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 SK on Monday, October 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks good for the price"
Cons: "-Quality. -Customer Serivce. -Transmission"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased this car brand new. Within the first two days the transmission started jerking really hard between gears 1-3. On day 6 the exterior door handle just fell off. On day 10 the transmission got worse and jerked incessantly. It has been in service for 8 days out of the first two weeks I have had the vehicle. When discussing with Chrysler corporation I was told "It was completely normal and I didn't know how to drive it." They also informed me they would not be fixing anything because nothing is wrong, however my car is still in the shop to "not fix anything." Will NEVER buy anything Chrysler again nor would I recommend any Chrysler product after their "customer Service" and "normal transmission.""
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By BryanD on Wednesday, October 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, Good gas mileage for a V6"
Cons: "Transmission, UConnect is underwhelming"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Day after buying my Jeep Cherokee Latitude, I was driving to work and I get low oil pressure warning and car loses all pickup. Bring it to dealership the next day to find out that the connection that hold the oil filter on was cracked and spewing oil. After they fix that I notice the transmission slips on stop and go and when going from reverse into drive. Bring it back to dealership (2nd visit in less than a week of owning the Jeep). They assure me that the oil issue and the transmission are not connected. After keeping the car all day they tell me the computer isn’t giving them any errors to which I respond by telling them to drive it and tell me that there’s nothing wrong with it…. I get a call back the next day saying that they would do a transmission adjustment which takes a while and may not make a difference. When I pick it up I’m told, “The transmission has to learn your driving habits so that it can adjust to you and it will get better over time”. After diving a short distance I notice a slight difference but the issues were still there. Now I’ve got about 5500 miles on it and I notice a rattle under the car when it starts and a high pitched noise when sitting idle. The transmission is worse than ever. Backing out of my driveway is a daily adventure wondering if it’s going to engage smooth or slip and bang into gear jerking the car forward. When going up minor hills it will drop from fourth or fifth gear to first or second gear and send the RMP’s between 4k – 5k and making it sound like I’m trying to Evil Knievel the hill. If you do some research you’ll see that this is a common problem (transmission). I’ve going to be bringing it back to the dealership asking for some serious answers. I’d recommend that anyone interested in this vehicle wait another year or two until they figure the transmission out. Right now we’re the guinea pigs paying hard earned money to do their testing for them…."
11 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Disappointed on Tuesday, October 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Heated Seats & Steering Wheel"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought my Cherokee Limited (4X4 V6) in Jan 2014. I have to admit that I was distracted by all the "shiny" extras. Had I done some research I may have thought twice about buying it. If it weren't for the transmission this would be the best vehicle I've ever owned. BUT...the transmission has been a problem since not long after I bought it. It's been in the shop several times. The first two times they did updates to the transmission and it seemed to help some for a little while but the sluggishness and hesitation always came back. I took it back in June and let them have it overnight so one of the mechanics could drive it home (about 100 mile round trip). After that I was told it was "running the way it was designed to run". So, I sucked it up and learned to deal with it. Through the summer it seemed to be running a little better but as soon as the weather turned it started hesitating badly and the shifting was rougher than it had been. Then I started hearing a strange noise when I got to around 30-40 mph. I called the shop the next morning and was told to bring it in. Turns out something broke and all of my transmission fluid was draining and they are going to have to replace the entire transmission. I'm hoping this will solve all of the problems I've had from the start but I'm afraid it's just going to be like starting from square one. I've only read one review that talks about performance after the new transmission and it was a good review. Hopefully I have the same experience. I have several friends who own Jeeps, although none who own the Cherokee, and love them. I wish I knew how that felt."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful