Some vehicles don't change too much over time, while others get redesigned almost beyond recognition. And it's not always those vehicles that have been around the longest time that change how they look the most either. However, the 2017 Jeep Cherokee Latitude is a vehicle bearing no resemblance whatsoever to its 1974 first-generation, to the point where it even now resides in an entirely different segment. If you want a stylish, go-anywhere crossover with the cargo capacity for a weekend trip to the lake with all that fishing gear, and that can also tow your boat, here's how the Cherokee shapes up.
A somewhat rugged and utilitarian approach to interiors like we see in the Wrangler would be fine if you're worried about it getting wet and smelly on a visit to the lake or the sea, but this is a crossover for all occasions. The interior is stylish, comfortable and high quality, with some very nice little details. If you're not towing a trailer to the lake or campsite you'll need plenty of storage, and that's not a problem in here. There's a pretty impressive 105.4 cu.-ft. of passenger volume, but that doesn’t mean compromising cargo capacity as there's 24.6 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind the rear seat, and as much as 58.9 cu.-ft. with the seats down if you don’t have anyone in the back.
There isn't a specific fishing or camping trim for the 2017 Jeep Cherokee, but you can specify it that way, starting with your choice from an impressive lineup of eight different trims including the Latitude. The range begins with the Sport, which is way better than anything you'd normally describe as a base model. From there the range just gets better through Sport Altitude, Latitude, 75th Anniversary, Trailhawk, Limited, High Altitude and finally the sensational Overland model.
Infotainment features are a must-have these days, so the Latitude comes with Uconnect 5.0 and integrated voice command and Bluetooth connectivity. Unfortunately, the GPS navigation system that's standard with the Overland isn't available with the Latitude. It's obviously superb for accurately locating those secret fishing spots that are always the best, so you might want to consider going up the trim levels to get it. If you opt for a Latitude with four-wheel drive, you do get a maximum towing capacity that's more than enough for towing a very nice bass boat.
Towing a boat or any other item of a similar size requires a decent amount of power, and the standard engine is a 2.4-liter inline-four producing 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard with the Overland but optional for the Latitude is the considerably more powerful 3.2-liter V-6, which then gives you 271 horsepower and 239 lb.-ft. of torque to play with.
Getting to and from the best fishing spots or even out of a soggy campsite after serious rainfall takes a vehicle with great traction, and although most Cherokee models, including Latitude, are standard front-wheel drive, genuine 4x4 systems are available throughout the lineup. And a standard nine-speed automatic transmission is another feature that sets the Cherokee apart from the competition.