When it comes to the Cherokee, the first thing most people think about is the Jeep's polarizing styling. Diehard Jeep fans gawked at the new model, offended that it was named Cherokee, and horrified by the new front end. Yet the fresh design achieved two things for Jeep: it got people talking, and it helped attract interest from people who likely wouldn't have considered buying a Jeep before. And despite all the talk, there's a lot more to the Cherokee than just its unique face.
Power to the People
Both the Cherokee's four-cylinder and V6 are backed by a 9-speed automatic. The V6-powered Latitude we tested also came with AWD. The engine had plenty of power, and throttle response was excellent off the line. The transmission's programming could use a little more tweaking, as there sometimes seemed to be a delay before it would shift gears. This was especially noticeable when accelerating while getting on the freeway and when passing slower vehicles once up to speed.
The cabin was comfortable, and there is an impressive amount of cargo space in back. The Cherokee is fun to drive, but what is also impressive is how easy it is to get connected. The Jeep benefits from the parent company's Uconnect system, which makes using Bluetooth and other features a breeze. However, this Cherokee had an as-tested price of $31,480-and it didn't come with a navigation system. While Uconnect offered handsfree phone use and the ability to listen to an iPod, for most people, navigation is the biggest piece of the infotainment puzzle. At that price, the Cherokee should've had nav.
Aside from those minor gripes though, the Cherokee is a capable vehicle, one that has the comfort for the daily commute as well as for whatever weekend adventures await.
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