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Maybe you've only heard tales of Jeep's legendary off-road prowess. Or maybe a friend has taken you for a trail ride, and you've been impressed. Perhaps you've stumbled across the Jeep website and are intrigued.

No matter your reason for considering a Jeep, you now know you want one. But which one is right for you? The good news is there's no wrong choice. They're all Jeeps. In this article, we pit the Jeep Wrangler vs. Cherokee in a head-to-head comparison to help you decide.

Exterior Style

Jeep's brand remains visible in the Cherokee's front fascia, particularly in the grille design. Stylish LED headlights, fog lamps, and daytime running lights frame the aggressive front fascia. An SUV by design, the Cherokee features roof rails and a hands-free power liftgate. 

Wheel choices are a hallmark on every Jeep model, and the Cherokee is no different. You have eight options starting with 17-inch painted aluminum up to 19-inch Granite Crystal wheels.

Eight trims are available on the Cherokee, all subtlely different yet all unmistakably Jeep. Chiseled sides, a bold front end, and a wide, muscular stance give the Cherokee an athletic build.

Nine trims are available on the Wrangler, each unique, each distinctively Jeep. The Wrangler remains true to its iconic heritage dating back to the original CJ-3A Jeep. Round LED headlights and the vertical six-bar grille carry the torch while adding modern appeal. 

An open-air driving experience is available on the Wrangler, not the Cherokee. Removable doors, a top, and a fold-down windshield are classic design features that separate the Wrangler from every other vehicle on the market. 

You can choose between the Freedom hardtop, a zipperless soft top, and a Sky One-Touch power top that folds easily into the rear compartment. Tops come in various colors, too, from tan to black to matching body-color. 

Wheels range from 17-inch Silver with Charcoal Pad print up to 20-inch fully-painted Gloss Black aluminum design. Aggressive off-road tires are available in up to 31-inch sizes.

Powerful Engine Options

The Wrangler has four engine options, while the Cherokee offers three. You can opt for a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque in the Wrangler. Jeep offers a mild-hybrid version of the same engine delivering the same power numbers.

A 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine is available in the Wrangler. This engine puts out an impressive 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and is perfect for off-road performance.

You can opt for the Wrangler's 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine for the perfect blend of power and efficiency. The EcoDiesel's 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque make it ideal for long trips and hard-working trail riding.

On the Cherokee, you start with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine used in the Wrangler. It gets the same 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. 

Next up is a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with start/stop technology. This engine puts out 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. 

Jeep offers a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine that is all about efficiency. This engine gives you 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque.

Performance Engineering

The Cherokee is admirably equipped with three 4x4 systems that can handle harsh weather and most off-road terrain. Jeep's Active Drive 4x4 will automatically engage four-wheel-drive when detecting difficult terrain or wheel slippage for exceptional control. 

The Trailhawk trim is the only Cherokee to earn Jeep's Coveted Trail Rated badge for passing a series of rugged off-road tests covering water fording, articulation, ground clearance, maneuverability, and traction.

If it's off-road adventuring you're into the Wrangler's 4x4 systems are tuned for exceptional off-road performance. Every Wrangler model has earned Jeep's Trail Rated badge so that you can leave the pavement behind with confidence.

The Wrangler's Selec-Speed Control system works like low-speed cruise control that handles the throttle while you handle the steering over or through challenging terrain. A selectable tire-fill system chirps the horn when you pressure down to your preselected psi or when you pressure back up.

An Off-Road+ button on the Wrangler automatically tunes your throttle, shift points, and suspension to handle high speed passes or low-speed rock crawls.

In-Vehicle Technology

Both the Wrangler and the Cherokee can be equipped with Jeep's UConnect system that features an 8.4-inch touch screen that runs all your tech. Both have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability to sync your smartphones for hands-free operation. Both vehicles offer a 4G LTE Wi-Fi system to connect multiple devices.

You can use the Jeep Skill with Amazon Alexa and remotely start your Cherokee or Wrangler from the comfort of your home.

A forward-facing off-road camera is new for the 2021 Wrangler. This camera is mounted low on the front to send a live stream of the trail ahead. It gives you a view of what you can't see from behind the wheel.

Driver-Assist Systems

Jeep includes various driver-assist systems standards on the Wrangler and the Cherokee. Blind-spot monitoring uses optical sensors to scan your blind spots. When a vehicle enters, you receive visual and audio alerts. The rear cross-path detection system uses the same technology to notify you of obstacles behind you while in reverse.

Forward collision warning with active braking uses forward-mounted sensors to alert you to potential obstacles. It will engage emergency brake support should you fail to react to help lessen a possible impact.

ParkSense is a rear park assist system on both vehicles. Sensors beep as you approach an obstacle, and the brakes will automatically engage if you become distracted. The Cherokee offers a parallel and perpendicular park assist system that the Wrangler does not. 

Adaptive cruise control is available on both the Wrangler and Cherokee. This system uses advanced radar technology to keep your vehicle at a preset speed and distance while in traffic, even to a complete stop. When the way ahead clears, the system returns you to your presets.

Jeep Wrangler vs. Cherokee

Comparing the Jeep Wrangler vs. Cherokee, in the end, it comes down to personal preference. The Wrangler is the more capable off-road vehicle, but the Cherokee is no slouch either. 

Open-air driving is only available on the Wrangler. The interior space afforded on the Cherokee is appealing to those urban adventurers.

If you're ready to see which vehicle is right for you, we invite you to browse our inventory online or visit our showroom. At McKinney Dodge Chrysler Jeep, we have the most extensive inventory of Wranglers and Cherokees in the region. 

We are conveniently located at 4574 Calhoun Memorial Highway in Easley, South Carolina. One of our friendly, professional team members will be happy to answer any questions you may have or take you on a test drive.

Categories: New Inventory