Perhaps the longest-running vehicle model ever, the Jeep Cherokee was spawned in 1974 as a full-size SUV, then evolved in 1984 as a more popular compact SUV that was also known as the Cherokee Sport. As the SUV that started it all, the Jeep Cherokee's popularity spurned imitators from other automakers. Production ended in 2001, but the multitude of compact Jeep Cherokees still seen on the road today are a testament to this SUV's durability that inspired Automobile magazine to name it one of the 20 greatest cars of all time".
The 2001 Cherokee reaches 20 highway miles per gallon. In 2000, the Jeep Cherokee received an upgraded 4.0 L Power Tech V6 engine, considered by many Jeep aficionados as the best engine ever offered in a Jeep, probably accounting for the 2000 and 2001 models' relatively high resale value today. The transmission is a 4-speed automatic, with optional all-wheel 4-wheel drive. Front bucket seats and a rear bench meant that a Jeep Cherokee could hold five people, although rear-seat passengers would likely be uncomfortable with little leg room.
The compact Cherokee debuted in 1984. With a monocoque frame to reduce corrosion and improve durability and an engine that was small for 4-wheel drive standards, the new, smaller Jeep Cherokee was lighter and less expensive than its full-sized competitors. In 1997, the Cherokee's exterior was redesigned to be more stylish and aerodynamic. With the updated 4.0 L Power Tech engine in the 2000 model, the Jeep Cherokee came fully into its own as a favorite classic SUV.
Standard equipment on the 2001 Jeep Cherokee includes front airbags, power steering, and front and rear stabilizing bars. Standard interior features include reclining front seats and a bucket rear seat that folds down for increased cargo capacity. With a roof rack and a towing capacity of 5,400 pounds, the Cherokee makes an ideal recreational vehicle. The Cherokee Limited includes air conditioning, power locks and power windows. The Limited also features 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. A CD player with equalizer and six premium speakers are included on the Cherokee Limited.
The boxy styling of the Cherokee is still the quintessential look of Jeep. Despite Chrysler's attempt to outdo Cherokee with roomier, more aerodynamically designed Jeeps, the Cherokee remains a sought-after icon. Its high off-road capabilities are actually better than its highway handling. The Cherokee's compact design made it an instant urban favorite. Powerful yet versatile, the Cherokee works well in any environment, and as its popularity continues, its compact capabilities are just as useful today.
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