The Jeep Cherokee is a smaller version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee but is still very popular and to be honest, has a quite respectable towing capacity attached to them for a smaller crossover vehicle.
I did a lot of research and put together this article as a kind of resource guide for those of you out there that want to know how much weight these vehicles can pull, including charts with maximum trailer weight rating capacities listed, that I pulled directly from the owner's manuals. I hope this article is helpful!
This post is for the Cherokee, not the Grand Cherokee, which you can find here.
Overview of the Data For the Cherokee:
Engine Choices: There we're only three different engine choices at the time I researched and wrote this article for these vehicles and these were the 2.0 L, 2.4 L and 3.2 L engines. The engine you had equipped did play a role in how much you could actually pull, but was not as significant as having a tow package installed on your vehicle.
Looking at the charts below, we can see that comparing the three different engine options did not provide any difference in the overall maximum trailer weight capacity numbers. The only difference was between the 2.0 L engine and the 3.2 L engines that had a tow package equipped and that difference was only 500 pounds.
If we compare a vehicle with the same engine with and without one of these packages installed, we can see a significant maximum weight capacity rating difference of between 2,000 - 2,500 lbs.
Towing Capacity: The towing capacity for the Jeep Cherokee's really stayed the same from 2014 to 2021 and the overall range did not differ, having that two thousand pound capacity at the lower end and the higher 4500 lb capacity at the higher end oh, if your vehicle is properly equipped.
The 2019 - 2021 models did have an extra 4000 pound capacity rating for models equipped with a 2.0 L engine, which was not offered for the earlier model years.
A lot of the model years shared the same data, when I was looking through and comparing different model years and their maximum trailer weight rating specs, so I combined these and group them together, but they all share the same exact chart that I have listed In that particular section.
I highly recommend reading the owner's manual for your particular vehicle yourself in order to get more familiar with what Jeep recommends and to stay as up-to-date as possible with any changes that may have been made.
The 2021-2019 model Cherokees had an overall towing capacity range of between 2,000- 4,500 lbs. and it all really boiled down to whether or not you had an additional package equipped with your vehicle, which was typically in the form of a tow package. This seemed to make the biggest difference for the numbers in the chart listed below.
Even though there were three different engines used for this vehicle during these three years, it didn't make an impact on the actual maximum trailer weight capacities listed (except for the 2.4L equipped models), only having that additional package installed made a significant difference.
Now we can see that there was a 500-pound difference between models equipped with the 2.0 L engine, compared to those equipped with a 3.2 liter engine, assuming that both vehicles had one of these packages installed. So there was a slight difference where the engine equipped did have an impact on the numbers.
For the 2018-2014 models, we can see that the only engine options available are the 2.4 L and 3.2 L engines, Which means that the 2.0 L engine was not offered on the earlier model years. Since we remove the 2.0 liter engine from the chart, you can see that the options for the 2018-2014 models is a bit smaller because of the reduced engine choices.
We still see that the same 2,000-4,500 lb. towing capacity rating was listed for the three different configurations and the chart below and you were only able to achieve that higher 4,500 lb rating if you had a 3.2 liter engine equipped with one of the tow packages.
If you had the 2.4L engine equipped then it didn't matter whether you had one of these packages installed on your vehicle or not, you still had the lower two thousand pound rating, which was the same maximum weight back for models equipped with a 3.2 liter engine without one of these packages installed.
GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Specs...
The gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight ratings we're not listed in any of the charts I found, but I did find this little snippet in the owner's manual that states where you can find these specifications.
By law, every car manufacturer has to have a safety certification label on the car somewhere and usually these are located on the driver side door jamb or door itself and has a ton of helpful information printed on it, including the gross vehicle weight rating and the gross axle weight rating for the front and rear axles.
I was not able to find the gross combined weight rating figures anywhere, but I'll keep looking and if I do find them I will update this post with that information to keep it as updated as possible.
A Note On Trailer Brakes...
I always have to mention the fact that trailer brakes are a part of towing and a very important safety measure that needs to be taken into account, so I thought it would be relevant to include what Jeep recommends when it comes to the Cherokee.
As with almost all of Mopars of vehicles, trailer brakes are recommended for loads from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds but are required for anything over the 2,000 lb. mark. So what this means is that you don't really need to have them when towing anything from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds, but are recommended as an extra safety measure but they are a requirement if your trailer is in excess of two thousand pounds.
Make sure that you check with your local vehicle laws to see if there are any additional requirements or if they have different weight restrictions for trailers.
Towing Package Options:
I was not able to find any information regarding tow package options in the owner's manuals, but I was able to find a little bit of information on what's included in these in a brochure I found online.
As an example, I grabbed screenshots from the 2020 Cherokee brochure that listed two different packages that were available, depending on the sub model and whether you had standard or available options. As you can see one package offered a heavy-duty engine cooler, a trailer wiring harness, a class III hitch receiver, a 4 and 7 pin connector and a full size spare tire.
The other package had quite a bit less than the first package we looked at, only consisting of a wiring harness, a class III hitch receiver and a 4/7 pin connector.
Do I Have A Towing Package Installed?
As with other vehicles I have researched, there was no clear answer for whether or not you could determine if your vehicle had an additional tow package installed. I always recommend taking your vehicle into a dealership to see if they can confirm whether you have one of these installed on your vehicle, as it seems to be the best and most accurate way to find out.
Resources For The Cherokee's:
All of the information in this article came from the owner's manuals directly from Mopar's website and I wanted to link to each individual manual below for those of you out there that want to do your own research.
I do recommend reading them to stay up-to-date on any changes that may have been made to any of the charts themselves or just to get familiar with your vehicle a little bit more.