A silver 2019 Certified Pre-Owned Jeep Cherokee is off-roading on a mountain path.

The CPO Difference: A Jeep Cherokee Buying Guide

Did you know the Cherokee is one of Jeep’s best-sellers because of its ability to transition from navigating the highway to exploring the trail without missing a beat? While the 2021 Cherokee is certainly a beauty, off-road enthusiasts know better than to buy a brand-new vehicle to take on the trail where it’s likely to get a few dents, dings, and scratches. That’s why certified pre-owned Jeep Cherokees are incredibly popular among adrenaline junkies looking to get a little mud on the tires.

But before you start shopping for your Jeep Cherokee, it’s important to know what it means to be certified pre-owned (CPO) as well as the benefits that come from shopping on the CPO market. We’ll explain all this and look at the Cherokee models that qualify under Jeep’s CPO program to help you find the perfect Cherokee for your needs. After all, adventure is calling, and there’s no time to wait!

Shopping Certified Pre-Owned: What It Means and the Benefits

If you’ve ever shopped for a used vehicle, then you know that a certified pre-owned vehicle typically has a higher price tag than the same used model. What’s the difference? A used model is taken into a dealership’s inventory as-is and is priced accordingly, whereas a CPO model undergoes an extensive certification process to ensure it meets the manufacturer’s specifications for resale. For a Jeep Cherokee, this means the vehicle must pass an extensive process that includes a 125-point inspection as well as a reconditioning process using authentic Mopar parts. A Cherokee or any other Jeep that fails the process is not certified.

A red 2019 Certified Pre-Owned Jeep Cherokee is off-roading in a river next to a silver 2019 Cherokee on a dirt road.


The CPO process is designed to give drivers confidence in their purchase, which is exactly why so many Jeep customers shop CPO especially when it comes to finding a capable off-road vehicle like the Cherokee. But this confidence is only the beginning of the benefits of shopping for a CPO Cherokee. Jeep boosts this confidence even further by adding a factory-backed 7-year or 100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty and a 3-month or 3,000-mile Maximum Care Warranty. The Powertrain Limited Warranty covers the repair and replacement of major powertrain components like the transmission and engine, while the Maximum Care Warranty covers other components on the SUV. For added protection, Cherokee owners can choose from three certified upgrade plans that include Powertrain Care, Added Care Plus, and Maximum Care.

Vehicle History and Inspection

Another benefit to shopping for a CPO Cherokee is that you know what you’re getting. CPO vehicles come with a CarFax or vehicle history report that gives you detailed information about the vehicle’s registration and the number of owners, any associated lemon law buybacks, total loss accidents, frame or structural damage, airbag deployment, accident indicators, service and repair history, vehicle usage, and associated recalls. This report is a great starting point when considering a CPO Cherokee because it paints a clear picture of the vehicle’s history and goes hand-in-hand with Jeep’s required 125-point inspection. This inspection checks everything from the engine and transmission to brake performance, tires, exterior condition, and beyond.

Plenty of Perks

When you buy a CPO Jeep Cherokee, you’re getting more than a rugged SUV; you’re also getting a promise from Jeep to deliver a reliable vehicle. That promise is embodied in every aspect of the certification process and through additional perks like 24-hour roadside assistance, a SiriusXM subscription, and a car rental allowance. Every CPO Cherokee comes with a complimentary three-month subscription to SiriusXM as a “thank you” from Jeep. Should the Cherokee ever break down, Jeep also has you covered with a 24-hour “sign and go” roadside assistance program that can help with everything from jump-starts and gas delivery to towing.

Which Cherokee Models Are CPO?

Jeep’s CPO standards are strict and for good reason since the automaker only offers the best vehicles available. This means that for a Cherokee to qualify for certification, it must have fewer than 75,000 miles and be less than five years old. Cherokees who meet these parameters and have a clean title are then considered if they show no signs of frame damage and are fully and safely operational even with aftermarket accessories. This means that Cherokees from 2016 to 2021 can qualify as CPO vehicles under the Jeep brand.

2016 and 2017 Jeep Cherokees

After a hiatus that took the Cherokee off the market for over a decade, Jeep reintroduced the five-seat SUV in 2014 to replace the Liberty. After several years, the Cherokee found its footing among Jeep fans who praised the 2016 model for its modern front-end and attractive tech features that carried over to the 2017 model. These features include an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen display and advanced safety and driver-assist tools like collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and self-parking.

The 2016 and 2017 Cherokees also earned great ratings for their capability. The models are equipped with a 184-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and 9-speed automatic transmission that can be upgraded to a more powerful 271-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 engine. The Cherokees also offer three four-wheel drive systems that deliver another level of customization and capability to the SUV that make the 2016 and 2017 model years attractive and affordable options to off-roaders.

2018 Jeep Cherokee

Jeep knew not to mess with a good thing and made very few changes to the Cherokee for 2018. The 2018 lineup saw the addition of the Latitude base trim, which is equipped with 17-inch wheels, high-intensity discharge headlights, a backup camera, and fog lights. The addition of the Latitude Plus trim adds more tech to the SUV with an 8.4-inch touchscreen display as well as a power driver seat, keyless entry, and satellite radio. These upgrades reflect the 2018 Cherokee’s increased starting price, but CPO models are incredibly affordable and pack a powerful punch, especially when equipped with the beefy V6 engine.

A silver 2018 Certified Pre-Owned Jeep Cherokee is shown from a high angle on a sunny road.

2019 and 2020 Jeep Cherokees

The Cherokee got a facelift in 2019 and the addition of a new, more powerful turbocharged engine to deliver even more power to the popular SUV. In addition to the four-cylinder and the V6 engines, the 2019 Cherokee gives drivers more capability with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This boost in power earned positive feedback on the trail.

For off-roaders looking for a newer CPO Cherokee, experts agree that a 2019 or 2020 Cherokee Trailhawk is a great bet. These models are more rugged and capable thanks to sturdier front and rear bumpers as well as enhanced four-wheel-drive technology and Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction modes that allow you to customize the Cherokees performance depending on the environment. Of course, these models will likely come at a higher price but, when you’re hitting the trail and need a solid performer, a CPO Cherokee like the Trailhawk is worth the investment.

Let’s Hit the Trail

Are you ready to hit the trail in a certified pre-owned Jeep Cherokee? Shopping for a CPO Cherokee is a great option, especially if you’re looking for an affordable trail-runner that can handle a few dents, dings, and scratches without causing your wallet too much pain. After all, scratching a brand-new Cherokee can be quite painful even when you’re having fun! And, considering you can customize your Cherokee with aftermarket accessories as well as reap the benefits of Jeep’s CPO warranties, there’s no question why a CPO Cherokee is an ideal vehicle for your dirt-road adventures!