Are Jeep Cherokees Good On Gas? Analysis of MPG Across Models

are jeep cherokees good on gas

With gas prices fluctuating wildly these days, fuel efficiency is top of mind for many car shoppers. If you’re considering a Jeep Cherokee, you may be wondering – are Jeep Cherokees good on gas?

The short answer is that while the Cherokee is far from the most fuel efficient SUV out there, it does deliver decent gas mileage for an off-road ready vehicle with robust towing capabilities. Read on for a comprehensive analysis of Jeep Cherokee mpg across different models and model years.

How Do Jeep Cherokees Rate For Fuel Economy?

The 2021 Jeep Cherokee gets an average of 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway according to EPA estimates. This places the Cherokee in the middle range when compared to other small crossover SUVs.

Comparison with Other SUVs

For instance, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 performs slightly better with 27/35 mpg city/highway. The 2021 Honda CR-V leads the class with 28/34 mpg. However, the Cherokee outperforms some competitors like the 2021 Subaru Forester at 26/33 mpg and 2021 Ford Escape at 26/31 mpg.

While not leading its segment in fuel efficiency, the Jeep Cherokee competes well among top small SUVs. Considering its robust off-road capabilities and strong towing capacity, the Cherokee offers a good balance of fuel economy and utility.

Gas Mileage of Different Cherokee Models

Fuel economy can differ across the various trim levels of the Jeep Cherokee line. Here’s how mpg varies by model:

  • Latitude: 22/31 mpg
  • Altitude: 21/29 mpg
  • Limited: 21/29 mpg
  • 80th Anniversary: 21/29 mpg
  • Trailhawk: 21/29 mpg
  • High Altitude: 20/26 mpg

The Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk models equipped with the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine have the best mpg. Upgrading to the more powerful 3.2L V6 engine on the Altitude and High Altitude trims reduces gas mileage.

Off-road oriented models like the Trailhawk sacrifice a bit of fuel efficiency but gain increased capability for traversing rugged terrain with its elevated ground clearance and Jeep Active Drive Low 4WD system.

How Jeep Cherokee MPG Has Changed Over the Years?

how jeep cherokee mpg has changed over the years

Fuel economy for the Jeep Cherokee has gradually improved with recent model year updates:

  • 2014 Cherokee: up to 27 mpg highway
  • 2015 Cherokee: up to 30 mpg highway
  • 2016 Cherokee: up to 31 mpg highway
  • 2020 Cherokee: up to 33 mpg highway
  • 2021 Cherokee: up to 31 mpg highway
  • 2022 Cherokee: up to 34 mpg highway

The jump to a 9-speed automatic transmission for 2015 helped boost highway mpg. Additional tweaks like reduced aerodynamic drag and weight savings further improved efficiency over subsequent model years.

So while the latest 2022 Cherokees don’t lead the segment, the steady mpg gains reflect Jeep’s efforts to balance fuel economy with the Cherokee’s standard 4WD capabilities.

What Factors Impact Jeep Cherokee Fuel Efficiency?

There are a number of elements that determine just how fuel efficient a Jeep Cherokee will be, including:

  • Engine – The available 2.4L 4-cylinder gets better mpg than the optional 3.2L V6.
  • Drivetrain – 4WD reduces mpg compared to 2WD models. The Active Drive Low 4WD system on Trailhawk models is especially thirsty.
  • Towing – Heavier towing takes a toll on mpg. The Cherokee’s max tow rating of 4,500 lbs is robust for the class.
  • Off-roading – Rugged off-road use eats into mpg with increased rolling resistance. Larger off-road tires also reduce efficiency.
  • Weight – Heavier versions like the luxurious High Altitude model get worse mileage than lighter trims.
  • Aerodynamics – Boxy design leads to more wind resistance than curvier crossovers. Roof racks further cut into aerodynamics.

In general, sticking with a lighter-duty 4-cylinder Cherokee variant without extensive off-road modifications will deliver the best mpg.

Does Driving Style Affect Jeep Cherokee MPG?

How and where you drive your Jeep Cherokee can significantly sway fuel economy:

  • City vs Highway – Cherokees get considerably better mpg at high speeds on the highway than in stop-and-go city driving. Using cruise control on the freeway helps maximize efficiency.
  • Acceleration – Aggressive acceleration and jackrabbit starts seriously dent mpg. Gradual acceleration is key for optimal fuel economy.
  • Speed – Exceeding 65 mph drastically curtails efficiency due to much higher aerodynamic drag at higher speeds.
  • Hills – Ascending steep hills or mountains consumes more gas. Use momentum and avoid sudden acceleration when climbing.
  • Idling – Sitting idle with the engine running is a major mpg killer. Shut off the engine while waiting or in drive-thrus.
  • Payload – Extra cargo weight strains the engine, decreasing fuel efficiency. Remove unneeded gear and avoid overloading the Cherokee.

