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Are Jeep Cherokees Reliable? Issues, Safety & Features

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

If you are an SUV lover, you’ve probably come upon the famous Jeep Cherokee. The whole Jeep brand is extremely popular, and people love them for their vehicles that have excellent towing and off-road capabilities.

The Jeep Cherokee is a mid-sized SUV that is a popular choice for people who enjoy off-road terrain. Although this vehicle has a lot of good qualities, many people wonder if this SUV is reliable, which we’ll cover in this article.

As there have been multiple reports that jeopardized the reliability reputation of this vehicle, we want to provide further information.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Jeep Cherokee and their reliability.

car and road divider Jeep Cherokee: Pros and Cons

Like every other vehicle, the Jeep Cherokee has some pros and cons, and they vary depending on the model year of your SUV. Below, you can see a chart of all benefits and drawbacks of this SUV, based on the model year.

Model year Pros Cons
2017 ●      Comfortable seating

●      Decent towing

●      Great off-road capabilities

●      Uncomplicated touchscreen

●      Enjoyable ride


●      Bad acceleration

●      Not enough cargo space

●      Fuel economy below average

2018 ●      Decent off-road capabilities

●      Spacious cabin

●      Convenient features

●      Median fuel economy

●      Limited cargo space

●      No Android Auto/Apple CarPlay integration

●      Bad reliability rating

●      Foggy backup camera image

2019 ●      Spacious cabin

●      Great off-road capabilities

●      Convenient technology

●      Small cargo space

●      Poor fuel economy

●      Bad safety ratings

2020 ●      Decent off-road capabilities

●      Easy handling

●      Convenient touchscreen

●      V6 option

●      Turbo-4 engine option

●      Small cargo space

●      Median reliability

●      Poor fuel economy

●      Poor acceleration


2021 ●      A decent engine selection

●      Excellent towing capabilities

●      Excellent off-road capabilities

●      Convenient touchscreen

●      Average safety features

●      Cozy seating

●      Little cargo space

●      Poor fuel economy

●      Poor acceleration

Per the pros and cons list, the Jeep Cherokee with the most benefits is the 2021 model, while the one with the most disadvantages is the 2018 model.

Jeep Cherokee Features

We also want to highlight all the features Jeep Cherokee includes, and we have divided them into separate categories for performance, safety, and interior. We will talk about the newest 2021 model as it’s currently the most common on the market.


When it comes to performance, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee offers outstanding off-road capabilities while allowing you to have a comfortable drive on almost any terrain. The whole experience can vary depending on the trim level of your Jeep Cherokee.

It also has excellent towing capabilities, although the fuel economy is below average. Although there’s a decent engine selection, many people believe Jeep needs to improve the engine options in their Cherokee models and that the transmission could also use improvement.

Black Jeep Wrangler
Image Credit: Kenny Eliason, Unsplash


As older Jeep Cherokee models weren’t as safe as they were supposed to be, Jeep has tried to redesign the 2021 model and enhance the safety features of the vehicle.

The current standard safety features incorporate:
  • Red-cross traffic warning
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Full-speed forward-collision warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

The NHTSA gave the 2021 Jeep Cherokee an overall grade of 4 out of 5 for safety, which is considered pretty safe.

Other than the safety features above, there are also additional safety features that might vary depending on the model and trim of your Jeep Cherokee:

The additional safety features incorporate:
  • Electronic stability controls
  • Passenger and driver airbags
  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist with full stop
  • Child safety locks
  • Automatic headlamps
  • ParkSense® rear park assist
  • ParkView® rear backup camera
  • High-strength steel frame


The interior of Jeep Cherokees has a lot of unique features such as:

The interior features
  • Memory seats
  • Navigation system
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Keyless entry
  • Bluetooth
  • Power seats
  • Remote start
  • Backup camera
  • Satellite radio
  • Hands-free liftgate

Newer models can also include heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, although the exact features will vary depending on your model and trim.

silver jeep
Image Credit: Sebastian Kurpiel, Unsplash

Model Comparison Of Jeep Cherokee

Although all Jeep Cherokee models are similar, they have differences, and newer models are mostly better than the older ones. Jeep has been trying to improve the overall experience of this model, so check out the comparisons of models per year.

