Jeep Cherokee

2016 Jeep Cherokee

The original Jeep Cherokee in 1984 established the standard for sport-utility vehicles (SUV) that could be used as family transport. Todays market favors more carlike utility vehicles. Introduced as a 2014 model, todays Cherokee is a midsize crossover SUV.

Even though Jeep has built plenty of off-road ability and ruggedness into the revived Cherokee, its intended mainly for families and daily tasks. Far removed from the truck-like Liberty that it replaced, the current Cherokee has a look all its own: the kind that could be called either daring or radical. Most glaring is the front end, both Jeeplike and strikingly different.

Looks aside, the Cherokee fits right between urban-friendly crossovers and serious off-roaders. Primary competitors include some well-established, conventional-looking compact crossovers, including the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape. Its a relatively roomy, family-size five-seat vehicle, with a back seat suitable for adults.

Jeep offers a choice of V6 or four-cylinder engine, both with 9-speed automatic transmission. The 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter inline-4 delivers swift, quiet, reasonably smooth acceleration.

The 3.2-liter V6 delivers 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. All V6 models now include engine stop-start, intended to save a little fuel in stop-and-go commuting. Gas mileage is acceptable, but short of excellent.

Offered for the Cherokee are Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk editions. The Cherokee Limited is the luxurious flagship, while Cherokee Trailhawks are ready for trekking, raised by an inch, with a locking rear differential, red tow hooks, and additional skid plates.

Front-wheel drive is standard. Four-wheel-drive systems include Active Drive I and Active Drive II (with a dual-range transfer case). All 44 models have Selec-Terrain, with modes for Snow, Rock, and Sand/Mud.

Options include a panoramic sunroof and Sky Slider roof, soft Nappa leather upholstery, and memory heated/ventilated seats. Top models include a reconfigurable LED instrument cluster. An optional hands-free parking system can steer and nudge the car into a parking spot.

2016 Cherokee models with the 8.4-inch Uconnect screen get a new Drag and Drop menu bar, Do Not Disturb mode, and Siri Eyes Free compatibility.

When equipped with Forward Collision Warning Plus, Cherokee earns a Superior rating for frontal crash prevention from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the Cherokee four stars overall; five for side impact.


2015 Jeep Cherokee

Launched as a 2014 model, Jeep Cherokee gets some technological updates for the 2015 model year.

2015 Jeep Cherokee models with the 3.2-liter V6 engine now come with Stop-Start technology, intended to boost fuel economy. Also new for 2015, the Forward Collision Warning system adds low-speed crash mitigation. A rearview camera and automatic headlamps now are standard on 2015 Cherokee Latitude and 2015 Cherokee Trailhawk models. A new SafetyTec Group with Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection as well as rear park assist is available for 2015 Cherokee Limited, Latitude, and Trailhawk models. In addition, a Ventilated/Memory Seat Group is optional on Trailhawk models with leather interior.

The 2015 Jeep Cherokee comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, with fuel economy EPA-rated at 21/28 mpg City/Highway. Optional is the 3.2-liter V6 rated at 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque, EPA-rated at 20/28 mpg City/Highway with 4WD.

For daily driving, we like the four-cylinder, its smooth and powerful enough. However, the V6 is only a bit thirstier. The advantage to the V6 is towing, rated to 4500 pounds, versus 2000 pounds for the four-cylinder.

All models come with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Its a compact marvel, raising the regular-car bar for transmission construction and packaging. We found it shifted smoothly.

The Cherokee Trailhawk offers amazing off-road capability, helped by electronic descent control for steep downhill sections. With its tall 4.7:1 ratio for first gear, the crawl ratio of 56:1 is nearly as high as the Wranglers, useful in boulder fields and other rugged terrain.

Three four-wheel-drive systems are available: Active Drive I, with a one-speed Power Transfer Unit; Active Drive II with two-speed PTU and low range; and Active Drive Lock with two-speed PTU, low range and locking rear differential. The basic Active Drive I is all-wheel drive. The Selec-Terrain traction control system has five modes: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, and Rock.

As for looks, Cherokee doesnt get lost in the SUV crowd. Its designers delivered style and distinction while enhancing the iconic image. The Cherokee Latitude is less blingy than the Limited. Trailhawk says Jeep the loudest, with raised suspension, overfenders and painted tow hooks, plus it gets Jeeps Trail Rated status, meaning it has passed rigorous real-world off-road testing.

Behind the wheel, Cherokee feels tight. Smooth and solid with a firm ride. The four-cylinder has plenty of power for daily needs, and to cruise easily at freeway speeds. The V6 emits a bit of engine noise, but delivers strong acceleration performance. The V6 models offer good handling, but not as good as those with the lighter four-cylinder engine.


