By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 7.3
It's not surprising that off-road prowess is the ace-in-the-hole the 2015 Jeep Cherokee SUV boasts over rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. After all, Jeep, more than any other SUV manufacturer, has a reputation to uphold. Yet the really surprising thing is that despite its off-road capability – especially the Trailhawk – the 2015 Jeep Cherokee gives up nothing on-pavement, where most drivers will spend their time. Offering a low-range and three different 4-wheel-drive systems that give it uncanny rock crawling ability for a small crossover SUV, the Jeep Cherokee also offers creature comforts that put it at the head of the class. Jeep tops it off with an available V6 engine and a class-exclusive a 9-speed automatic transmission.
If you think anything that looks like an off-roader should be an off-roader – especially if there's a Jeep badge on the nose – then the 2015 Jeep Cherokee SUV is for you.
If you're put off by the controversial front-end styling, if you need more interior space, or if you just don't care about off-road ability, then you might well make another choice.
All-new last year, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee gets a few additional features. Forward Collision Warning is now available, a backup camera and automatic headlights are standard on Latitude and Trailhawk models, and a new SafetyTec option package bundles various electronic aids for Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk models.
Driving Impressions The 2015 Jeep Cherokee crossover SUV comes in four models: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk. The Trailhawk is only available in 4-wheel drive (4WD), while the other models can be...... had in front-wheel drive only. As you might expect from something that competes with a Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, a front-wheel-drive Jeep Cherokee is perfectly acceptable on the road around town. The 4-cylinder offers up adequate acceleration, while the power-hungry will prefer the V6. Yet order one of the three available 4WD systems and head off-road, and the Cherokee's character changes. The standard Selec-Terrain traction-control system allows drivers to choose settings for Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock, optimizing performance. An "Auto" setting uses sensors to choose for you, and all Cherokee models offer good approach and departure angles plus reasonable ground clearance, while the off-road optimized Trailhawk version ups the ante in each department.
9-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Credit German transmission manufacturer ZF for the near-magical packaging that lead to the 9-speed automatic used in the Jeep Cherokee. Even better, it all works, offering smooth launches and excellent power delivery, plus fuel economy from the V6 that's as good as some competitors' 4-cylinder engines.
Part of the off-road prowess offered by the Jeep Cherokee is due to the Selec-Terrain system. It uses up to 12 different vehicle systems, including the drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control, transmission, and powertrain controller to ensure maximum traction.
The 2015 Jeep Cherokee interior blends traditional Jeep cues – such as the trapezoidal "center stack" – with modern touches to create an attractive and upscale layout. The seats offer up good support, and come trimmed in either attractive cloth or soft Nappa leather. The heated and ventilated top-of-the-line seats also come with power adjustments and memory. The 2nd-row seats adjust forward and backward for better legroom, and split 60/40 for maximum cargo flexibility. We were particularly fond of the available wireless-device charging pad, plus the enormous glovebox. However, we do wish the Cherokee offered more room overall inside.Exterior
"Polarizing" is the best way to sum up the 2015 Jeep Cherokee's exterior. It's one thing to stray from the traditional Jeep design aesthetic of round headlights flanking a 7-slot grille, but quite another to ditch the appearance of headlights entirely. However, we've warmed up to the new Jeep Cherokee, and there's a lot here that says Jeep. The 7-slot grille has a "kink" folding it into the hood, and the less-controversial rear resembles the Grand Cherokee SUV. Trailhawk versions kick up the macho with a higher ride, red-painted front tow hooks, skidplates and more aggressive front and rear treatments.
All Jeep Cherokee SUVs come standard with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, offering very good fuel economy and a range of about 500 miles on a tank of gasoline. Other standard equipment includes a Uconnect 5-inch touch-screen media center that includes Bluetooth, USB, SD and auxiliary ports. Also standard are a 3.5-inch full-color center display, 10 air bags, electronic stability control, traction control, Hill-start Assist, electric power steering, and an electric parking brake, plus cruise control, air conditioning with rear outlets, and remote keyless entry. The Jeep Cargo Management system includes standard hooks and a storage tote.
Jeep Cherokee Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk models can get the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine. There are three all-wheel-drive systems available as well: Active Drive I, Active Drive II, and, on Trailhawk models, Active Drive Lock. Other upgrades include an 8.4-inch touch screen for Uconnect, an Alpine premium audio with nine speakers and a subwoofer, and a CommandView dual-pane panoramic sunroof with power sunshade. Cherokee Limited models add leather, heated power seats and steering wheel, Keyless Enter-N-Go, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Trailhawk models emphasize off-road capabilities with skidplates, an increased ride height, and a more rugged look.
