The 2015 Jeep Cherokee – refined yet underpowered
I am driving a 2015 Jeep Cherokee this week. This is not your father’s boxy, bouncy, rattly Cherokee. It’s basically a Honda CR-V. Or a Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-9, or Toyota Highlander. They all look the same, and they all fill the same ecological niche. Only with the Cherokee, you get the legendary Chrysler unreliability, higher price for the equivalent car (because of Chrysler’s steep labor costs and cushy union contracts), and a short overall lifespan. Don’t expect to take this car much past 160,000 kilometers. It’s not built for it – no Chryslers are.
Driving it isn’t bad. The instrumentation is clear, though there are too many buttons and displays. The interior is functional. The rear area is smaller than the old Cherokees, but that’s because it’s now an egg shape, just like most other SUVs. The nine-speed transmission is kept busy hopping through the gears, pushed by the underpowered 4-cylinder engine. If you want to get somewhere, you need to goose it vigorously.
The nice thing is that it drives smaller than it is, so it is easy to handle and precise to park.
If it wasn’t a Chrysler, I might be inclined to like it more. But I wouldn’t buy one without a 6-cylinder engine.