Since it was launched in 2014 the Cherokee has seen mild sales success.
It is due for an update in 2018 but the Cherokee has a heritage that dates back to 1974.
The Trailhawk is the Cherokee for true 4WD enthusiasts. Now the style of the Cherokee is more in the AWD SUV style and being based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta there are some question marks about its suitability for hard terrain.
However being Rubicon rated the Trailhawk easily fills the 4WD role at the top of the model line-up.
Externally the Jeep Cherokee style has a unique interpretation of the traditional 7 slot Jeep Grill.
Personally I like it and the overall style is like so many other midsized SUV’s, yet distinct as well.
The designers have a design that is fluid, and has remained fresh through its life cycle and retains essential elements of Jeep DNA.
Stylish design elements, such as slimline daytime running lights as ‘eyebrows’ with lower headlights, combine with traditional DNA elements.
These are the peaked seven-slot grille, trapezoidal wheel arches and the functional ‘kink’ in the beltline mated to a tough, durable lower body.
This design provides the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk with a commanding road presence.
Internally the design is more premium with a blend of fluid shapes, high-quality soft touch materials, innovative colour and material choices, precision craftsmanship, technology and clever features.
The leather seats are comfortable, power adjustable, heated/ventilated with memory function and despite first impressions they are supportive over long hours.
In front of the driver is a thick rimmed, well designed three-spoke Jeep steering wheel with audio, voice and speed controls.
The round dials are clear with white on black design and a seven-inch, full-colour re-configurable instrument cluster that allows the driver to enjoy a customised user experience.
The centre stack bezel is inspired by the outline of the front grille of the 1940s Willys Jeep.
The 8.4″ touchscreen multimedia command centre houses the navigation system and the Uconnect system that allows the driver to control the audio, climate controls, heated/ventilated seats and much more from the touchscreen.
Storage is a key feature with a covered top bin located above the centre stack on top of the instrument panel and a huge glove box that accommodates an iPad.
A small storage slot is located between the cup holders and the centre console armrest.
The front passenger seat in the Jeep Cherokee folds flat and offers hidden, in-seat storage, by flipping up the passenger seat cushion.
Front doors are able to accommodate maps and bottles. Second-row seats recline and move fore/ aft 15 centimetres to increase legroom or storage room as needed.
Boot space is adequate and a universal module rack is mounted on the side in the rear cargo area and provides for hooks and a removable grocery bag.
Trailhawk model specific features include:
- unique off-road front and rear fascias
- off-road wheel flares
- tow hooks
- 4 underbody skid plates
- off-road suspension with one-inch increased ride height
- heavy-duty engine cooling and auxiliary transmission oil cooler
- Jeep Active Drive Lock 4×4 system with low range and locking rear axle
- Selec-Speed Control features
- Hill-ascent Control
- Hill-descent Control
Features also include:
- accent colour mirrors
- grille surrounds
- lower fascia appliqués and roof rails
- Red “Trail Rated” and “Trailhawk” badges
- new 17-inch polished aluminium wheels with black painted pockets
- Matte black hood decal
- all-season tyres
- leather, heated, power front seats
- red accent stitching on instrument panel brow, seats, door armrests, centre console lid, shifter boot and console netting
- Red “Trailhawk” tag on console netting
Drive and Engine
Driving the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is the 3.2-litre Pentastar V6 engine, which produces 200kW/315Nm while consuming just 10.0L/100K.
This engine delivers its power through an innovative nine-speed transmission.
The Trailhawk is a true 4WD Jeep. It bears the internal Jeep designation of Trail Rated which means that it has conquered the Rubicon Trail and the worst of the Moab Hell’s Kitchen etc.
The standard 4WD system in the Trailhawk is Jeep Active Drive Lock.
This is essentially the normal Jeep Active Drive ll with a locking rear diff.
Up to five customised settings are offered: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. It’s easy to use and very effective coordinating the electronics depending on the selection.
The Jeep Cherokee has a towing capability of 2200kg with a tow ball rating of 220kg.
We have driven the Trailhawk over a variety of surfaces, tar roads, loose gravel fire trails, sandy dunes, a mixture of creek crossings, rocky sections, steep climbs and declines, valleys etc.
Over all surfaces it provides a consistent and relaxed drive.
Safety features that lead to a five star ANCAP safety rating include both active and passive safety security features:
- ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist
- Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus
- Forward Collision Warning-Plus
- LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus
- All-speed Traction Control System (ATCS)
- Antilock brakes (ABS)
- Brake Traction-control System (BTCS)
- Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Brake-lock Differential System (BLDS)
There is also…
- Electronic roll mitigation
- Blind-spot Monitoring
- Rear Cross Path detection
- ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines
- dual frontal, side chest and side head airbags (curtains) and a driver knee airbag are standard
- Stylish design
- Real 4WD capability
- Slick transmission
Not so Good Bits:
- “C” pillar visibility
- No diesel option power
- Old and Due for an update 2018
Overall the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is actually outstanding.
It is a little old now but still relevant in the market today.
The 2018 update will advance the value proposition.
Facts and Figures: Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
- Engine: 3.2L V6 petrol producing 200kW/300Nm
- Transmission: Nine-speed auto
- Warranty: 5 yrs/Unlimited km
- Safety: Five-stars
- Origin: USA
- Price: From $52,990