Jeep has launched its new, redesigned Cherokee a while ago, featuring a new aesthetic concept. It’s contemporary and modern of course, but some may find it inadequate or even ugly. Is up to you. The American SUVs maker is an expert creating powerful cars with amazing off-road capabilities. But lately, times have changed and an SUV is way more successful if it is more carlike.
Seemingly, the 2016 Cherokee has achieved the balance between a daily-use car and an off-road SUV. The Cherokee improved many things this year, from the front seats to the steering column position and the instrument cluster. This year, the refinements come entirely to improve comfortableness and luxury.
In addition, Jeep has hired the German transmission specialist, ZF, to equip an efficient and cutting-edge nine-speed automatic transmission. The results of this novelty are improved shifts, performance, and fuel efficiency.
Let’s review this American cool SUV.
Powerplants and Performance
The 2016 Cherokee comes in two variants to satisfy several branches of clients. A four-cylinder 2.4-liter producing 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque is available for those who are not too passionate about off-road capabilities. This one enjoys a slightly better efficiency, rated at 22 mpg in city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Counter-intuitively, a bigger and hungrier engine, like the 3.2-liter V6 might be less efficient but it is equipped with a standard start-stop technology to save some gasoline. In fact, having a V6 engine with almost the same efficiency as a four-cylinder has a huge impact on making a decision.
The 3.2-liter powerplant produces 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque with an acceptable efficiency of 21 mpg in city and 29 on the highway. The acceleration is quite good, going from standstill to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds.
Whether if you choose a front-wheel-drive system or an all-wheel-system, they are both paired with a ZF nine-speed gearbox. The all-wheel-drive system has different variants; Jeep Active Drive I, II and the aggressive Jeep Active Lock, equipped with the off-road Trailhawk trim. The towing capacity in the Cherokee is acceptable, offering 4,500 pounds of max capacity in the V6 version.
Exterior Styling and Interior Features
The 7-slot grille remains as a distinctive sign that it is a genuine Jeep. The tiny, elongated LED headlights are sharp along with other two sets of lights. Where Jeep was more conservative in the Cherokee was at its rear. Nothing too risky and striking.
The interior is quite good without any lack of modernisms, keeping some traits of Jeep. The steering wheel is inherited from its big brother, the Grand Cherokee. The seats are good and supportive, in either cloth or soft Nappa leather upholstery. Everything looks acceptable for the price tag and there are not cheap materials used on it.
The cargo space and the spacious seating make the Cherokee a comfortable SUV on both back or front seats. Five adults could fit there easily and with enough comfortableness. The Cherokee is available with an abundance of high-end tech features such as an 8.4-inch touchscreen with a user-friendly system and a full-color customizable LED instrument cluster.
The Bottom Line: The Proper Cherokee
This SUV could be for you because it represents the complete balance between a daily use car and an off-road beast on its V6 trim level. Families or young people who love go often to camping and excursions, will find this Cherokee suitable.
You will hate this car if you need plenty of cargo space. In that matter, this SUV is below-average at its segment. Also, the fuel efficiency is not that good and could be better, comparing with the competition.
Starting price at $23,395.