Jeep Cherokee Review
The comprehensive Jeep Cherokee review
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What's in this guide?
|Drive||80%||"Good dynamics and a clever interior team with decent value, with only the thirsty V6 a black mark on an otherwise impressive scorecard."||Read more|
|WhichCar||80%||"The Cherokee is a comfortable and powerful mid-sized SUV from Jeep that drives very nicely. The Cherokee Trailhawk – which has dual-range 4WD – will go much further off-road than most cars of this type."||Read more|
|Car Advice||75%||"The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk might look a bit like a moon-buggy, but there is no denying it looks and behaves like a proper Jeep. Is it worthy of its ‘Trail Rating’ certification? Absolutely."||Read more|
|Motoring||68%||""Family car buyers and fans of the Jeep brand who want a more car-like experience than something like a Wrangler will gravitate to the Cherokee."||Read more|
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How does the Jeep Cherokee compare against its peers?
The complete Jeep Cherokee review
Jeep Cherokee Pricing
The Jeep Cherokee is available in four different trims and engine configurations.
There’s the road-optimised, front-wheel drive 2.4-litre Cherokee Sport, which can be had for $41,430. Next is the mid-range Cherokee Longitude AWD with the gutsy 3.2L V6. At the top end, is the Cherokee Limited, which is thoroughly well equipped and appointed.
The Cherokee Trailhawk is an off-road-biased model featuring a lifted body and off-road protection. Prices for the Trailhawk start at $56,010.
Prices quoted are for postcode 2000, with standard Bright White paint. All seven alternative paints are an optional extra. All models have a 9-speed automatic gearbox.
|Cherokee Sport FWD||Cherokee Longitude AWD||Cherokee Limited AWD||Cherokee Trailhawk 4WD|
|2.4L 4-Cyl petrol automatic $41,430||3.2L V6 petrol automatic $47,095||3.2L V6 petrol automatic $51,810||3.2L V6 petrol automatic $56,010|
The 2018 Jeep Cherokee is a well-constructed and solid alternative to competitors like the Nissan X-Trail, Ford Escape and Mitsubishi Outlander. The Cherokee carries a premium price, but it’s well made and equipped.
The Trailhawk Cherokee is easily the best performing off-roader in its class. With a world-first 9-speed auto and 2,200kg towing payload, it’s the perfect SUV to comfortably take your boat or caravan on long weekend trips. This is no one-trick pony though, as the Cherokee is a good daily driver around town too, making it a true all-rounder.
|WhichCar||“The Cherokee is a comfortable and powerful mid-sized SUV from Jeep that drives very nicely. The Cherokee Trailhawk – which has dual-range 4WD – will go much further off-road than most cars of this type.”|
|CarAdvice||“The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk might look a bit like a moon-buggy, but there is no denying it looks and behaves like a proper Jeep. Is it worthy of its ‘Trail Rating’ certification? Absolutely.”|
|Motoring||“Family car buyers and fans of the Jeep brand who want a more car-like experience than something like a Wrangler will gravitate to the Cherokee.”|
|Drive||“Good dynamics and a clever interior team with decent value, with only the thirsty V6 a black mark on an otherwise impressive scorecard.”|
Engine and performance
The Jeep Cherokee is available with either a 2.4-litre, 4-cylinder TigerShark petrol engine or a gutsy V6 3.2-litre Pentastar power plant.
All models come with a pioneering ZF-sourced, 9-speed automatic gearbox. Interestingly, the Cherokee was the first production vehicle to ship with a 9-cog transmission.
How did testers find the Cherokee engine options? Reviewers loved the V6 petrol, describing it as smooth, free-revving and highly responsive. Others felt it was punchy with a sensitive throttle response and silky power delivery.
The 3.2-litre produces 200kW @ 6,500 rpm. Max torque measures 314Nm @ 4,300 rpm.
The smaller 2.4-litre petrol, named the Tigershark, is an inline four block producing 130kW @ 6,400 rpm and 229Nm @ 3,900 rpm. Though not as torquey or powerful as the V6, this engine still delivers sufficient performance. Some of the press wrote that the 2.4 lacks acceleration on hills or when overtaking.
Jeep only installs the smaller engine into Sport models.
All models come with a ZF-supplied 9-speed automatic gearbox, a cleverly packaged world first. Reviewers generally found the transmission to make clean, quick shifts. It was observed that ninth gear generally doesn’t come in to play below 100km/h. According to transmission makers, ZF, the extra gears help reduce fuel usage by 16% against a normal 6-speed auto.
Features and statistics
3.2-litre, 3,239ccFuel tank capacity- 59.8 litresCylinders- Inline 4, V6Fuel consumption (best model Sport) – urban- 12.7L/100kmMax. torque- 2.4L 229Nm @ 3,900rpm
3.2L 315Nm @ 4,300rpmFuel consumption (best model Sport) – highway- 6.9L/100kmMax. power- 2.4L 130kW @ 6,400rpm
3.2L 200kW @ 6,500rpm
- 3.2L Longitude and Limited: 8.1 seconds
- 3.2L Trailhawk: 8.4 secondsCombined CO2 emissions- Sport: 211g/km
Longitude and Limited: 226g/km
Trailhawk: 235g/kmTop speed- Sport: 196km/h
- Longitude and Limited: 206km/h
- Trailhawk: 180km/hEmissions standard- Euro 6Transmission- 9-speed automatic transmissionSecurity- Engine immobiliserDrivetrain- FWD, AWD and 4x4Towing capacity (braked/unbraked)- 2.4L 2,000kg/750kg
The large V6 Pentastar does come with stop/start technology, but journos found it to be super thirsty which is to be expected with a larger displacement, V6 petrol. Official figures set the fuel consumption for urban, highway and combined at 13.1L/100km, 7.7L/100km and 9.7L/100km respectively.
