Reviews

2017 Jeep Cherokee Driving Impressions


Cherokees behave well enough on the pavement, though road manners are no better than average. For everyday commutes, several other crossover SUVs score higher, despite the Cherokee’s highly refined four-cylinder engine.

Where a Cherokee stands well above the pack is in off-road abilities. With an appropriate four-wheel-drive setup, the Cherokee’s backwoods prowess is practically shocking. Few would ever imagine that the running gear emanated from the humble Dodge Dart. Steering is accurate, and the ride is nicely damped.

With its taller ride height and off-road tires, at low speeds, the Trailhawk absorbs surface imperfections most readily. Off the pavement, Selec-Speed lets a Trailhawk conquer upgrades tenaciously, with hill-descent control doing likewise on the far side.

Unless the vehicle is fully loaded, the four-cylinder engine feels sufficiently powerful. Still, the optional V6 invariably feels quick and confident, as well as refined.

Although the 9-speed automatic has a broad range of ratios to enhance performance, some shifts grow balky. At times, the transmission remains indecisive for quite a long while, and upshifts may be subject to odd delays. As a rule, Sport mode (if included) provides the most prompt, decisive gearchanges.

Fuel economy matches Cherokee’s class rivals. With the four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, the Cherokee is EPA-rated at 21/30 mpg City/Highway, or 25 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops the estimate to 21/28 mpg City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined. The V6 is EPA-rated at 21/29 mpg City/Highway for front-drive models, and 20/27 mpg for four-wheel drive. Trailhawk models with the four-cylinder are EPA-rated at 19/25 mpg City/Highway, versus 18/24 mpg with the V6.

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* Images, prices, and options shown, including vehicle color, trim, options, pricing and other specifications are subject to availability, incentive offerings, current pricing and credit worthiness.

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