The Jeep Cherokee is now more capable than it has ever been.
For 2015, it is able to tow up to 4500lbs, has three available 4 wheel drive systems to choose from and features a 5 mode traction control system.
In an effort to improve fuel consumption a standard 9 speed automatic transmission is used.
Cherokee’s with a 3.2L V6 come with a start/stop function, and 4X4 models have an innovative rear axle disconnect. This disconnect is said to reduce driveline friction loses when all wheel drive is unnecessary, thereby improving fuel economy.
The base model I drove was motivated by a 2.4L Multiair2 engine. Also known as the Tigershark inline 4, it produces 184 hp and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. This new engine should offer a near 500 mile driving range from a single tank of gas.
In keeping with Jeep’s tradition of go anywhere ability, the 2.4L has a crawl ratio of 56:1. The 3.2L has a ratio of 47.8:1. According to Jeep, this represents a 90% improvement over the outgoing model.
These ratio’s should enable the SUV to climb any hill, scale many mountains and conquer every trail.
On the road I found the Cherokee to be quiet and comfortable. Potholes were noticed, but only just, as the suspension absorbed the hits and transmitted none of the jolt.
The 2.4L has all the power I would need for daily life, and the 9-speed transmission operated with intelligent smoothness. I was unable to reach the 9th gear. This makes me question its purpose, if it never gets used during normal driving, is it just a marketing gimmick?
The steering was comfortably weighted, though I would have liked a little more feedback.
The base cloth seats provide a comfortable perch from which to explore your corner of the globe. The dash layout was tidy, and the media interface, including Bluetooth Audio Streaming, and a 5 inch touch screen, were easy to navigate.
The back seats, a typical 60/40 fold down arrangement, do incorporate a couple of nice touches. They recline, can be adjusted fore and aft, and feature armrests with cup holders.
Hill start assist, electronic stability control, roll-mitigation and tow assist will make trailering a breeze.
One option group I would not go without, as I live in a colder climate, is the Cold Weather Group.
It offers heated side mirrors, front seats and steering wheel; remote start and windshield wiper de-icer.
I enjoyed my time behind the wheel, and would definitely consider buying one with 4 wheel drive.
The Cherokee Sport model I drove was front wheel drive.
Jeep, a brand priding itself on having invented the rugged off-road SUV, saw fit not to include it.
I am curious how many Sport models with FWD will actually sell.
Also, I could not make up my mind on the looks. I liked it one day, but not the next.
This curiosity aside, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee is a capable, efficient and user friendly SUV.
Prices start at $23,195.00 CA/ $22,995.00 US