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There are many ways to enjoy the non-tarmac life. Off-roading is nothing new, and some prominent names in this industry have become synonymous with such off-road pleasures. One such name is “Jeep.” Known for the off-road prowess of its vehicles, the Jeep brand offers a broad range of products for all types of outdoor enthusiasts, and the Jeep Cherokee is one of its most popular offerings.
The minimum budget you would need for lifting your Jeep Cherokee falls around $159.95, which is the affordable price of the Rough Country Lift Kit that’s available for this model. Your second best option is the Daystar Leveling Kit for Jeep Cherokees that will set you back about $164.94 before tax.
Unfortunately, then comes the expensive part. Going for a bigger set of tires and wheels will set you back at least about $1,450.28 for the most affordable set currently available. The pricing of these can be even higher though depending on your personal preferences and what you’re hoping to accomplish with your new set.
|Type of Mod||Cost|
|Rough Country Lift Kit||$159.95|
|Daystar Leveling Kit||$164.94|
|Set of tires and wheels (265/65-18)||$1,450.28|
The Cherokee is an off-road vehicle sold by Jeep and has gained notable popularity among consumers. The Cherokee is currently in its fifth generation, and it has been a favorite among off-roading aficionados since 1974. Cherokee owners do all kinds of things to modify the already potent Jeep model, and we’re going to be covering the usual first step into turning a Jeep Cherokee into an off-road dominator.
Among the most popular mods that people do for Jeep Cherokees is lifting or increasing the vehicle’s ground clearance. Lifting is not new and is very popular among SUV owners. Performing this modification gives your vehicle an aggressive stance and posture while boosting its off-road capabilities.
There are various ways in which this can be done, and we will look at some of them today to give you more insight into these very popular modifications.
Benefits of Lifting a Vehicle
There are many benefits to lifting a vehicle. Some of these can be purely aesthetic, and others can be fully performance-related. Let’s take a look at both of these factors and what you can expect.
Every car owner wants their car to stand out from the crowd. There is a limited number of options that the manufacturers offer to customize these vehicles, though. Increasing your Jeep’s ground clearance or lifting one of them is not something that manufacturers offer in their customization options, especially for the Jeep Cherokee models.
Most car owners do their own work when it comes to customizing their cars. Lifting and increasing the vehicle’s ride height make a vehicle appear more aggressive and intimidating. The overall presence of the vehicle is enhanced by raising its ride height, making it literally stand tall above the rest. Therefore, lifting is quite popular among vehicle owners who want their cars to appear more dominating.
With an increased ride height, a vehicle’s off-road performance is also improved. Lifting allows for better ground clearance, and this means that off-road lovers can take their vehicles off-road without the worry of damaging the Jeep’s underside. There are moments when every off-road vehicle owner craves that extra bit of ground clearance to conquer the outdoors.
Thankfully, lifting and leveling kits do just that. They offer increased ground clearance allowing the car owners to better enjoy the outdoors with far less worry. A vehicle with higher ground clearance can certainly go farther than one without this added benefit. This usually comes in handy on rocky terrain more than muddy terrain, but lifted vehicles remain at an advantage with their modified height that prevents the body of the vehicle from getting stuck.
These vehicles with an increased ride height can tackle both rocky and muddy terrain without hardly any issues, making lifting and leveling kits a great option for SUV owners. Let’s start with the basic specifications of the Jeep Cherokee and see how the leveling and lifting kits can enhance the off-road potential of your car.
Standard Jeep Cherokee Specifications
As the standard, the current generation of Jeep Cherokees has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches. It makes the Jeep Cherokee a highly suitable SUV for practically all terrains. A higher ground clearance certainly works towards a great driving experience, whether on-road or off-road, and it even makes navigation easier and less hazardous in snowy conditions when the snow makes driving difficult.
In conjunction with the boosted ground clearance, the wheelbase of 106.5 inches makes the Cherokee a great vehicle on inclined surfaces as well. It has one of the shorter wheelbases in its class, making its turning radius smaller than its competitors and allowing for better handling and maneuverability on- or off-road.
Although the 8.7 inches of ground clearance is ideal for a daily driver of such an SUV, some Cherokee owners like to go beyond this with modifications. There are a few ways in which the ground clearance can be increased. There are lifting kits, spacers, and suspension systems that can be used to achieve the desired lift, and all of these accomplish the task well. Lifting a Cherokee greatly improves the aesthetics and functionality of your vehicle to a large extent.
Let’s take a look at some of the lifting options now and take a look over our recommendations concerning what we feel are likely to be the best options for most Jeep Cherokee owners.
