The current Jeep Cherokee is the fifth generation of the popular mid-sized SUV with the iconic nameplate and lives up to its heritage in one word: versatility. This versatility is provided with a vehicle that offers strong off-road performance when called upon but also a vehicle that is user-friendly in day-to-day living.
The marketing of the Cherokee is also a big factor in its versatility, offering five models, three engine options, three available four-wheel drive systems, and three axle ratios. All engine/drivetrain systems are mated to a nine-speed automatic. The Cherokee is assembled in FCA’s Belvidere, Illinois plant.
For a vehicle that can get lost in the boonies, the Trailhawk goes down the road well, offering its occupants more comfort than one would think with its stout suspension. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four offers adequate performance, and the transmission is an improvement over previous versions with smoother shifting both up and down through its speeds. The front seats are firm and comfortable.
Jeep’s parent company, FCA, has raised the bar with its 8.4-inch Uconnect 4C display. The graphics really pop, and images from the rear camera screen are the sharpest around. Fit and finish of the Trailhawk tested was good, and the controls were sensibly arranged and easy to use.
The front-end styling may not be to everyone’s liking, but that is a subjective matter.
The Cherokee checks off all the boxes for a well-executed compromise between regular daily use and off-road adventures. The Trailhawk has the hearty DNA of its legacy, and with the multitude of model and powertrain options, this vehicle can be tailored to suit just about anyone.
Price as tested: $50,030, base: $38,995
Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder, turbocharged
Power/Torque: 270 horsepower/295 lb-ft
Fuel Mileage: 11.8 L/100 km city, 9.2 L/100 km highway
Drivetrain: Nine-speed automatic, 3.734 final drive, Jeep Active Drive II, five traction control settings, locking rear differential, McPherson struts with coils front suspension, four-link with trailing arm rear suspension, 330 by 28 vented rotor front brakes, 320 by 12 solid rotor rear brakes, 17 by 7.5-inch rims, P245/65R17 OWL all-terrain tires.
Specifications: Wheelbase, 2719 mm (107.1 inches), weight, 1933kg (4260 lbs), towing capacity 1800 kg (4000 lbs), fuel tank: 60 liters, cargo area with rear seats in place: 781.5 liters (27.6 cubic feet) / 1548.9 liters (54.7 cubic feet) with rear seat folded.