When Jeep invited us to The Cliffs Insane Terrain off-road park in Marseilles, Ill., to get down and dirty with some of their latest offerings, we leapt at the chance. We’ve already had a ton of experience with the all-new Wrangler on- and off-road, so our priority became learning more about what the updated Cherokee can do when there’s no more pavement.
Cars.com Los Angeles Bureau Chief Brian Wong got first crack at the new Cherokee back in January and came away impressed with the compact/mid-size SUV’s capabilities. In Marseilles (pronounced “mar-SAYLZ”), it would have to contend with steep grades, streams and slippery mud thanks to a wet and annoyingly long winter.
The most important thing to note here is that none of our photographs shows the Cherokee being rescued from any of the obstacles it faced. That’s not because we’re being kind to Jeep and not showing those photos; we didn’t get to take any because it never needed rescuing.
Is the Cherokee a better choice for off-roading than its Wrangler sibling? No. But it’s more than capable of handling the terrain the majority of its owners will throw at it without batting an eye.