Lift Kits for the Jeep Cherokee
Lift kits are a great way to lift a vehicle, typically doing so by about two inches. There are various options to choose from when it comes to such lift kits, too. Noticing the amount of interest that circulates this topic and popular modification, many manufacturers have jumped in to take part in the craze. Some are even OEM brands that manufacture parts directly for the vehicle manufacturers.
One such brand that is known almost everywhere is Rough Country. They are makers of excellent lifting solutions for pretty much any car, truck, or SUV out there. For the Jeep Cherokee’s current generation of vehicles, they manufacture lift kits that allow up to a 2-inch increase in the vehicle’s ground clearance.
The Rough Country Lift Kit is an extremely easy-to-install solution that anyone can do by themselves in most cases. With one of these lift kits installed, Cherokee owners can also add larger tires to their vehicle that further enhance their Jeep’s look and practicality. The kit by Rough Country will set you back at about $159.95, and you can view the product via this link.
This Rough Country kit will easily help provide you with a 2-inch lift while going easy on your pocket, especially compared to some really expensive other options we’ve come across in our research. This makes us believe that the Rough Country Lift Kit for the Jeep Cherokee is a great option for those who want quality, reliability, and affordability.
Leveling Kits for the Jeep Cherokee
Leveling kits are essentially the same as lift kits, and they offer the same functionality as lift kits as well. A great option that we ran into is the Jeep Cherokee Leveling Kit by Daystar. It offers a lift of up to 2 inches and is easy to install with a maximum installation time of 3-4 hours.
Compared with other leveling kits, we noticed that this kit also accommodates up to 32” tires with aftermarket wheels. The tires, however, may need a bit of trimming to save the wheel arches from scratching and becoming damaged. You can check out the link to see the Daystar Leveling Kit for Jeep Cherokees and determine if it’s the right fit for you.
This particular kit comes with front and rear spacers with plated hardware. It is really easy to install on the Jeep Cherokee, too. The cost is about $164.94 before tax, which really isn’t that expensive in the grand scheme of things. Do keep in mind that lift kits and leveling kits change the vehicle’s manufacturer specifications, though; thus, installation is solely at the user’s discretion, and modifications will need to be taken into account with their overall changes they cause to occur in these upgraded vehicles.
Larger Tires for the Jeep Cherokee
Simply investing in larger tires is probably the safest of all methods to lift a vehicle. By default, every vehicle has some room available for bigger tires. Installing bigger tires is certainly a more advisable method when one wants to increase the ride height of their vehicle since it doesn’t require as much bolting on or heavier vehicle modifications as other lifting methods do.
The largest standard set of tires that the Jeep Cherokee comes pre-installed with are 245/65-17. However, there is room for users to install bigger tires to be put on the Jeep Cherokee. Again, this is the best and safest way to increase a vehicle’s ride height. There are some added benefits of going for bigger tires, too.
The tire size we feel confident about recommending for the Jeep Cherokee is 265/65-18. It will be a more expensive setup than the lift kits and leveling kits, but you’ll certainly have far less to worry about. The tire choice is also entirely up to your wallet as the tires can start from as low as $181.10 and go up to about $262.99 in price.
Tirerack.com is one website where you can find pretty much everything related to tires and wheels. The tires that we have suggested can be viewed at this link. In addition to tires, Tirerack.com also offers a wide variety of wheels for the Jeep Cherokee, which can be seen here. The wheels start at $181.10 each and can go up to $500.00 depending on your specific choice.
Precautions for Off-roading
Lifting a vehicle is something that has to be performed with care. Additionally, once a car is lifted, there are some precautions that one needs to take while off-roading, even if the car has been lifted and seems guaranteed to overcome every obstacle. One good idea after lifting your vehicle is to use bumper guards while off-roading. These are strong metal rods that are installed at the front of the vehicle.
A bumper guard comes with skid plates that protect the lower part of the front bumper from scratches and impacts when off-roading, and it is a great option for people who frequently take their vehicles off-road. We took a look at some of the options on Carid.com, which you can visit here. The currently available bumper guards start as low as $290.00 and offer a great deal of protection, saving you money in repairs later.
Another piece of advice to all off-roaders is always to carry some type of protection and precautionary gear when going off-road. There are various off-road emergency gear kits available on Amazon.com, and here is a link if you would like to take a look. It’s always best to ensure the safety of yourself and any passengers when going out on fun, outdoor adventures in your lifted, nature-conquering Cherokee.
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