Jeep Cherokee Towing Capacity: What You Need to Know!

The towing capacities in Jeep Cherokees can range from 2000 pounds all the way up to 4500 pounds, with the variation in models, trim levels, engine type, and making years having a bearing on the range.

Jeep Cherokee models have evolved across various sizes and shapes since the series was introduced in 1974. And these variations in shape and size led to varying capacities for towing. For the most part, Cherokees have been able to carry more weight as they have grown.

Let’s discover the essential facts about towing your Cherokee. We’ll look at how the Jeep Cherokee towing capacity has changed over the years and how it’s affected by things like suspension, engine power, and axle ratio. 

How Much Weight Can the Jeep Cherokee Tow?

Since SJ, Jeep Cherokee’s first generation was introduced in 1974; the Cherokee has evolved through five generations. And generation after generation, there have been noticeable improvements in the car’s towing capacity.

Jeep Cherokee Towing Capacity throughout the Years

The table below summarizes the maximum towing capacities for Jeep Cherokee models over the years.

Making YearMaximum Towing Capacity
1984-20012,000 lbs
2002-20073,500 lbs
2014-20224,500 lbs

However, that’s not the full story. Different trim levels and features can also affect towing capacity and factors like the Jeep Cherokee’s suspension, engine power, and more.

Towing Capacity of Different Jeep Cherokee Trim levels

The table below outlines the different trim levels of the Jeep Cherokee and their respective towing capacities:

Trim LevelMaximum Towing Capacity
Sport2,000 lbs
Latitude3,500 lbs
Limited4,500 lbs
Trailhawk4,500 lbs
Overland4,500 lbs
High Altitude4,500 lbs

Jeep Cherokee Towing Capacities by Engine

For the most part, larger engines mean more power and can handle heavier loads. So if you have a Jeep Cherokee with a V6 engine or higher, you can typically expect a higher towing capacity than models with smaller engines.

However, there are some exceptions. For example, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee equipped with a 3.2L V6 engine has a towing capacity of 4,500 pounds, while the 2014 Cherokee equipped with a 2.4L engine has a towing capacity of just 2,000 pounds.

Take a look at similar differences in the tables below.

Jeep Cherokee Towing Capacity – How Much Do You Need?

What is the required towing capacity for your Jeep Cherokee, anyway? It’s important to remember that your load should not exceed the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle. So, even with Trailer Tow, don’t expect to haul exactly 4,500 pounds.

Towing weights vary by load, but here are some examples of what you should expect.

Packaged without Trailer Tow Group: 

  • Kayak or canoe trailer (200-800 pounds.)
  • Jet ski trailers (Max. 1,800 pounds) 

Packaged with the Trailer Tow Group: 

  • 3-4 kayaks with trailer (350 pounds)
  • A-frame campers (1,700-3,000 pounds) 
  • A boat with trailer (1,800 pounds)
  • Pop-up camper (2,800-4,300 pounds) 
  • Dolly for towing a car (Max. 4,500 pounds) 
  • Motorcycle trailer (800-3,000 pounds) 
  • Some larger utility trailers (Max. 4,500 pounds)

What Affects the Jeep Cherokee’s Towing Capacity?

Knowing the factors determining your Jeep Cherokee’s towing capacity is essential for understanding how much you can safely tow with your car.

Besides the engine and build, several other factors and conditions can affect just how much your trailer or boat weighs – let’s take a closer look at them here:

1. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

This figure specifies the total loaded limits of both passengers and cargo for any given vehicle; including what it can still handle in terms of gross trailer weight rating (GTW).

Knowledge regarding GVWR plays an important role in ensuring safe loading. This is because exceeding this limit could lead to disastrous outcomes. 

It can lead to instability while driving at higher speeds down highways, suspension issues, braking problems, etc., leading to possible accidents and fatalities on roads.

2. The Curb Weight

Often abbreviated as ‘curb wt’, or GCWR (Gross Curb Weight Rating), this element speaks about anything ranging from original equipment manufacturer parts like doors, or other exterior fittings added post-production, excluding fuel and liquids stored inside living quarters.

