Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and the SRT -- which Jeep is for you?

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In 1974, Jeep introduced the Jeep Cherokee to the American market and 19 years later, Jeep introduced a larger Cherokee model, called the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both of these Jeep models and the Jeep Wrangler have been the most popular and iconic vehicles in the Jeep lineup. To further expand on the lineup of vehicles that carry the Cherokee name, Jeep introduced the Grand Cherokee SRT in 2012.

So if you are looking for a Jeep and you are thinking “Cherokee,” but you don’t know which one is for you -- read on and we’ll clear up some of the major differences in trims and performance in each of these vehicles. 

Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep Cherokee is the original Jeep vehicle to carry the Cherokee name and it is slightly smaller than the Grand Cherokee, but that doesn’t mean it is a less capable vehicle.

Trims and Engines

The Jeep Cherokee is available in nine trims and three engine options. The standard engine on all of the Cherokee trims is a 2.4-liter I4 MultiAir engine which produces 184 horsepower and can tow up to 2,000 pounds. Buyers also have the option of choosing a 2.4-liter PZEV M-Air engine or a 3.2-liter V6 engine with electronic start/stop that produces 271 horsepower and can tow up to 2,000 pounds or up to 4,500 pounds if the extra trailer package is purchased. The most equipped Cherokee trim is the Jeep Cherokee Overland 4x4, and this is the only Cherokee that comes standard with the 3.2-liter engine.

The average fuel economy of the standard 2.4-liter Cherokee engine is 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Each of the Cherokee models are available in front- or four-wheel-drive.

Interior

storage of smaller items.The most basic Cherokee trim is the Jeep Cherokee Sport and the Sport’s standard interior features include cloth seating, which is available in two different colors.The Cherokee has a few different entertainment features which include a 5-inch touchscreen display, an audio jack for easy hookup to mobile devices, a 6-speaker system and UConnect 5.0. The vehicle’s back row seats can be folded flat, to offer extra storage space when necessary and there is an extra compartment on the dash for convenient
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Upgraded features on other Cherokee trims and available add ons include a brand cargo storage container for the trunk, passenger in-seat cushion storage and leather seating. Upgraded entertainment options include a 9-speaker system with a subwoofer
 and UConnect 8.4, which comes with a 8.4-inch touchscreen display.

Exterior

Standard exterior features include daytime running lamps with LED lights, front reflector fog lights, LED taillights, and a rear spoiler that enhances the vehicle’s aerodynamics and adds style. The Cherokee rides on 17-inch steel wheels paired with Firestone all-season tires.

Features that are available as add ons or that are included on other Cherokee trims are a dual-pane sunroof, dual-bright exhaust tips a (for the V6 engine only), silver painted roof rails, and red tow hooks.

Price

Pricing for the base model, the Jeep Cherokee Sport starts at $23,495, and pricing for the other Cherokee trims varies.

                         Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Grand Cherokee is like the big brother to the Cherokee as it is a slightly bigger vehicle, it has a bigger standard engine and there are noticeable changes to both the interior and exterior. There are 10 different Grand Cherokee trims, all of which differ in exterior and interior features. Two of the Grand Cherokee trims, the Grand Cherokee SRT 4X4 and the Grand Cherokee SRT Night 4x4, have so many differences, that we have included it in a different section below.

Engines and Trims

Aside from the SRT engine that is only available on the Grand Cherokee SRT, there are three different engines associated with the Grand Cherokee lineup. The three engines are: a 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine; a 3.6-liter V6 engine; and a 360-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine. Each of the engine options are paired with an 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission and can tow up to 7,200 pounds.

Of the three engines, the EcoDiesel is the most fuel efficient and it has an average fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg when on the highway, which is great for a large SUV. The 3.6-liter engine gets approximately 19 mpg in the city and up to
26 mpg when on the highway. The more powerful 5.7-liter engine has a slightly lower fuel economy of 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.

Except for the SRT, all of the Grand Cherokee trims come standard with the 3.6-liter V6 engine, but the two-wheel-drive Limited, Overland, High Altitude and Summit trims can be fitted with the 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine, and when equipped with four-wheel-drive those trims can be fitted with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine.

Interior

Some of the interior features that come standard in the Jeep Grand Cherokee include cloth seating (in 4 different color options), a UConnect 5.0 system with UConnect bluetooth access, a 6-speaker sound system, and deluxe storage space.

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Other available interior options include: a dual-screen Blu-ray DVD Entertainment System with the dual 9-inch screens, a nine-speaker system with a 10-inch subwoofer or the 19-speaker Harman Kardon speakers and subwoofer. 

Exterior

The exterior of the Grand Cherokee is slightly upgraded from the Cherokee model. Exterior features like a “modern” front grille, daytime running headlamps, projector fog lamps and capless fuel fillers come standard on all Grand Cherokee trims.

Other available features include customizable performance parts from Jeep specific to your taste, blind spot monitoring which appears on the side view mirrors when another car is sensed in your blind spot, and upgraded 20’ painted wheels.

Price

Pricing starts from $29,995 and can go up to and over $49,795 depending on trim and extra options added. 

                              Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

The Grand Cherokee SRT trim is the vehicle that combines luxury and sport features to make a high performance and fierce looking vehicle. Not only is the Grand Cherokee SRT, the fastest SUV in it’s class, but it's also one of the most distinct looking Jeep Grand Cherokees.

Engines and Trims

There is one engine and two trims available with the SRT, the SRT and the SRT Night, which is a limited-edition SRT trim. The engine on this Grand Cherokee SRT is an SRT 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine produces 475 horsepower. Powerful and fierce, the SRT can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds.

The HEMI engine has a maximum towing capacity of up to 7,200 pounds and the vehicle has a fuel economy of 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.

Interior

The interior of the SRT is where the luxury feel comes into play. The black leather interior is stitched with silver thread, there is also a 7’ digital display behind the steering wheel which displays navigation activated by voice. The leather wrapped steering
wheel comes equipped with paddle shifters. In addition the standard SRT also comes with a Harman Kardon 19-Speaker Sound System and active noise cancellation.jeep-grand-cherokee-srt-mlam

Exterior

The exterior style of the SRT is meant to look “aggressive and athletic,” just like the powerful engine that hides beneath the hood. While the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT has the same exterior build as other Grand Cherokee trims, it has a few extra bold exterior features, especially on the SRT Night special-edition.

The Grand Cherokee SRT rides on 20-inch polished 5-spoke wheels and all-season run flat tires. The Grand Cherokee SRT is available in eight exterior colors, including a vibrant red hue that is exclusive to the two SRT trims. Additionally, the Grand Cherokee has rear sunscreen acoustic laminate glass, a great feature for Floridians!

As one of the nicest Grand Cherokee trims, both of the Grand Cherokee SRT vehicles are equipped with convenience features like a power liftgate power heated memory multi-function mirrors, and ParkSense Front / Rear Park Assist. The ParkSense feature is both a convenience and a safety tech feature that uses sound waves to detect nearby obstacles in and near the rear path of the vehicle to help drivers maneuver in tight spaces at parking speeds and it provides an automatic stopping function when it detects possible collisions or obstacles when in reverse gear.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night

The SRT Night is an upgraded and even more aggressive version of the SRT. A few highlights of the that are features exclusive to the SRT Night include several black accents like a gloss black painted roof, 20-inch lightweight satin black wheels, a black rear spoiler and an all-black Laguna leather interior.

Price

Pricing for the SRT begins at  $65,695.

Photo Sources: FCA Marketing.