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 Anzawalker on Thursday, December 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, fun, good clearance, good offroading."
Cons: "Oil leaks are VERY disappointing"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I absolutely LOVE this car. So comfortable, beautiful, great in snow and mud. Good gas mileage. It's a real head-turner. But, I'm taking it in for my third rear oil leak. Disappointed."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Atticus on Monday, December 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas milage, pep, back up camera, touchscreen, fun"
Cons: "lack of Jeep capability (no trail rating)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my new Jeep. I got the 2015 Cherokee Latitude, with the winter package, 8.4 gps, 3.2 L engine. I'm averaging about 19 miles around town. Not great, but not bad. When I get it on the highway, I'm averaging 25 mpg. Again, not great, but not bad. The latitude 3.2 L engines also features a Start/Stop function, which frankly was quite off putting at first. I don't mind it now, and you can turn it off, but it kind of freaked me out when it first happened (my sales person neglected to give me a heads up about it). Jeep needs to do some fine tuning to the system (i.e. idling for more than 3 seconds before shutting off). When your system is warm, and you go to put it in park after pulling into the drive way, the engine shuts off, then turns back on when you place it in park. I heard that starting and stopping within a 2 second interval is not good for gas economy or your starter. But I'm not a mechanic. I will continue to observe it over the next couple months, and if possible will post an update. I didn't get the nav system, but I have a Garmin with unlimited life long map updates, so there wasn't much point other than it cluttering my window space, especially considering I have an 8.4 inch display. The nav should be standard on the bigger screen. Let's talk about the PROs: -Backup camera standard on the Latitude -Pep--The sport mode allows me to go from 25 to 75 in a reasonable time, and though I don't leave it in this mode, for gas purposes, it is nice to have. -Great standard features: bluetooth, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, (I have remote start too), touchscreen, HUD system w/trip computer, comprehensive gauges, etc -True to Jeep turn radius -Personally, I love the Cherokee's new look, which is modern, yet still has nods to the former self. -Solid feeling. You don't feel like you're in a cola can when you shut the door. You feel solid. -The interior. People have been giving it flack, and frankly, I'm confused as to why. Honestly, I love the interior. The back is comfortable, and has more features than your average midsize SUV. The seats fold down, and I have no doubt that I will be able to move a fair amount of my apartment's furniture. -Lots of storage compartments -Decent gas milage (as noted above) Some CONS: -Some visibility issues (I would recommend getting the blind spot warning, which I did not, and wish I had). Backing up can be difficult, especially without the camera (which I have) -Lower than average ground clearance. At 5'', it's a bit lower on the Latitude, Sport and Limited editions, unless you pay for the extra lift. -Unclear capability "off road." Lets face it, it's a Jeep, who doesn't plan on at least going a little "off road." Are we talking about Rubicon trails? Heck no, but frankly, I am a bit nervous about going camping this year, I don't want to get stuck, and I don't want to lose my 9 speed transmission. My 2005 Jeep Liberty Limited (God rest it's soul) had the more standard 8'' clearance, plus the trail rated badge--and that was the LIMITED. I've lost 3'' of clearance, and because I have Active Drive I, I lack a low mode. That being said, the ability to shift it into a "manual" drive will allow me to put it in 1st. Should Jeep have been allowed to call it a 4x4 when in reality it is really an all wheel drive system on the lower models? Just having 3 different available systems doesn't mean they are all 4x4 capable. When I think of 4x4, I think of being able to do things that I couldn't in an all wheel drive car--yet the Subaru Forester has 8'' clearance, and is proving to be a capable off roader, and the 2014 won all sort of awards for best SUV. My Jeep is rated at being capable of towing 2,000 lbs. Wrap up: Honestly, I don't regret my purchase (or the car payment which is accompanying it). I wish I would have been able to find THE system (Active Drive II, and the large sunroof would have been AWESOME) I wanted within the price range I desired. Frankly, I don't need everything which is standard in the Trailhawk (nor did I need the additional price). But, some more functionality would have been appreciated. That being said, I gave it all high marks, and I LOVE driving my Jeep."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Jack on Thursday, December 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives ok when not in shop"
Cons: "Leaks! Leaks! leaks!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I brought my 2014 jeep Cherokee in for an oil change. After waiting a while, I was informed the car was leaking transmission fluid and needed to stay at the dealer's. They took 2 weeks to fix transmission leak and 3 weeks later it started leaking motor oil. I took it back to the dealer for a week and they replaced the oil pump. One week after the car is back at the dealer because it's leaking oil again and I am beside myself. I've had this car for less than a year (9000 miles) and I'm on my 3rd loaner car. I asked about trading it in and I was offered $7000 less than I paid for it. This is the most trouble I ever had with a new car."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful