Nuts and Bolts: Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4

Nuts and Bolts: Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4

Bottom line: People shopping for a high-quality, neatly styled, compact four-wheel-drive vehicle with genuine off-road capability should consider the Trailhawk, with the V-6 gasoline engine. If fuel economy is a primary concern, take a look at the gasoline-four-cylinder Honda CR-V.

Ride, acceleration and handling: This gets good marks in all three.

Head-turning quotient: It’s controversial. The Trailhawk’s sleek, forward styling offends some Jeep traditionalists. But many folks like the Trailhawk’s stylish body with its slanted narrow front grille and slender, wraparound LED headlamps.

Body style/layout: The Cherokee is a front-engine, compact four-door sport-utility-vehicle with a rear hatch available with front-wheel or four-wheel drive. There are four trim levels — Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk and Limited.

Engines/transmission: It comes standard with a 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine (184 horsepower, 171 pound-feet of torque). The Trailhawk model used for this column was equipped with an optional 3.2-liter, 24-valve gasoline V-6 with variable valve timing. Both engines come standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission that can be operated manually.

Capacities: Seating is for five people. Cargo capacity is 24.8 cubic feet with all seats in place. The fuel tank holds 15.8 gallons (regular gasoline is fine). The Cherokee can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

Mileage: I averaged 25 miles per gallon in highway driving.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes, ventilated front and solid rear; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; stability and traction control; post-collision safety system; and side and head air bags.

Recommended advanced electronic safety system: Rear parking assistance, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring, lane-departure warning, exterior mirrors with turn signals.

Prices: The 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4 starts at $30,395, with an estimated dealer invoice price of $28,000. Price as tested is $36,869, including $5,479 in options. Estimated dealer’s price as tested is $34,000.

— Warren Brown


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