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2023 Jeep Cherokee Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2023 Jeep Cherokee Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Altitude Lux vs Trailhawk

What 2023 Jeep Cherokee Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The current version of Jeep's Cherokee is a compact crossover SUV with room for five passengers. Though it's officially a compact vehicle, it still provides plenty of cargo space. There is 25.8 cubic-feet of storage space with its standard seating configuration. This can be expanded up to 54.7 cubic-feet, if needed, by folding down the backseats. The 2023 Jeep Cherokee is part of the vehicle's fifth generation that began in 2014.

Like most Jeep vehicles, the Cherokee provides exceptional off-road performance. One of its two models was even designed specifically with off-road adventuring in mind. The other model caters more to drivers who want luxury and comfort from their SUV. The Cherokee also provides respectable towing capabilities for its size and class. Overall, it's one versatile and practical SUV to own.

Jeep cuts the Cherokee's trim levels down to two for the 2023 model year. There's no longer a stock front-wheel drive version. Every owner now gets standard all-wheel drive. There are new powertrain options for 2023 as well. We will touch on these more in a bit. It may seem like there aren't many choices to make, but that would be incorrect. The two available trim levels are vastly different and take some consideration when selecting a new Jeep Cherokee.

Here's an in-depth look at the two available trims for the 2023 Jeep Cherokee. We will try to cover all of their similarities and differences. The features and performance specs will be examined carefully. After the comparisons, we will try to make an informed decision on which trim level is the best overall. Considerations will also be made about who each model may work best for. Hopefully, this will make the selection process easier for buyers.


Compare the Cherokee Altitude Lux vs Trailhawk Trims. What Is the Difference?

The two available trim levels are called the Altitude Lux and the Trailhawk. Both have the same dimensions. Each can accommodate up to five people and offers around 54.7 cubic-feet of storage space. These two trims have slightly different sizes when compared. The Altitude Lux is 183.1 inches long, 73.2 inches wide and 66.2 inches high. It has a wheelbase of 106.6 inches. Trailhawk models are 182.9 inches long, 74.9 inches wide and 67.8 inches tall with a wheelbase of 107.1 inches.

While the sizes are different on the outside, the interior space is equal on both trims. The headroom is 39.4 inches up front and 38.5 inches in the rear. The legroom comes in at 41.1 inches in the front and 40.3 inches in the rear. The shoulder room measures out to be 57.6 inches for the front and 55.1 inches for the backseats. The Jeep Cherokee has a total passenger volume of around 128 cubic-feet. There's enough room here for a comfortable ride, even with a full load of passengers.

The Altitude Lux is equipped with a 2.4-liter I4 engine. Specifically, this is a Zero Evap MultiAir® Engine with Start/Stop technology. Start/Stop technology shuts off the engine when the vehicle is idling for a certain amount of time. This happens frequently at stop lights and in other traffic situations. The engine cuts off in order to conserve fuel and to operate more efficiently. This engine makes 180 horsepower.

The Altitude Lux has a 9-speed automatic transmission. It's rated for 21 mpg (miles-per-gallon) in the city and 29 mpg at highway speeds. Both trims have a base tow rating of 2,000 pounds. Trailhawk models with some additional equipment can pull 4,000 pounds. The Altitude Lux has a conventional differential rear axle. It also comes with Jeep's Active I System and a Selec-Terrain® transfer case.

Altitude Lux models get Jeep's standard Normal Duty Suspension. This is designed more for street driving than off-road adventures. This suspension system provides a smooth ride that soaks up almost every bump in the road. This trim level also comes equipped with a maintenance-free battery and a 160-amp alternator. It also gets a single hidden exhaust tip, an electric parking brake and electric power steering.

The Trailhawk gets more power and torque from a 2.0-liter, DOHC, direct-injection, turbocharged I4 engine. For the uninitiated, DOHC stands for dual overhead cams. This setup makes 270 horsepower with 295 pound-feet of torque. That's a serious step up from the Altitude Lux. This increase in power can really be felt during acceleration or while passing other vehicles on the highway. This engine also comes with Start/Stop technology.

The added power unfortunately means a dip in fuel efficiency. The Trailhawk is rated for 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The Trailhawk automatically comes with 4WD (four-wheel drive). It also receives Jeep's Active Drive II System. It has a 9-speed 948TE automatic transmission, a locking rear differential and a Selec-Terrain® System. There's even an upgraded suspension built specifically for off-road adventuring.

The two Cherokee trims share most of the same exterior features. The first difference can be found in the wheels. The Altitude Lux has 17-inch by 7-inch glossy-black wheels. The Trailhawk has 17-inch by 7.5-inch wheels. These wheels are diamond-cut aluminum models. The Trailhawk also gets a set of all-terrain tires well-suited for off-road driving. The Altitude Lux comes equipped with all-season tires.