2017 Jeep Cherokee

This Jeep Cherokee has some great features and excellent off-road performance. However, it wasn’t great with fuel economy, and it had some bad reliability ratings.

2018 Jeep Cherokee

The 2018 Jeep Cherokee has more advanced features such as a spacious cabin, rearview camera, and a user-friendly interface. It also offers a V6 engine which makes it great for towing and provides a smooth ride. Still, this is another model that was unreliable and somewhat unsafe, with poor fuel economy and small cargo space. 

2019 Jeep Cherokee

This model has a decent off-road performance, but it wasn’t as good as other SUVs in the same class. It offers comfortable seating and a user-friendly interface but falls short on cargo space. Jeep failed to advance the fuel economy in this model, and the safety was slightly increased, but still not to the desired level.

2020 Jeep Cherokee

When it comes to the 2020 Jeep Cherokee, there were no significant changes compared to the 2019 model. This SUV offers decent off-road performance and towing capabilities, although the cargo space is still limited and the fuel economy is below average. 

Rubicon jeep
Image Credit: Piqsels

2021 Jeep Cherokee

The 2021 JJeep Cherokee was significantly improved compared to all the other models. There are specific safety features that became a standard, and with this model, Jeep started to offer various trim options.

car and road divider

Biggest Issues With Jeep Cherokees

There are several issues that made an impact on the reliability of Jeep Cherokees. Below are some of the most common issues Jeep Cherokee owners have dealt with over the years.

Issues With Transmission

All Jeep Cherokee models have problems with their transmission, although it was more noticeable in older than in newer models. This vehicle can suffer from rough coasting, stuck gears, and poor throttle response. Some incidents also reported their Cherokees switching between gears without any warning, while some users experienced complete transmission failure after passing 70,000 miles.

Engine Issues

Although Jeep Cherokees look attractive, they have failed to provide good engine functionality. The engine on this vehicle can suddenly stop working while the SUV is in motion. When that happens, especially in traffic, there is a serious possibility of a collision.

black jeep ouside in the snow
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Malfunctions of the Backup Sensor Alarm

Jeep Cherokees also had malfunctions of the backup sensor alarm, as it can beep unexpectedly and won’t shut down until you turn off the engine for some time. Although this is not a severe problem, it can be annoying for any Cherokee owner.

Brake issues

Some Jeep Cherokees also suffer from brake problems such as vibrating, squealing, grinding, squealing, and screeching when braking. Any brake issue shouldn’t be taken lightly, so if you notice any signs of a possible problem, you should take your Cherokee to a mechanic.


So, How Reliable Are Jeep Cherokees?

Jeep Cherokees have mostly received low-reliability scores, which makes us wonder how reliable this SUV is.

The Consumer Reports data rated the 2019 model with a reliability score of 2 out of 5, which is considered relatively poor, especially for a vehicle from such a strong a brand as Jeep.

However, the score improved when the vehicle was rated by J.D Power and Associates which gave this SUV 3 out of 5 stars for its reliability. The newer models have similar ratings, although the 2021 and 2022 Jeep Cherokee should receive even better scores due to the advanced safety technology and features.

Overall, there’s no need for potential buyers to stress or worry about this SUV, especially since Jeep offers a 3-year warranty that will take care of any issues if they occur.

car and road divider Conclusion

Jeep Cherokees are far from perfect, but they are still extremely popular SUVs that many people love. Like every other vehicle, this model has its ups and downs, but you can overcome any possible malfunctions by reacting promptly and adequately. Overall, it’s a decent choice for anyone who likes a smooth ride on off-road terrains.

Featured Image Credit: LOGAN WEAVER, Unsplash


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