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Cherokee TH - Swiss Army Knife on Wheels

3503 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Cherokeedude59
A very positive video and print review of the 2016 Cherokee TH, by CarGurus.com, which they ultimately call a "Swiss Army Knife on Wheels"!:wink:

The 10 minute video is pretty detailed (link below) or you can read a very extensive writeup with numerical grades. IMHO, this is one of the more comprehensive tests on the Cherokee and certainly the best one I have seen for the 2016 model year.

With all these great reviews, they are sorely temptimg me to give the TH a try in 2017 >:D!

Here is a preview - enjoy:

Look and Feel - 9/10
Californians should make earthquake preparedness, survival, and evacuation plans, and my family is as ready as we can be....That’s why a new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk would be a perfect addition to my garage. Equipped to deal with multiple doomsday scenarios, the Trailhawk is the rugged, “Trail Rated” version of the Cherokee, the one designed to actually crawl over rocks, across streams, and through the woods when necessary. .....

My wife and I play this little game. She examines the quality of our latest test car, we go over the different features, and then she guesses the price. Normally, her estimates fall far beneath the sticker price. With the Jeep, she guessed thousands higher, and that’s because the Cherokee exudes quality from how well it is screwed together to how the materials look and feel. The one mistake Jeep makes, and she and I both agree, is the use of bronze metallic plastic trim on the dashboard and center console instead of the polished silver metallic plastic used for the door release handles....Run at night with the fog lights on, and the Cherokee has an unmistakable, triple-light appearance. Get one dirty, and it looks better than it does clean....Does the Cherokee represent an acquired taste? Yes. And I have acquired one.

Performance - 8/10
Standard equipment includes a 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, but I strongly recommend upgrading to the optional, 271-horsepower, 3.2-liter V6. In the Trailhawk, the V6 is actually the more efficient engine on the highway, and it matches the 4-cylinder in terms of its 22-mpg rating in combined driving.....A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard ....Personally, I have experienced dissatisfying behavior with this transmission in Acura, Chrysler, and Jeep products. Because of this, I paid special attention to how the transmission in my 2016 Cherokee behaved, and aside from disappointingly slow multi-gear downshifts that I requested in order to take advantage of holes in thick holiday traffic, I was satisfied with the latest iteration of this transmission....

How does it work on rugged terrain? As advertised, which is always a good thing. ...Therefore, the real question is this: Does the Cherokee Trailhawk owner trade off-road capability for on-road driving dynamics?..The short answer is no.....Providing excellent heft at all speeds, and in combination with an impressively tight turning radius, the steering is easy to use in cramped situations, both in cities and on trails....

During several hour-long highway trips, my wife and I marveled at how quiet the Cherokee was, with wind, road, and engine noise masterfully hushed. The brakes, apparently calibrated to allow fine-tuned inputs in tricky off-road situations, worked beautifully while navigating the urban jungle, and thanks to the all-terrain tires, lifted suspension, and revised front and rear styling, the Cherokee is unconcerned about parking blocks, deep drainage dips, steep driveway aprons, or severe speed bumps.

Form and Function - 8/10
Interior quality is impressive for the Cherokee’s price point....the Cherokee Trailhawk looks and feels more expensive than it is. Yet, at the same time, you’re not afraid of getting the interior dirty or damaging any of the bits and pieces. A scratch or two adds character, after all.

Controls are logically laid out and intuitive to use.....Equipped as my test vehicle was, with an 8-way power driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel, comfort is outstanding. From how the seats are shaped to how the steering wheel is shaped, a Cherokee supplies long-distance comfort. Plus, the upper door panels and center-console armrest are softly padded, providing comfortable spots to rest arms and elbows.

Jeep pitches the Cherokee as a midsize SUV, but interior room and cargo space are on the smaller side of that scale. While they look like they don’t offer much space, the rear seats are actually quite comfortable, sitting high off the floor and supplying good thigh, knee, and leg room. Plus, taller passengers will appreciate the softly padded front seatbacks, which are kind to knees and shins. Note, too, that it's easy to get into and out of the Cherokee’s back seat.

Cargo space is tight, but Jeep helps Cherokee owners make the best of it....

Tech Level - 9/10
Start checking boxes on the Cherokee Trailhawk’s optional-equipment menu, and you can add a number of useful technologies to this SUV.

Safety - 6/10
Jeep equips the Cherokee with a standard Park View reversing camera, but in low light and nighttime driving situations, resolution and clarity are terrible. ....Crash-test ratings reflect room for improvement. ...

Cost-Effectiveness - 7/10
When you research the Jeep Cherokee, you’re going to find unfavorable reliability predictions rooted primarily in the 9-speed automatic transmission’s reportedly troublesome shifts and complaints about how the Uconnect infotainment systems work. I suspect that the negative ratings fail to reflect the complete quality and dependability picture, and while the purchase of an extended warranty might be justified, I wouldn’t let complaints about the transmission or the infotainment technology deter you from choosing a Cherokee Trailhawk.

While we’re attempting to manage expectations, don’t assume you’ll match the fuel-economy numbers promised by the EPA. ....

Whether a deal is available or not, a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is worth strong consideration. This is the vehicular equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife, a terrific tool for tackling whatever life throws at you. ...It could perform better in crash tests and offer greater cargo capacity, but otherwise I have a hard time faulting the Cherokee Trailhawk.


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A pretty accurate review. Thanks for sharing.
Safety to me, means more than reliance on a backup camera. The crash warning system, and radar that picks up passing objects is very good. I have averted a backing up accident with the radar detecting the presence of a pashing car. I would have gone higher with the safety rating.
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I agree that it's a pretty accurate review. Glad to see that I'm not the only one commenting on the 2016 transmission downshifting problem. Something is different versus the earlier units, my guess is it's software.
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