2017 Jeep Cherokee 4×4 Tested: Loaded for Off-Road Comfort

To our information, the Cherokee Nation has never ever officially contested the use of its hallowed name on 5 generations of the Jeep Cherokee. The model name has been about because 1974 and has even been used in Europe. Whatever cultural appropriation issues it may well raise these days, the badge is at least worn on a automobile native to this continent. The Toledo, Ohio–built compact crossover holds its own against much more than a dozen domestic, Asian, and European competitors and has become the Jeep brand’s very best-seller, topping each the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee by means of October of this year.

Fiat Chrysler hammered the modern crossover nail dead center when the current Cherokee design and style was launched for the 2014 model year. Sharing a unibody platform with the Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200, and Chrysler Pacifica, the Cherokee was off and operating with a size, style, and cost proposition in excellent sync with America’s hop aboard the crossover express.

The Cherokee’s crucial attributes are integral to its architecture. Mounting the engine and transmission transversely and raising the roof to an desirable height enables efficient packaging for passengers and their gear. Despite the fact that the Cherokee casts a shadow 5 percent smaller sized than the Honda Accord’s, it gives nearly identical interior area, so there’s plenty of useful space inside. Drivers also appreciate the Cherokee’s 28.9-inch-high seating position for most people, entry is a straight slide in, with no climb up or drop down to the seat required.

Loaded with Leather and Electronics

Customers also are drawn into Jeep showrooms with a Cherokee value range that begins at $ 24,590 for the 4-cylinder, front-wheel-drive Sport edition. At the leading of the scale is the lavishly equipped Overland reviewed here, introduced midway via the 2016 model year. With a 2017 base cost of $ 38,690 with 4-wheel drive, this leather-lined flagship sports upgraded seats, a premium Alpine audio technique, and an eight.four-inch touchscreen programmed with navigation, Bluetooth, SiriusXM travel hyperlink and traffic, and Chrysler’s Uconnect connectivity technique. Our test car added to that most of the obtainable option groups. A $ 1645 Technologies package contains collision warning, parking help, automated emergency braking, rain-sensing wipers, automatic high-beam headlamps, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise manage that is capable of slowing the vehicle to a stop in traffic. The $ 1205 Active Drive II program powers the front wheels most of the time, engaging the rear axle automatically when slippage occurs. Low-variety gearing for off-road use can be selected at the touch of a button. Lastly, a $ 435 Heavy-Duty Protection group adds 4 massive skid plates and a full-size spare tire. In light of our $ 41,975 total, shoppers with tight budgets need to exercising care in checking the possibilities boxes.

A 3.2-liter V-6 rated at 271 horsepower and mated to a nine-speed automatic gives the impetus to move this densely packed machine (it weighed 4332 pounds on our scales). There’s enough punch to pass two of our favorite crossovers—the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5—but the Cherokee’s 7.five-second zero-to-60-mph time, its 15.8-second quarter-mile functionality, and its leading-gear acceleration figures all trail the Ford Escape powered by an EcoBoost two.-liter 4-cylinder.

The Cherokee lands midpack in terms of braking and cornering. The excellent news is that the brakes are capable of stopping this crossover from 70 mph in 175 feet for the duration of repeated use (although the 1st cease with cold brakes was a longish 184 feet). Cornering overall performance is impeded by a stability-control technique that intervenes at only .80 g for safety’s sake—the potential for a rollover incident is one particular no modern day automaker dares to ignore—even although the 18-inch Continental Pro Get in touch with TX all-season tires have grip to spare. The Escape scored a a lot more impressive .85 g in this 300-foot skidpad test.

A curb weight 500 to 700 pounds higher than the aforementioned competitors also keeps the Cherokee from reaching exemplary EPA mileage. The Honda and the Mazda return 29 or more mpg on the highway versus a 26-mpg rating for the Cherokee. This Jeep’s active grille shutters, quit/start off engine operation, and a class-exclusive nine-speed automatic can not overcome the ill effects of its mass, even though the transmission offers an impressive 9.8:1 ratio spread (first gear divided by best gear). With a light foot on the throttle, it is possible to prime 20 mpg in all-around driving we averaged 18 mpg and recorded 24 mpg whilst cruising at 75 mph.

At Property Off the Pavement

The Cherokee shines brighter with its all-wheel-drive technologies, a long-standing Jeep forte. The Active Drive II technique, integrated with the nine-speed automatic and hill-descent handle as a $ 1205 selection, gives numerous operating modes. In typical driving, the front wheels do all the work and the driveshaft to the rear axle is disengaged at both ends to cut friction. When automatic 4×4 is engaged, all 4 tires go to perform the instant slippage is detected. A low variety multiplies the torque sent to the wheels in any gear by a 2.92 issue. The neutral position is intended for towing a Cherokee behind the motorhome (or wrecker) of your selection.

Even though the Cherokee’s V-6 is obstreperous during flat-out acceleration, this engine drops out of the audio image during cruising, at which point wind noise prevails. The cease/commence function is smooth and in no way annoying. Transmission function largely fades into the background except for these two situations: Males can grow a beard in the time it requires to get a kickdown for passing. And in manual mode—what Chrysler calls electronic variety select—reaching ninth takes patience. We saw it only a couple of instances even though cruising just below 80 mph on a slight downgrade.

As is true of practically every single crossover, there’s minimal driving entertaining right here. The driver’s-seat cushions are as well soft to assistance aggressive cornering, the steering lacks really feel and feedback, and the brake pedal is squishy. The dampers do a good job of limiting pitch and roll while attacking a winding stretch of back road with out inflicting discomfort more than rippled pavement.

The cockpit is festooned with a button or twist knob for each and every job, 20 on the steering wheel alone. Fortunately, they’re clearly labeled and intuitively arranged. Need to report road rage with a quick 9-1-1 call? Punch a button. Want to claw your way out of a sand pit? Twist the Selec-Terrain knob to the left of the transmission shifter. Like to cruise securely in heavy site visitors? Choose your interval distance with the spoke-mounted Adaptive Cruise Control buttons. In no way learned how to parallel park? The Cherokee’s active park help is a button push away.

We did discover one particular helper that didn’t function as nicely as we hoped. The Cherokee’s lane-departure warning, integrated in the $ 1645 Technologies group, offers alerts and steering assistance when you modify lanes without signaling, but it resorts to wobbling amongst marker lines if you relinquish steering handle by removing each hands from the wheel.

Good but Not So Roomy

Interior décor in this certain Overland edition is a creative mix of white (perforated leather seats and headliner fabric), chocolate brown (dash best and steering-wheel skin), matte-finish aluminum (door handles and accents), and black (everywhere else). Grain patterns, accent stitching, fits, and finishes are acceptable for the $ 40,000 class.

The rear seats are wide enough for two plus a third child when necessary, there’s a hassle-free center armrest, and the backrest is split 60/40 to fold flat, but there’s much less room than in the CR-V or Toyota’s RAV4. With the back seats folded, the cargo hold expands from 25 to 55 cubic feet, once more trailing the major competitors. Both the rear seat and cargo space are packaging compromises to accommodate the vehicle’s off-road-worthy hardware such as a full-size spare tire.

Although the Cherokee is the ideal-selling Jeep, that’s only good adequate to rank fifth among 14 compact crossovers on the market, but none of the leading four provides the Jeep’s backcountry prowess and available V-6 engine. For some individuals, these attributes far more than suffice to offset its deficit in fuel economy and interior space.

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