updated on September 29, 2023 by Christ
The Jeep Cherokee, long heralded as one of the top sport utility vehicles (SUVs) for off-road adventures, is a testament to engineering excellence and design precision. Diving deep into the specifications, the Cherokee’s engine performance, suspension system, and traction control showcase a vehicle that is more than capable of handling the unpredictable terrain that comes with off-road conditions. The advanced 4×4 systems, skid plates, and increased ride height are just some of the features that set the Cherokee apart from the crowd. Not to mention, we will delve into real-world performance, pulling from user experiences and reviews to paint a picture of the Cherokee’s off-road capabilities as exhibited in real-life conditions.
Jeep Cherokee Specifications
The Jeep Cherokee’s off-road capabilities begin with its engine options. The base engine on most models is a 2.4L four-cylinder engine, generating 180 horsepower and 171 lb/ft torque. This helps provide the power necessary for off-road trips. The available 3.2L V6 engine delivers increased horsepower of up to 271, along with 239 lb/ft of torque, providing the additional power needed for demanding terrains.
For maximum power, Jeep also offers a 2.0L Turbo engine, producing 270 horsepower and 295 lb/ft of torque. This engine choice provides the robust performance often required for adventurous off-road exploits.
The suspension system in the Jeep Cherokee also factors into its off-road prowess. The vehicle employs a front independent suspension and a rear multi-link suspension to help it maintain balance and stability, essential for tough off-roading tasks. The Jeep Cherokee offers an optional Active Drive Lock 4×4 System, ensuring all wheels are working together for optimal traction. This system also includes a rear locker for additional traction during critical off-road situations.
The Jeep Cherokee comes with Jeep’s standard Selec-Terrain Traction Management System. This system enables the driver to select the most suitable mode for the current terrain or road conditions. The driver can choose from five customized settings: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, and Rock. By adjusting the vehicle’s 4×4 system, the throttle control, transmission, and other factors according to the chosen setting, the Selec-Terrain system maintains optimum traction and vehicle control.
Ground Clearance and Water Fording
When it comes to off-roading, ground clearance matters. The Jeep Cherokee’s robust body offers good ground clearance for a crossover; the Trailhawk version provides up to 8.7 inches of clearance. This allows the vehicle to handle large rocks, tree roots, and uneven surfaces more effectively than lower clearance vehicles.
The Cherokee also provides impressive water fording capabilities. It can safely cross water bodies up to 20 inches in depth, thanks to special high air intake locations and water sealing designed to protect key components from water damage.
Skid Plates Protection
To protect essential components against potential damage from rocks and other off-road obstacles, Jeep Cherokee includes standard skid plates underneath the vehicle. These plates provide protective shielding for the fuel tank, front suspension, transmission, and underbody, ensuring the vehicle remains in optimal condition, even when tested on rigorous terrains.
Understanding that rugged terrains sometimes provide unexpected challenges, Jeep also offers standard front and rear tow hooks on the Jeep Cherokee. These recovery hooks are made from heavy-duty, forged steel and are designed to help if the vehicle gets stuck in sand, mud, or snow.
The Jeep Cherokee stands out prominently in the field of off-road vehicles thanks to its collection of features specifically designed to enhance its ability to conquer diverse terrains. It has been engineered with the adventurer in mind, proving itself to be an exemplary solution for off-the-grid treks.
Ground-Breaking 4×4 Systems
At the heart of the Jeep Cherokee’s off-road capabilities lie its sophisticated 4×4 systems. These systems are what give the vehicle its formidable prowess on different terrain types and in all sorts of weather. For starters, the Jeep Active Drive I 4×4 system, which is a standard feature, makes off-road navigation a breeze by allocating torque to the wheel with the highest traction. Its Selec-Terrain traction management system offers multiple configurations to adapt to various surfaces including mud, sand, and snow.
Moving up the ladder, we have the Jeep Active Drive II, available as an optional upgrade on select Cherokee models. This system takes the 4×4 capabilities a notch higher by including a low range and neutral mode, ideal for heavy-duty towing or maneuvering on rugged or rock-strewn trails. This enhances the Cherokee’s off-road competence, allowing it to tackle treacherous terrains with ease.
Protecting the vehicle’s undercarriage from potential damage is crucial in off-road driving. Jeep Cherokee has it covered by integrating skid plates into its design. These plates protect the fuel tank, transmission, front suspension, and underbody from rocks and other obstacles that might make contact during off-road adventures. Constructed from high-strength steel, these plates can withstand the pressure and roughness of unpredictable terrains, ensuring the vehicle and its key components remain unharmed.
Increased Ride Height
The Jeep Cherokee’s increased ride height contributes greatly to its off-road capabilities. With up to 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Jeep Cherokee allows drivers to conquer challenging landscapes, including steep hills and rugged trails, without damaging the underbody of the vehicle. This added height also benefits the approach, breakover, and departure angles, making it easier to climb over large obstacles, crest hills and drive in undulating terrains.
Tow Hooks and Heavy-Duty Engine Cooling
Additional off-road features designed into the Jeep Cherokee are tow hooks and heavy-duty engine cooling. These bold, red front and rear tow hooks are made for rescuing less-capable vehicles, while the auxiliary transmission oil cooler ensures the vehicle keeps running smoothly during difficult off-road conditions by maintaining optimal engine temperatures.
Taking into account the effect of weather conditions on off-road driving, Jeep Cherokee is equipped with features that ensure it remains capable in various weather conditions. These include a windshield wiper de-icer, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and heated exterior mirrors. With these features, the vehicle remains adaptable in rain, snow, or sleet, enhancing overall off-road capabilities and safety.