The 2.4 oil burning issue has finally been rooted out, as far as I know. Jeep was awful slow to admit it and address it but they finally seem to have done the right thing. Nobody buying a new car with one of those 2.4's should have to worry about the oil issue anymore.
That being said, the 2.4 is an extremely anemic engine for something the size and weight of a Cherokee. Performance will be very poor vs the competition. Older people will say that they don't care, but then why do brands like Buick and such always seem to have such powerful engines? I think everybody likes having a little pep under the hood on tap when needed, whether they admit it or not.
Regardless of engine, the Cherokee is a nice riding and comfortable buggy. When equipped with any version of the 4x4 its capable of handling more bad weather than the average person is willing to drive in (provided you keep good tires on it).
They are wide-ranging though, a 25k model is going to be awfully spartan compared to the well-equipped trims. Little things like heated seats and wheel, leather, larger radio screen, power tailgate, etc add a lot of swagger and without them you still have a good car but pretty plain compared to what 25k can get you elsewhere...
If she really is resigned to the 2.4 engine to save money maybe even consider looking at the Jeep Compass. 25k stretches a bit farther on that platform in terms of upgrades and creature comforts and its still a 2.4 engine with the 9 speed, in a lighter chassis.
We have both a new Cherokee and a newer Compass in our driveway. The Cherokee is hands down bar none a much better car, but it was also much more expensive almost fully loaded at 40k. The Compass we got a couple years ago and only paid 26.5 for it brand new which was not bad considering we got a Limited trim with full leather, heated seats and wheel, 8.4 inch radio, upgraded rims and trim package, power seat, dual zone climate, 4x4, remote start, passive entry, upgraded color cluster, fog lights, tow package with spare tire, ambient lighting, etc. It was a lot of car for 26.5 thousand (it was stickered a little higher than that but you gotta dicker for a deal 😁).
The pricing overlap of low-end Cherokees and high-end Compasses can be pretty crazy, they both have such a wide range of cheap to WOW (both on price and features). A low-trim Jeep is going to be a good solid car no matter what but if its someone's first purchase from the Jeep brand they will probably say after a while that they really don't see what other people like so much about them. IMO without the upgrades they can be a little lackluster (all of the Jeep models)