The 2016 Jeep Cherokee comes in four different trims with two engines to choose from. Both front-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive are available across all trim levels.
The basic engine in the Cherokee is a 2.4L 4-cylinder unit that produces 184 horsepower. When mated to the standard (and industry-first) 9-speed automatic and front-wheel drive, the Cherokee is capable of up to 31 mpg on the highway. The more powerful engine option is a 3.2L V6, which produces 271 horsepower and gives the Cherokee quite good acceleration for its class. This engine features stop/start technology to help boost fuel economy, and it is also mated to the same 9-speed transmission used in the 4-cylinder version.
The base Cherokee is nicely equipped, with standard items such as 17-inch wheels, keyless entry, automatic windows and door locks, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and auxiliary inputs for the stereo, steering wheel mounted cruise and audio controls and a 5-inch touchscreen.
The next level up is the Latitude trim. It includes everything in the base model, along with aluminum wheels, body-colored exterior mirrors and door handles, roof rails, projector beam fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and tinted privacy glass
Step up to the Limited trim and things begin to get quite luxurious. Limited Cherokees get leather seats, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a heated steering wheel, a nicer instrument cluster, an 8.4-inch color touchscreen display, an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, a backup camera, satellite radio connectivity, automatic headlights, dual-zone climate control and automatic headlights among other things.
The Trailhawk edition steps away from luxury and instead concentrates on off-road capabilities. The Trailhawk Cherokee includes a much nicer 4-wheel-drive system with a locking differential for ultimate grip in low traction environments. It also has more undercar protection and a one-inch lift in the suspension. Interior amenities echo what's included in the Latitude trim; however the Trailhawk does come standard with the bigger 8.4-inch touchscreen from the Limited.
Safety features on the Cherokee include anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, hill-start control and ten airbags. Optional safety features include a blind spot monitor, park assist, a forward collision warning system and a roadside assistance button.
Good Ground Clearance
The Jeep Cherokee remains mostly unchanged for 2016. The 8.4-inch touchscreen has now been enhanced with a friendlier, easier to use Uconnect operating system, while a couple of new exterior paint colors are also brand new for 2016.
The Cherokee is a compact SUV competing with vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. Like the Cherokees that came before, the 2016 model maintains the tradition of competitive pricing and strong off-road capability starting at just under $24,000. While the Cherokee and its competitors are often offered with all-wheel-drive, the Cherokee offers more aggressive off-roading equipment, such as a locking rear differential.