No matter where you go, you’re sure to find a Jeep Cherokee. You’ll see them loaded down with gear at college campuses and scaling rocks in Moab. The Jeep Cherokee is one of the best loved SUVs of all time.
HISTORY OF THE Jeep Cherokee
The Cherokee XJ was first introduced in 1984. It was one of the first SUVs to use unibody construction as opposed to a traditional body on frame layout. It had a quintessential boxy appearance, solid axles at both ends and lineup of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines under the hood. The engine of choice was the venerable 4.0L 6-cylinder, which is highly respected to this day.
Second Generation Escape (2014-Present)
The Cherokee nameplate finally reappeared in 2014 after a 14 year hiatus. The modern Cherokee KL is nothing like its square, utilitarian predecessor. It has a rounded exterior, luxurious interior and independent suspension. A pair of high-tech engines are available including 2.4L 4-cylinder and a 3.2L 6-cylinder. In addition, an industry first 9-speed automatic transmission is used to supply power to the drive wheels.
The Cherokee KL has three optional advanced four-wheel drive systems along with the Selec-Terrain traction-control system, which allows the driver to choose from a range of settings for optimum performance. This configuration gives the Cherokee exceptional off-road ability.
But the Cherokee isn’t limited just an off-road brute. It has an extensive list of tech features that bring it into the 21st century. Some of these items include an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, automatic high-beam control, adaptive cruise control and an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system. A generous array of standard equipment is applied to all trim levels including a Uconnect 5-inch touch-screen media, a 3.5-inch full-color center cluster, 10 air bags, anti-lock disc brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, Hill-start Assist, electric power steering, an electric park brake, cruise control, air conditioning with rear outlets, and remote keyless entry.
A few optional features were added to the Cherokee for 2015, including Collision Warning, and a new SafetyTec option package which bundles various electronic aids.
The Cherokee has come nearly full circle in the past 32 years. It has gone from a bare-bones rig to a highly sophisticated vehicle, showcasing all of the latest technologies. The modern Cherokee may be too pretty and shiny for most owners to take off road, but if they chose too, they can. The spirit of the XJ can still be felt in the modern Cherokee every time it travels off pavement.