Here are some comments I just posted on an RV forum where the same discussion has been ongoing:
Possible reason for cross member being eliminated for the Cherokee.
My son is an engineer and he does a lot of front end parts. Thus, he is involved with crash testing periodically. When I mentioned that the cross member had been eliminated by Demco and Road Master he asked me if I'd looked at the IIHS crash testing. He gave me a bit of an education this evening.
You can see the overlap front crash testing here.
Note how well the Cherokee stood up. When I showed him the Demco and Roadmaster instructions and he got a look at the front end parts in the photos, he said that it might well be that Jeep built a very strong front end in order to get a good rating in the IIHS tests - and so much so that it eliminated the need for the cross member.
Also interesting to note the overall rating of the IIHS for the Cherokee- top safety pick in its class. Very nice to see that rating.
And as Steve would say, there is one more thing. Here is the side impact test - also a good result.
Needless to say, I've made a point of showing my wife the really safe car I picked for her.