2016 Jeep Cherokee Buyer's Guide

By KBB.com Editors on February 10, 2016 7:21 AM

The mainstream compact SUV of choice for SUV purists.

There are very few compact SUVs that can boast any ability in the dirt. The Jeep Cherokee goes a step further, being the only one that has genuine off-road credibility and capability. It combines that with the daily drivability and practicality of the segment's best-sellers, and for 2016, Jeep has improved the driver's seating position, making your commute easier to live with. 

Driving It

"The Cherokee competes well with the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. However, the Cherokee's 4-cylinder engine isn't as smooth or refined as the Honda's, nor is it as fuel-efficient. Fuel economy notwithstanding, the optional V6 is the best engine for on-road acceleration and off-road exploration." Find out more in our 2016 Jeep Cherokee full review.

Comparison Test

The Jeep Cherokee was one of six compact SUVs we drove 700 roundtrip miles from Southern California to Phoenix, Arizona, as part of our most recent Compact SUV Comparison Test.

AWD Advantage

Most compact SUVs offer all-wheel drive, but most could be considered "AWD Light" compared to the Cherokee's offering. The Cherokee's drivetrain lineup comprises not one, not two, but a choice of three different AWD systems, capped by Jeep Active Drive Lock with a two-speed transfer unit, low range and a locking rear differential. The Cherokee isn't a Wrangler, but it's worthy of the name and the familiar grille nevertheless.

Build and Price

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee starts around $24,000 (with front-wheel drive) and stretches to $44,000 for a Cherokee TrailHawk 4x4 with V6, leather and all the bells and whistles. Build and price your own 2016 Jeep Cherokee to unlock this week's Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more.

Consumer Reviews

The Cherokee's 9-speed automatic transmission seems to be having growing pains, as documented in several consumer reviews including this one: "Everything is so good about the Cherokee, value, ride and driving, design inside and out, features, comfort and convenience. Unfortunately I have been disappointed in the reliability, returned to the dealer several times for transmission issues, brakes and lastly the navigation system." Read more Jeep Cherokee consumer reviews.

More Compact SUVs

The small SUV segment is one of the hottest out there, with several great choices for buyers to sift through. Check out our Compact SUV Buyer's Guide to become an instant expert on what's new and what's next in this popular category.

Photo Gallery: Jeep Cherokee Inside and Out






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