The impact on GCWR increases drastically relative to each additional item added, so one should be mindful when adding accessories pre/post-purchase.

3. Axle Ratio Wheeling Capacity

Different axle ratios offer different levels of wheeling capabilities. Hence choosing between 2WD/4WD based on needs would make sense before buying one if usage involves heavy towing. Towing capacities also differ based on differential settings, so this should be considered, too.

3. Suspension

The type and quality of suspension added to your vehicle would also affect its towing capacity; softer suspensions offer greater absorption, while stiffer ones offer greater handling, stability, and turning. Jeep Cherokees use a wide variety of suspension types, including everything from coil springs to airbags.

4. Trailer Wiring Harness/Electrical System

Jeep Cherokee’s trailer wiring options are standard 4-pin, 5-pin, and 7-way connectors for hooking up your hitch easily. This is a major towing factor, as towing multiple or heavier loads would require a more powerful electrical system. 

Trailer wiring harnesses and other modifications, such as auxiliary lighting systems, will also impact towing abilities.

How to Increase Jeep Cherokee’s Towing Capacity?

If you need to increase your Jeep Cherokee’s towing capacity, you can do a few things to optimize its handling and capabilities. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Upgrade your Suspension 

A stiffer suspension can improve handling when you’re towing and help your Jeep Cherokee stay stable when driving at higher speeds. You can look for aftermarket suspension systems or upgrade existing ones to improve their strength and help with towing.

2. Use the Right Tires 

A strong, durable set of tires is essential when you tow, as a good set of tires can handle the extra weight and stress. Look for a tire brand with a high load rating, and check your tires regularly to ensure you always have enough traction.

3. Reinforce your Trailer 

If you’re using a trailer for towing, ensure it’s in good condition and can support the weight. You may need to install additional bracing or reinforce the hitches to ensure your trailer is safe for towing.

4. Consider Engine Chip Modifications 

Upgraded engine chips can help your Jeep Cherokee’s engine to handle the extra weight. Explore options such as fuel injector chips, exhaust systems, and torque converters to get your vehicle the most power and performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we have compiled a list of people’s most common questions about Jeep Cherokee towing capacity and how to maximize it.

How do I determine the towing capacity of my specific Jeep Cherokee model?

You can typically find your Jeep Cherokee’s towing capacity in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or by contacting the manufacturer directly. The towing capacity of your Jeep Cherokee will depend on the engine, transmission, and any accessories or modifications you have made to it. 

What are the best practices for attaching a trailer to my Jeep Cherokee?

Jeep Cherokee trailer hookup requires a few considerations. For example, always ensure a clear path, make sure the engine lights work, and use the appropriate safety chains. You’ll also want to check the tire pressure on your trailer, which can greatly impact towing safety and performance. 

What are some maintenance tips for optimizing my Jeep Cherokee’s performance?

To maintain optimal towing capacity in your Jeep Cherokee, regularly maintain the vehicle with recommended services. This may include checking fluids, monitoring alignments and suspension, and getting a tune-up. Consider aftermarket parts like trailer hitches for further boost.

How do I load my trailer to ensure it is safely and securely attached to my Jeep Cherokee?

Installing a weight-distributing hitch is crucial for safely attaching your trailer to your Cherokee. Ensure the hitch is properly installed and secure and evenly distributed the trailer weight. For added safety, use straps and a stand-alone braking system when towing heavier or longer trailers.


Hopefully, by now, you have a pretty good grasp of your Jeep Cherokee towing capacity. You know the factors that affect it, how they play into the process, and how much weight your vehicle can carry. 

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your suspension or install new engine chips, these tips can help ensure that your Jeep Cherokee is equipped to safely han­­dle any towing challenges you may face.

So, the next time you hit the road with your trailer in tow, feel confident and prepared using what you’ve learned here. And before making modifications or changes, consult your owner’s manual, dealership, or an authorized mechanic for updated information.

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