28 years separate these two siblings, but what about their off-road ability?
Automotive technology has moved on in the past three decades – of that there’s no doubt. Take the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite, for example. Now, you can have an SUV with multiple drive modes, hill descent control and a selectable locking rear differential. The Trailhawk even has crawl control up its sleeve to tackle some fairly serious off-roading. Then, there’s the powerplant: it’s 3.2-liter V6 engine with 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque mated to a nine-speed automatic outclass its XJ counterpart.
However, while the modern 2019 Jeep Cherokee may have all that plus park assist, blind spot monitoring and all the other modern safety systems, the 1991 Cherokee XJ has some old-school ruggedness on its side. It has selectable full-time four-wheel drive, as well as a low-range transfer case. It also has a healthy amount of ground clearance and skid plates over vital components. The Cherokee XJ also came with solid axles.
Then there’s the engine. Yes, the 4.0-liter inline-six engine may not be as strong as the modern Pentastar unit. It produces 190 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque, or at least it did when it was new. However, it is, as Tommy explained in our previous comparison video, a pretty bulletproof engine.
So, we have new school versus old-school off-roading. Modern tech against heritage and plain, few-frills dependability. Can the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite outperform the old XJ Cherokee off-road? Check out the video above to find out! Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more news, views and real-world, off-road reviews.