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2018 Jeep Cherokee Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2018 Jeep Cherokee Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Latitude vs Limited vs Plus, Overland & Trailhawk
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What 2018 Jeep Cherokee Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

While it is not the first car to bear the name, the Jeep Cherokee is one of the most recent additions to the Jeep lineup. 2018 is only the fifth year this compact crossover has been in production, but it has proven fairly popular thanks to its introduction of new technologies.

It resembles its larger Grand Cherokee sibling in many ways, and derives a lot of its popularity from being a smaller, less costly alternative to it. Combined with its distinctive styling and the Jeep off-road cachet, it has proven to be a successful alternative to the conventional heavyweights in the compact crossover segment.

Jeep has slightly reshuffled the trim levels for the 2018 Jeep Cherokee model, arriving at a total of five models: Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland, and Trailhawk. While these trims are similar to the outgoing ones, they do differ slightly from their predecessors. At the same time, Jeep has also shaken up the car’s standard features and option sets.

This guide explores these new trim levels, helping buyers understand the differences between them in order to select the Jeep Cherokee that has the correct equipment set for their needs and preferences.

Compare the 2018 Cherokee Latitude vs Latitude Plus Trims. What is the difference?

The Latitude is the 2018 Cherokee version of last year’s Sport model. Like the Sport, this basic model features a relatively limited set of equipment, including some major omissions. It is fairly on par with most competitors in the infotainment category, as it comes equipped with a 5-inch screen running Jeep’s popular Uconnect system. The display also shows the car’s rearview camera and serves to control the car’s six-speaker sound system and Bluetooth connection.

Besides those features, keyless entry, and a set of parking sensors, there is little else on offer in the Latitude. It comes with cloth seats and manual adjustments. Even air conditioning is an optional feature, but most Cherokee Latitude models come with it included. Other options include heated seats and steering wheel, an all-wheel drive system and a V-6 upgrade instead of the base four-cylinder.

It is important to note that while both four-cylinder and six-cylinder Cherokees are available with all-wheel drive, they are different systems. The four-cylinders come with the Active Drive I system similar to that of other all-wheel drive crossovers, while the six-cylinder models get a more Jeep-y Active Drive II that feels fairly comfortable going through rough terrain.

The Latitude Plus is the former Latitude trim level, and generally covers the areas missed in the basic Latitude setup. Designed as the mass-market model, it includes the various optional features from the Latitude as well as adding a more advanced infotainment system with a larger 8.4-inch screen and support for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and satellite radio.

The Latitude Plus also comes with a power driver’s seat and is upholstered in a mix of cloth and vinyl with genuine leather accents. A push button start system with a smart key is also included. Just like the Latitude, it comes with a set of cold-weather options and either of the two engines in front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. 

With the right optional equipment, the Jeep Cherokee Latitude can be a good budget option when it comes to the Cherokee, but when it comes to value, the Latitude Plus wins out. It is not much more expensive than the Latitude, especially when you account for must-have options like air conditioning that are not standard on the Latitude. In exchange, the Latitude Plus offers a much better and more powerful infotainment system and a more stylish and comfortable interior. It is no surprise that this is the most common Cherokee model available.

Compare the 2018 Jeep Cherokee Latitude Plus vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?

The Limited is the upscale version of the Cherokee. It trades the mixed material upholstery of the Latitude Plus for full leather and includes standard heating for the steering wheel and the front seats. Both front seats are also power adjustable on the Limited, and the liftgate also gets a motor. Automatic dual zone climate control is also standard, as are a set of blind spot monitors with rear cross traffic alert.

The Cherokee Limited is the model of the Cherokee that comes with the biggest range of optional features. Among the available upgrades are premium leather, an upmarket sound system by Alpine, a moonroof and navigation. Also an option on this model is the Jeep safety suite which includes forward collision warnings with automated braking, dynamic cruise control, lane departure warnings and lane keep assist. 

Buyers who want something a little more upscale than the Latitude Plus or those looking to customize their vehicle a little with some additional premium features will appreciate what the Limited has to offer. It is also a good buy for the more safety-conscious drivers, as it includes all of the modern active safety technology between its standard and optional features. Something to keep in mind is that this trim level can get somewhat expensive once you start adding on features, rapidly approaching the Overland in cost.

Compare the Cherokee Limited vs Overland Trims. What is the difference?

Following Jeep convention, the Overland is a kind of “best-of” trim level for the Limited. Many of the optional features from the Limited, such as the Alpine audio and navigation are standard here and its front seats are heated and ventilated. It also features an upgraded leather upholstery and high-end interior trim using real open-pore wood, similar to that found on the high-end Grand Cherokee models.

It similarly looks more luxurious on the outside, with custom wheels and unique accents to separate it from the normal Limited models. While it includes most of the options from the Limited, those that are not standard by default on the Overland can also be added on to the model. The only option that is not available in the Overland is front-wheel drive with V-6. The four-cylinder Overlands can be had in both configurations, however. 

If you are already committed to getting a fully-equipped Limited Cherokee, the Overland is only a small jump in price from the Limited, while looking considerably nicer. Aside from a few small touches like ventilated front seats, there are no major Overland exclusives, and it is even occasionally listed as an optional package for the Limited rather than its own trim level. If you like the look of the Overland and already planned on loading up your Cherokee with features, it is a nice all-in-one solution. Otherwise, the Limited is a better value.

Compare the Cherokee Latitude Plus vs Trailhawk Trims. What is the difference?

The Cherokee Trailhawk is a fairly unusual model, in that it exists somewhat outside of the main trim progression. It is the off-road model of the Cherokee, and comes with the usual assortment of both performance features that make it possible and appearance options that let everyone else know what it is capable of. Larger bumpers, tow hooks and skid plates adorn this model’s exterior, while under the hood it is equipped with extra engine and transmission coolers, a sturdier suspension with more ground clearance, a locking rear differential, and multi-mode terrain controls.

In terms of comfort and convenience features, the Trailhawk is mostly on par with a Latitude Plus model with a few upgrades like dual zone climate controls and blind spot monitors. However, it can also be equipped with several optional packages that can bring its interior up to the level of the Limited or Overland trim levels, albeit at a much higher price point. 

The Trailhawk is a good consideration for drivers who are mulling over getting Jeep’s dedicated Wrangler compact off-road SUV, but are worried about the ride quality and feature selection. The Trailhawk mostly matches the other Cherokee’s good on-road manners when not being used in its off-road capacity and has much more features for the same price than the Wrangler does. It is not as competent of an off-roader however. Buyers that have no plans to go off-road may safely skip this model completely.

Final Thoughts

The Cherokee is a very versatile vehicle that manages to borrow a little bit from all of the other popular Jeep models, offering a trim level for all kinds of different buyers. It draws on the agility and road manners of the smaller Jeep crossovers like the Compass and the Renegade, has the deep selection of amenities and premium trim of the Grand Cherokee and can keep up with the Wrangler off-road, at least on the easier trails. Buyers looking for something comfortable with good utility will find themselves served best by the Latitude Plus or Limited trim levels.

The Overland is a beautiful smaller alternative to the Grand Cherokee for style and comfort oriented buyers. The Trailhawk, meanwhile, is the perfect selection for a driver who needs a car that is reliable and good-looking both on- and off-road. 

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