Those figures are for the Longitude and Limited models, and the Trailhawk is slightly less fuel efficient thanks to all-terrain tyres and Jeep’s Active Drive Lock 4x4 system. The off-roader uses 13.3L/100km, 8.3L/100km and 10.1L/100km for urban, highway and combined driving.
The smaller 2.4 engine as a front-wheel drive is far more frugal, using a reasonable 9.1L/100KM combined. Reviewers found that around-town, real-world economy figures could be as much as 30% higher than the published official statistics.
Jeep has done a good job producing a well-rounded SUV by all accounts. The steering is light and precise. Through bends, reviewers said the Cherokee is competent and fun. You have to really push the road-biased models to become unstuck in corners. Even then, drivers said it was manageable.
The all-round coil springs and MacPherson suspension makes for controlled body roll and improves cornering abilities. Overall, the ride is firm but not overly so, making for a comfortable SUV.
The press loved the throaty 3.2L V6 installed in Trailhawk models. The Trailhawk is an off-road-oriented specification that is easily the best-in-class rough terrain SUV. Even Longitude and Limited examples aptly handle snow and slippery gravel.
To prepare Trailhawk Cherokees for off-road driving, Jeep engineers jacked up the suspension, giving higher ground clearance. The Trailhawk has an advanced 4WD system, a low-range gearing and underbody protective cladding to fend off rocks. It’s a proper, compact off-roader, with journalists finding it excellent on the rough stuff.
Interior and other features
For a smaller SUV, the Cherokee hits a spacious and airy note. Reviewers complimented Jeep particularly on its 7-inch touchscreen, which is easy to use. Steering wheel controls proved intuitive and allow easy navigation of most in-car features.
Journalists summed up the seats as supportive and comfortable. All models have cruise control and a reversing camera, a neat inclusion on Jeep’s behalf.
Each upward step through the trim levels gives additional equipment. Sport models have cloth seats, a smaller 5-inch touchscreen and 17” alloy wheels. Moving up the scale, Longitude models have the Jeep Active Drive all-wheel-drive system.
Longitude models also get handy features like auto headlamps, automatic wipers, rear parking sensor, power-adjusting seats, including adjustable lumbar support.
The top-end Limited Cherokee features leather seating, with heating in the front. Buyers also get sat-nav, an improved audio system, front-parking sensors and 18-inch wheels.
The Trailhawk off-roader spec receives improve clearance bumpers, underbody off-road armour and recovery hooks should you need recovering. Underlining the Trailhawks serious off-road spec is a dual-range 4WD system, with a locking rear diff. Engineers installed additional oil and transmission radiators.
The Trailhawk can wade in an impressive 508mm of water, only 200mm less than a full-on ute.
Cherokee owners are able to take plenty of luggage with them wherever they go. Interior luggage capacity is an impressive 700-litres, expanding to 1555-litres with the rear seats dropped down.
|Cherokee Sport FWD||Cherokee Longitude AWD||Cherokee Limited AWD||Cherokee Trailhawk 4WD|
|2.4L Tigershark petrol engine||✔||✗||✗||✗|
|3.2L Pentastar V6 petrol engine||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|9-Speed auto transmission||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Locking rear differential||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Jeep Active Drive AWD||FWD||✔||✔||✗|
|Jeep Active Drive Lock 4x4||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Dual range transfer box||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Selec-Terrain traction management system||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Underbody skid plates||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Standard coil-sprung suspension||✔||✔||✔||✗|
|Off-road suspension with ride height lift||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Dual-zone climate control||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Adjustable power seats with lumbar support||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Rear parking sensors||OPT||✔||✗||✗|
|Front and rear parking sensors||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|9-speaker alpine audio system||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|Built-in satellite navigation||✗||OPT||✔||✔|
|Dual climate control||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Advanced driving assists||✗||✗||OPT||OPT|
|Carpet floor mats front and rear||✔||✔||✔||✗|
|All-weather mats front and rear||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Dual-pane panoramic sunroof||✗||✗||OPT||OPT|
|Alloy wheels - 17-inch||✔||✔||✗||✔|
|Alloy wheels - 18-inch||✗||✗||✔||✗|
Jeep describes the Cherokee as a modern take on its brand heritage. The Cherokee has all modern features you’d want, whilst still looking and performing like a Jeep should.
Higher-spec Cherokees come with a throaty V6 that smoothly powers the SUV along, though this engine does prove to be a little thirsty. Reviewers commented on the excellent build quality and standard equipment fitments.
The Cherokee is a rock-solid, sure-footed, master of all trades perfect for families, caravan and boat owners or someone looking for something a bit more interesting.
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