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Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Towing Capacity – How Much Can It Pull?

Towing Capacity

The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk stands out as the most capable off-road trim in the Cherokee lineup. With increased ride height, skid plates, and advanced traction systems, the Trailhawk can traverse rugged terrain that leaves other crossovers behind. But many adventurous owners also need to bring toys and gear along for the journey by towing a trailer. In this comprehensive towing guide, we’ll explore the Cherokee Trailhawk’s tow ratings, equipment, tips, and how it compares to rivals.

Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Towing Capacity Overview

When properly equipped, the maximum towing capacity for the 2023 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is:

4,000 pounds

This impressive 4,000 lb tow rating applies to Trailhawk models equipped with the standard 2.0L turbocharged engine and optional Towing Package. It represents a best-in-class figure among small crossover SUVs.

The Trailhawk’s towing credentials benefit from:

  • Powerful 270 hp turbo engine
  • All-wheel drive traction
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Available heavy-duty trailer hitch and wiring

While best suited for small to midsize trailers, the Cherokee Trailhawk provides enough capability to haul campers, boats, and toys to your adventure destinations when equipped properly.

What Impacts Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Towing Capacity?

There are several important factors that influence how much the Trailhawk can tow:


  • The standard 2.0L turbo engine provides more power versus the base 2.4L 4-cylinder.

  • All-wheel drive improves traction when towing compared to front-wheel drive only models.

  • The 9-speed transmission offers closely spaced gear ratios ideal for towing.

Equipment & Configuration

  • Opting for the Towing Package boosts tow ratings through cooling upgrades, hitch receiver, and wiring.

  • Trailer brakes and weight distribution hitch increase towing safety and stability.

  • Heavier loads like additional cargo and passengers reduce effective towing capacity.

Adhering to Jeep’s tow rating guidelines for how your Trailhawk is equipped is critical.

Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Towing Equipment & Features

To provide confidence while towing off-road or in inclement weather, the Cherokee Trailhawk is equipped with an array of advanced towing features:

  • Class II/III trailer hitch – Standard 1.5″ hitch handles up to 2,000 lbs. Tow Package upgrades to 2″ receiver and 4,000 lb tow rating.

  • 7-pin wiring harness – Provides electrical connections for trailer lights and electric brakes.

  • Trailer sway damping – Uses vehicle stability control to mitigate dangerous trailer sway.

  • Electronic brake controller – Integrated controller automatically adjusts trailer brake force. Requires compatible electric trailer brakes.

  • Selec-Terrain traction control – Off-road modes optimize grip over difficult terrain. Helpful when towing off-pavement.

  • Hill start assist – Prevents rollback when starting on an incline.

  • Descent control – Maintains low vehicle speed when descending steep grades.

  • Surround view camera – Helps navigate tricky terrain and hitch up trailers.

When equipped properly, the Trailhawk provides enhanced control capability – a benefit over rivals without specialized off-road hardware.

What Can a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Tow?

With a maximum tow rating of 4,000 pounds, here are some examples of trailers and toys the Cherokee Trailhawk can confidently pull:

  • 16-19 foot fishing boats
  • 18-21 foot pontoon boats
  • Single-axle travel trailers
  • Small teardrop campers
  • Enclosed cargo trailers
  • Two personal watercraft on a trailer
  • Side-by-side UTVs
  • Dirt bikes/ATVs on a trailer
  • 5×8 enclosed cargo trailer
  • 6×12 utility trailer

Carefully matching your trailer configuration and weight to the Trailhawk’s capacity is critical for stability.

How Does the Cherokee Trailhawk Compare?

The Cherokee Trailhawk leads many rival compact SUVs when it comes to maximum towing capacity:

Model Max Towing Capacity
Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4,000 lbs
Subaru Forester Wilderness 3,000 lbs
Ford Escape 3,500 lbs
Nissan Rogue 1,350 lbs
Honda CR-V 1,500 lbs

Among off-road ready small SUVs, only the Escape comes close to matching the properly equipped Trailhawk’s towing potential.

Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Towing Tips

Follow these tips when towing with your Cherokee Trailhawk:

  • Verify tongue weight is 10-15% of total loaded trailer weight for optimal stability.

  • Use a weight distributing hitch for better control of heavier loads.

  • Check trailer tire pressure and wheel bearings before each trip.

  • Confirm all trailer lights are functioning properly.

  • Apply the trailer brakes manually using the controller when on wet roads.

  • Activate tow/haul mode to firm up shifts and optimize power delivery.

  • Take extra care when towing off-road – use lower gears and avoid steep angles.

  • Monitor engine temperature gauge closely when towing in high ambient temperatures.

  • Service the transmission more frequently if towing heavy loads regularly.

Properly equipping and matching your trailer to the Trailhawk protects the powertrain while harnessing available capability.

Modifying Your Cherokee Trailhawk to Increase Towing Capacity

While some vehicles can safely handle modest towing capacity increases through certain modifications, this is not advisable on the Cherokee Trailhawk. It’s sophisticated powertrain and stability systems are engineered to its precise factory tow ratings. Exceeding those limits via modifications like suspension lifts, larger wheels, or engine tunes could introduce risky stress points. It’s best to avoid altering your Trailhawk’s towing capacity and instead work within the constraints of its configuration. Focus your upgrades on improving convenience, connection, and control of your trailer.

Experience Cherokee Trailhawk Towing First-Hand

If you need a capable midsize SUV that can confidently tow small and midsize trailers off the beaten path, a properly equipped Cherokee Trailhawk is a compelling choice. Experience its torque-rich turbo engine, advanced Jeep 4WD systems, and rugged Trail Rated gearing firsthand by visiting your nearest Jeep dealer for a test drive. They can help ensure you get the right factory towing setup to harness the Trailhawk’s potential while remaining within safe limits. Just be sure to consult the manufacturer towing guide.

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