The Jeep Cherokee is one of those SUVs that’s in a class of its own. It’s made to handle the rough Australian off-road terrain, but it’s also great for on-road use. It comes with a 2.2-litre diesel engine and a clever 4×4 system that allows it to perform well in any setting without sacrificing fuel economy. Even the most basic iteration of the Jeep Cherokee has all the things you’ll need, so you don’t have to spend money on the top-spec models of the range. While the initial Cherokee from the 90s was a rugged vehicle, the latest generation is more of a crossover.
That being said, it looks better than most SUVs in its category, which is mainly due to its grille, headlamps and extra air intakes. But as great as the Jeep Cherokee is, if you intend on taking it off the beaten trail, you should consider looking up online 4×4 accessories to add layers of protection and improve its off-road capabilities.
The Best Jeep Cherokee Accessories for Protection
If you’ve ever been off the beaten trail, you’ve probably noticed that almost every single off-road rig is equipped with a bullbar. Bullbars are the most crucial accessories you can install on off-road vehicles, simply because they offer much-needed protection to the front-end of the vehicle, where all the vitals are located.
Bullbars come in a wide range of shapes, and they can be made from a variety of materials. The two most popular materials bullbars are manufactured from are steel and aluminium. Steel bullbars are the option that offers the most protection, but they’re also heavier than their aluminium counterparts. Most steel bullbars are powder-coated for protection against rust. Aluminium bullbars, while not as strong, are much lighter, which means they won’t hurt your fuel economy as much, allowing you to go longer distances without needing to stop at a gas station for a refill. This can come in handy if you’re transversing the outback, and if your journey doesn’t involve going through extreme terrain.
But besides offering protection, bullbars can also serve as a mounting point for other accessories, such as a recovery winch, extra off-road lights, a UHF antenna, etc. That being said, when looking at online 4×4 accessories that you might want to add to your Cherokee, make sure you take compatibility into consideration. For instance, if you want to get a winch, make sure you get a winch-compatible bullbar that features rated tow points. If the bullbar features rated tow points, it means it’s been inspected and approved by an independent third party. This not only ensures safety but also quality.
Bash (Skid) Plate
Bash plates are another beneficial protective accessory, and are made to protect the underside of your Cherokee. Just like your front, the underside of your vehicle features parts that could use some extra protection. Just like bullbars, bash plates are generally made of steel or aluminum. Most off-road enthusiasts opt for steel bash plates, as their main job is to protect from impacts. Installing a bash plate, however, is more complicated than installing a bullbar, which is why it’s a task best left to professional mechanics.
Accessories to Expand Storage Capacity
Roof racks are considered some of the best Jeep Cherokee accessories you can buy, simply because they’re extremely versatile. This is due to the fact that roof racks allow you to carry more things you may need on your trip, thus freeing up cabin and boot space. On top of this, you can mount extra accessories on them, such as auxiliary driving or fog lights, amongst others.
Roof racks are also made of metals, mainly aluminium and steel. Aluminium roof racks are the more popular option, as they’re more lightweight. Weight is an important aspect to consider when fitting a roof rack, because your Cherokee can only withstand so much on its roof. Plus, when you consider the fact that you’ll be adding other things on top of the roof rack, it’s easy to go over the recommended GVWM, which is something you want to avoid at all cost, as it can get hazardous.
Accessories for Recovery
You should never leave the beaten trail without a piece of recovery equipment (ideally two). You’re bound to find yourself stuck at one point or another, so it’s best to be prepared. Winches are one piece of recovery equipment that the majority of off-roaders stand behind. This is mainly because recovering yourself with a winch requires less manual effort than other pieces of recovery equipment. As aforementioned, the winch is generally mounted on the bullbar, and all you need is another fixed object you can attach the rope onto to pull yourself out. If you’re off-roading with friends, your friend can pull you out with their vehicle using the winch. On the downside, winches can be quite expensive, which is the main reason some people opt for alternative recovery solutions.
Recovery tracks are arguably the most underrated 4×4 accessory you’ll come across. Affordable, simple and versatile, you can use recovery tracks for a variety of tasks that lead to the same goal – getting yourself unstuck. Quality recovery tracks, like those from Australian brand MAXTRAX, can also double as shovels, allowing you to dig around your tyres before placing them under to create traction and gain momentum. They’re also very compact, allowing you to store them virtually anywhere you want. On the downside, recovery methods using tracks require more time and effort.
Hi-lift jacks are a piece of mechanical recovery equipment that can be used for a variety of purposes, including changing a flat tyre. In order to use a hi-lift jack, you need to make sure your vehicle has rated jack points. Otherwise, you risk getting yourself hurt, or your vehicle damaged. The main reason why a lot of people don’t like hi-lift jacks is that you need even, sturdy ground to use one successfully, and you won’t always have that luxury. On the other hand, there’s zero chance of malfunction and electrical errors, so hi-lift jacks are very reliable and can serve you well for a very long time.