Following eco-driving techniques tailored to your specific driving conditions goes a long way towards squeezing out the maximum mpg from your Cherokee.

How Does the Cherokee Compare to Other Jeep SUVs for MPG?

how does the cherokee compare to other jeep suvs for mpg

The Cherokee fares better in the fuel economy department than Jeep’s other SUV offerings:

  • Jeep Wrangler: 17/25 mpg
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee: 19/26 mpg
  • Jeep Compass: 23/32 mpg
  • Jeep Renegade: 22/29 mpg

With its car-like unibody construction, the Cherokee delivers crossover-like mpg superior to traditional body-on-frame SUVs like the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. Only the smaller, lighter Compass and Renegade models top the Cherokee for Jeep brand fuel efficiency.

Does the Cherokee Get Better Gas Mileage Than Other Small SUVs?

The Cherokee holds up well against direct competitors in terms of fuel efficiency:

  • Toyota RAV4: 27/35 mpg
  • Honda CR-V: 28/34 mpg
  • Mazda CX-5: 25/31 mpg
  • Subaru Forester: 26/33 mpg
  • Ford Escape: 26/31 mpg

Top rivals like the CR-V and RAV4 best the Cherokee by 3-5 mpg on average. However, the Cherokee counters with greater off-road ability and towing power. Only the Subaru Forester comes close to matching the Cherokee’s trail prowess.

So the Cherokee gives up some fuel economy versus car-based crossovers but offers more rugged SUV capabilities in return.

What Are Real-World MPG Results for the Jeep Cherokee?

While EPA ratings provide a standardized metric for fuel efficiency, real-world driver experiences may vary. Based on owner mpg reports, on average the 2WD Cherokee with the 4-cylinder engine achieves:

  • City: 20 mpg
  • Highway: 29 mpg
  • Combined: 23 mpg

That’s 2-3 mpg lower than EPA estimated mpg in city and combined driving. Interestingly, owners match or exceed highway mileage ratings. Driving style and conditions likely account for the city mpg discrepancy.

The V6 model drops about 3 mpg across the board from EPA estimates based on owner feedback. Off-road focused Trailhawk models also return poorer fuel economy of 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway according to many users.

Overall, owner mpg logs suggest the Cherokee generally lives up to its EPA ratings for highway fuel efficiency but falls a bit short in city driving. Real-world mpg can deteriorate further with off-road use, heavy towing, and spirited driving.

Expert Review of Jeep Cherokee Gas Mileage

The experts at Edmunds summed up the 2021 Jeep Cherokee fuel economy as follows:

“The Cherokee’s EPA estimates check out in the real world. We tested a Cherokee with the four-cylinder engine and averaged 25 mpgoverall, which matches the EPA’s combined estimate…This means the Cherokee should return around 400 miles of driving range per tank.”

Car & Driver noted the Cherokee V6 is quite thirsty:

“The Cherokee’s optional 3.2-liter V-6 engine provides plenty of power but disappoints at the pump. During our 200-mile fuel-economy test route, our all-wheel-drive V-6 test vehicle managed just 19 mpg.”

U.S. News ranked the Cherokee 7 out of 10 for gas mileage, commenting:

“A Jeep will never be the most fuel-efficient vehicle, but the Cherokee performs well for an SUV with available four-wheel drive. The optional V6 isn’t great for fuel economy though.”

In general, reviewers found the 4-cylinder Cherokee delivered fuel economy competitive with rivals. But opting for the V6 or 4WD incurs a significant mpg penalty.

Tips to Maximize Your Jeep Cherokee MPG

Here are some tips to help maximize gas mileage in your Jeep Cherokee:

  • Perform regular maintenance like air filter changes and oil changes
  • Check tire pressure frequently to avoid low rolling resistance
  • Drive conservatively with smooth acceleration and braking
  • Stick to posted speed limits and use cruise control when possible
  • Limit cargo weight and remove roof racks when not needed
  • Shut off engine instead of idling for long periods
  • Reduce AC/heat use and windows open to cut engine load

Practicing hypermiling techniques tailored to your specific Cherokee configuration and driving habits can help extract every last mpg.

Conclusion and Takeaways

The Jeep Cherokee delivers fuel economy on par with top rivals when equipped with the 4-cylinder engine and 2WD. Expect low-to-mid 20s mpg around town and high 20s to low 30s mpg highway driving. The V6 engine and 4WD systems incur a significant mpg penalty.

Compared to other Jeep models, only the smaller Compass and Renegade SUVs get better gas mileage than the Cherokee. For an SUV with legitimate off-road credentials, the Cherokee achieves respectable fuel efficiency.

While not a segment leader, the Cherokee provides a good balance of fuel economy and off-road capability. With efficient driving habits, Cherokee owners can come close to matching or even exceeding EPA estimated mpg in real-world driving.

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