The base engine for 2015 Jeep Cherokee models is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine offering 184 horsepower. However, unlike many of its competitors, Jeep offers a V6 engine in its small SUV as well: a 3.2-liter V6 with 271 horsepower, and the added ability to tow up to 4,500 pounds. Both engines offer good fuel economy, with the 4-cylinder obviously being the fuel-sipper's choice. Both engines come with a 9-speed automatic transmission, whether equipped with front-drive or 4-wheel drive. Three different 4-wheel-drive systems are available, ranging from the Jeep Active Drive I and Jeep Active Drive II, to the aggressive Jeep Active Drive Lock reserved for the off-road ready Trailhawk. V6 models get a modest fuel economy bump thanks to the new-for-2015 standard start-stop mechanism.
184 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg (front-wheel drive), 21/28 mpg (4WD Active Drive I), 21/27 mpg (4WD Active Drive II), 19/26 mpg (4WD Trailhawk)
271 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
239 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg (front-wheel drive), 20/28 mpg (4WD Active Drive I), 19/26 (4WD Active Drive II), 19/25 mpg (4WD Trailhawk)
Prices for the 2015 Jeep Cherokee Sport, the base model for this SUV, start at about $23,000 for the front-wheel drive version. Midrange Cherokee Latitude models start at about $24,500, while Limited models start at about $28,000. If you want the off-road-ready Cherokee Trailhawk, bring $29,500. The 4-wheel-drive system on the other models adds around $1,000 to $2,000, depending on which system and model you get, while the V6 adds about $1,500. That's right in the heart of competitors like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4, none of which offer a V6 engine. If you're looking for serious off-roading chops and reasonable towing capabilities, the Cherokee is the choice, otherwise, note that some competitors offer more interior space. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase price to see what others paid in your area. Also note that the Cherokee's cost of ownership runs better than average.
By Acadia on Saturday, January 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,113overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Build Quality and reliability"
Cons: "Lack of power passenger seat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bottom line – we still like this car quite a bit after 1 year and 10,000 miles. We bought the Jeep Cherokee Limited Pentastar V-6 (loaded) about a year and 4 months ago. We have not had any problems with it other than the windshield spontaneously cracked in our garage one night. This was after being outside with it on a very hot day. Jeep replaced the windshield as defective, since we clearly did not take a stone or another object to create the crack. We also had a rattle in the back seat, but Jeep also repaired that – other than that, no other problems or rattles. As far as mpg, we are getting 19-21 mpg in city driving (northern VA where traffic can be bad) and 27-28 mpg on the highway. Not bad at all. It has been reliable, comfortable, big enough and fun to drive. We have had a few software upgrades on the transmission, which does make a difference. Would we buy it again? Yes, most likely. There is nothing that is disappointing about the car (other than the lack of a power passenger seat) – but we knew that going into it. The air cooled seats are worth every penny and the U-CONNECT is very nice. We cart around sea kayaks on the roof, and we find it relatively easy to load (low enough) and the racks themselves have a high enough capacity to support the kayaks (other manufacturers except Volvo have such a low capacity on the roof rails that they not an option for us). About the spare (from another review) – you have to buy the tow package to get a spare. We did an earlier review on why we bought it in the first place on Dec 8, 2013 – “2014 Cherokee - Great Ride”. It’s still a great ride."
By Blackjack on Friday, January 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great ride, drive without boundries"
Cons: "Storage compartments lacking"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Living in a region where winter seems to last more than we would like, I have always had a vehicle with all wheel drive but this is the first full 4X4. I have had no issues. The first two weeks, the weather closed in and we saw several inches of snow and temperatures which hovered between -4 to -30 deg F. While the gas mileage was not as good as I would have liked but given the weather that is expected to be a factor and I think the wife run the vehicle a little longer to warm it up. The heated seats and steering wheel options were most appreciated and utilized. As per the drive performance, I had no traction or stopping issues and the vehicle performed without any impedance by the weather. No start up problems on the coldest mornings (-40). A little more interior storage options might be appreciated but it was not enough of a deterrent to look elsewhere. The interior comfort package along with the control panel is excellent and very easy to use. The Audio system if great. Love the panorama moon roof. The Tango Mango color with black wheels definitely catch eyes. Over all impressed."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By off roader on Monday, December 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance, comfort,technology,traction,style"
Cons: "4w flasher button too close to digital controls"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have the 6cyl Trailhawk and let me tell you, this is one fun automobile. I haven't had any repair issues yet but owning previous jeeps including a 2012 Wrangler just traded, this TrailHawk is so far, more reliable. The traction is outstanding, far superior to the Wrangler in mud or the deep sand of the beach which I frequent. Put it in sport mode on a dirt muddy road and it's fun time! The traction feels similar to an Outback XT that I used to have and the interior seems fashioned from an Outback as well, good qualities because it is super comfortable and quiet. Best Jeep that I've owned."
14 people out of 27 found this review helpful