2014 Jeep Cherokee

The 1984 Jeep Cherokee arguably invented the small SUV, and it ruled for 17 years until its slot was taken by the 2001 Jeep Liberty. Now it's back in the lineup. The 2014 Cherokee is new from the ground up, a redesign to knock your socks off. Cherokee looks cool again. And the base price is $400 less than the 2013 Liberty.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Called the Tigershark MultiAir 2 I-4, it makes 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, with fuel mileage EPA-rated at 21/28 mpg City/Highway. We got 23.4 on the highway and winding mountain two-lanes.

The optional engine is a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6, making its debut in the Cherokee. It has many new features, some improving resource use, such as a disposable oil filter. It's derived from the 3.6-liter that's been one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for the last three years. It makes 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque and it's EPA-rated at 19/27 mpg City/Highway. We got 18.1 mpg in a 44 model. The advantage to the V6 is towing, rated to 4500 pounds (best in class says Jeep) versus 2000 pounds for the I4. For daily driving, we like the four-cylinder, it's smooth and powerful enough. However it's a tough call, because the V6 is only a couple mpg thirstier.

Both engines are aided by a new 9-speed automatic transmission, standard in all Cherokees. It's a compact marvel, raising the regular-car bar for tranny construction and packaging, not to mention the electronic and mechanical complexities of high-speed meshing of spinning steel gears. Our test drives revealed the shifts are smooth, while the programming is dominant even in manual mode. First gear is an aggressive 4.71:1 for low-end performance, while 6, 7, 8 and 9 are all overdrives for the highway, to increase fuel mileage and lower noise and vibration. Ninth gear is a super overdrive, at 0.48:1.

The off-road oriented Trailhawk will do amazing climbing and descending things, while looking too good to be able to do those things. Floods, blizzards, earthquakes, typhoons and the Outback are no worries mate. It breaks new ground with electronic descent control. With its tall 4.7:1 ratio for first gear, the crawl ratio of 56:1 is nearly as high as the Wrangler's.

There are three new 4WD systems introduced in the Cherokee: Active Drive I, with a one-speed Power Transfer Unit; Active Drive II with two-speed PTU and low range (it's towable); and Active Drive Lock with two-speed PTU, low range and locking rear differential. The basic Active Drive I is all-wheel drive, distributing some but not a lot of drive to the rear wheels when needed.

The Selec-Terrain traction control system has five modes: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, and Rock. There's a new independent suspension to go with increased torsional rigidity in the frame. There are significant standard extras, like LED headlamps and daytime running lights, fold-flat front passenger seat with storage, and more.

As for looks, it sure doesn't get lost in the SUV crowd. Its designers delivered style and distinction while enhancing the iconic image. Other SUVs dream of looking like the new Cherokee. The Cherokee Latitude is less blingy than the Cherokee Limited. Trailhawk looks best because it's tough, with raised suspension, overfenders and painted tow hooks. It says Jeep the loudest.

The interior is stylish and utilitarian, both. Everything has a function, while being easy to reach and operate. Many knobs. Knobs are good. There's a lovely storage bin on the dashboard that can hold a laptop. There are clear digital gauges between the speedometer and tach, lit organic white. Navigation on the touch screen is easy to read, with basic buttons. We wish the radio had a dial.

The Latitude standard cloth seats are rugged and sporty, and fit just right. You're surrounded by the right stuff in the right places: leather armrest/grab handle, deep door pocket and center console, clean and responsive center stack, black vents, trim like brown titanium, stitched leather on the dash of the Limited.

Behind the front seat, there's a lot of room and convenience for passengers and cargo. The 40.3 inches of rear legroom is nearly 2 inches more than big brother Grand Cherokee, due mostly to seat height. The 60/40 rear seats fold flat in a heartbeat.

Behind the wheel, it feels tight. Smooth and solid with a firm ride. The four-cylinder has plenty of power for daily needs, and to cruise easily at freeway speeds. The V6 has a bit of engine noise, with kick-butt acceleration. The V6 handling is good but it's not as attached as the four. The ride is softer except for undulations, while speed bumps are gentler. The V6 just feels bigger.

At the introduction of the new Cherokee, we were given the opportunity for comparison spins in a Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape. The Cherokee turned them into vanilla. It looks and feels like an Alfa Romeo, compared to its competitors.


 

Shopping Tools

INVENTORY


Learn More

SERVICE & PARTS


Learn More

DEALER SPECIALS


Learn More

FINANCIAL SERVICES


Learn More

OUR STORY


Learn More

COLLISION CENTER


Learn More