The two Cherokee models have bi-function, LED projector headlights. These headlights are automatic and deploy or disengage as needed. Both trims of the Cherokee also get premium LED taillights. They both have the same exterior badges. This includes Jeep and 4X4 badges to show off brand loyalty. The Altitude Lux and Trailhawk each get fog lamps up front.

Rain-sensitive, automatic front wipers kick on at the first sign of precipitation. There's also a lone rear wiper for both trims. The Trailhawk gets some additional skid plates and off-road wheel flares. A power-operated liftgate can be found on both models. A hands-free power liftgate is optional. Both models get a set of roof rails for extra cargo space and versatility.

Deep-tinted sunscreen glass keeps these two SUVs cooler in the summer. They also block out some of the potentially harmful UV rays from natural light. A windshield wiper de-icer is installed on both trims. This keeps the wipers from remaining frozen and stuck to the windshield. Both models of the Cherokee have a push-button for the fuel-filler door.

On the inside, the Altitude Lux has premium leather bucket seats. The Trailhawk gets cloth and vinyl bucket seats. This difference further distinguishes who these trim levels might work best for. If you want luxury, comfort and a posh interior, the Altitude Lux fits the bill. The vinyl seats, however, are easier to clean. This is exactly what one would want from an off-road vehicle.

Both Jeep Cherokee trims get 8-way power driver seats. The driver's seat also gets power-adjustable lumbar support. These seats can really keep one comfortable during long drives. Both front seats have heating and active headrests. In the rear there's a 60/40-split seat with reclining capabilities. There are three head restraints for the backseat passengers. The rear passengers also get an armrest with several cupholders.

The front passenger seat is manually adjustable in the Trailhawk and power adjustable for the Altitude Lux. Both models get the same Uconnect 4C Nav Infotainment System. As the name suggests, this infotainment system has built-in GPS navigation. There's also an 8.4-inch touchscreen display. Both trims offer a 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hot Spot with a free trial. The system is compatible with Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto.

The sound system for both trims comes with six speakers. Cherokee buyers can upgrade this to a premium system by Alpine. The upgrade comes with nine speakers and a 506-watt amplifier with active noise control. There are audio controls on the steering wheel for easy access. The infotainment system here has Bluetooth technology and a USB ports for charging and connectivity.

Voice-Recognition Technology allows the driver to access infotainment features with a simple voice command. An HD radio is standard for both trim levels. The AM/FM stereo is compatible with Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Jeep offers an optional sunroof for both trims. Both models of the Cherokee have the same AC and heating systems. They both get Dual-Zone Auto Temperature Control. Each also has a heated steering wheel and leather-wrapped gear-shift knobs.

The safety features and driver-assist technology are almost identical when comparing these two trim levels. Both models get an advanced airbag system. There are multi-stage airbags up front. The driver and front passenger also get protection from an inflatable knee-bolster airbag. There are supplemental seat-mounted side airbags up front. The front and rear get further protection from side-curtain airbags.

Both trims come with the LATCH system already installed. This feature provides an anchor point for child safety seats. The seat belts can be adjusted for the passenger's height up front. Both Cherokee models have advanced systems like All-Speed Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control and Electronic Roll Mitigation. These all work together to give the driver better control over the vehicle.

Both trim levels get Full-Speed, Forward-Collision Warning. A Tire-Pressure Monitor helps to keep the tires inflated to a safe level. The ParkView® Rear Back-Up Camera and Blind-Spot Monitor give the driver better awareness of their surroundings. Both trims come with Adaptive Cruise Control for safer highway cruising. The Trailhawk gets some extras to make it safer while driving on off-road terrain. This includes Selec-Speed® Control and Hill-Descent Control.

Both models of the Cherokee have a standard alarm system. An engine immobilizer shuts the car down if it does happen to get stolen. There's a Keyless-Entry feature with a Panic Alarm. Both trims also have Push-Button Start and Front-Door Passive-Entry and Lock. Jeep made sure that both trim levels have plenty of standard safety features. The Altitude Lux model has an optional Elite Package that includes a sunroof and the Alpine stereo system. The Trailhawk gets an optional Trailer Tow-Group Package.


Final Thoughts

The 2023 Jeep Cherokee is a fantastic SUV no matter which trim level one chooses. This is a rare occasion where there really is no best. Both trim levels were designed with a specific buyer in mind. Which one is the best depends on what the buyer's priorities are. If the Jeep Cherokee will mostly see paved roads, then the Altitude Lux is a fine choice. It gets those extra comfort-and-convenience features to make daily driving and long road trips pleasurable. If you want an off-road machine, then the Trailhawk is for you.

While those two driver types are pretty distinct, there is some overlap here. The Altitude Lux can certainly handle off-road excursions for occasional fun or if you really need it to in a pinch. Likewise, the Trailhawk will be very comfortable as a daily driver for most buyers. There's one additional reason to consider a Trailhawk even if one will be mostly driving on paved roads. The more-powerful engine with its extra horsepower and torque is a real plus.

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Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2022 Jeep Cherokee Trim Levels