Why the 2016 Jeep Cherokee is an Underrated Performer

2016 Jeep Cherokee

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee is one of the brand’s more affordable options, so customers may automatically underrate the vehicle’s performance capabilities. After all, the vehicle is often placed next to the rugged Grand Cherokee and Wrangler Unlimited, making the smaller SUV pale in comparison.

However, the Cherokee’s engines and operations prove that it’s one of the best performers in the class. Sure, only the Trailhawk version has been branded with the Trail Rated badge, signifying its ability to travel off-road (specific attributes include “traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording abilities.”) Still, your standard Cherokee is still perfectly capable of overcoming any odd conditions or terrain, and you should find that you can easily travel on highways, grass, or dirt.

If you’ve been eyeing a compact SUV that delivers unmatched performance capabilities, look no further than the 2016 Cherokee….

Engines

2016 Jeep Cherokee City

Jeep provides prospective Cherokee buyers with two possible engine options, allowing the customer to prioritize whatever factor they value most: power or efficiency.

The 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 is all about performance. The impressive until is capable of pumping out 271 horsepower and 239 pounds-feet of torque. When coupled with the Trailer Tow Group, these specs play a significant role in the incredible 4,500-pound towing capacity. You may not necessarily associate Jeeps with premier hauling abilities, but the Cherokee is certainly trying to eliminate that sentiment.

While the unit isn’t necessarily known for its efficiency, engineers did everything in their power to prevent constant trips to the gas pump. The Start/Stop technology improves your overall mileage, and it also helps reduce the C02 emissions. Meanwhile, an advanced system with the engine helps lower the amount of fuel that’s heading towards the brakes, thus further improving efficiency.

Meanwhile, the 2.4-liter Tigershark I4 provides fuel economy that’s often reserved for sedans. The 16-valve unit relies on a variety of technologies to deliver a 31 mile per gallon highway fuel efficiency and a 489-mile range. The dual variable valve timing and flow-control valve intake manifold play a significant role in maximizing the unit’s efficiency. Even with this efficiency, the engine is still relatively powerful, touting 184 horsepower and 171 pounds-feet of torque.

Mechanics

Drivers want to feel in control of their vehicles, but they also don’t want the corresponding mechanics to compromise the enjoyment of operating that ride. Thanks to the Cherokee’s independent suspension system, drivers are guaranteed a stress-free and amusing driving experience.

The entire structure is composed of high-strength steel. Besides the positive safety ramifications, this design also influences how the vehicle operates. The system is lighter than most suspension units, thus providing the Cherokee with some athleticism. However, the vehicle still stands strong, so you won’t find that your ride is giving in to the wind or bizarre terrain.

Meanwhile, the frequency-sensitive damping shocks will certainly be appreciated if you take the Cherokee off the beaten path. The unit will stiffen when drivers are forced to drive over uneven terrain, preventing the damage and decreased performance that often accompanies such situations.

4×4 Systems

2016 Jeep Cherokee Performance

Each of the Cherokee’s 4×4 systems provides their own specific capabilities, delivering unique performance attributes that cater to the driver’s needs. For example, the Jeep Active Drive II 4×4 system is the perfect choice for off-roading, as the unit is ideal for rock crawling. Plus, the “neutral mode” means the Cherokee can be flat-towed behind an RV, so you can bring the Jeep on all of your family vacations.

The single-speed Active Drive I 4×4 system delivers optimal brake traction control, an appreciated feature for those forced to travel through awful weather conditions. Meanwhile, the rear axle disconnect will only utilize the system when necessary, thus improving the vehicle’s overall efficiency.

The Trail Rated Jeep Active Drive Lock 4×4 offers a rear locker, delivering optimal drivability and handling when traveling off-road. This unit is only available on the Cherokee Trailhawk.

Traction Control

Regardless of whether you’re traveling on a generic highway or deep in the woods, you’re going to want to be assured that your Cherokee is delivering optimal traction. The vehicle’s Selec-Terrain traction control (available on the Trail Rated Trailhawk) will allow drivers to manipulate their vehicle’s grip on the road, regardless of the specific conditions.

There are five customizable options to choose from: auto, snow, sport, sand/mud, and rock. This means that, regardless of where you’re traveling, your Cherokee is ready to overcome the terrain.

Exterior

2014 Jeep Cherokee Chrome Grille

It may sound silly, but several exterior inclusions will impact how the Cherokee operates off-road. The sculpted, angular design isn’t only eye-catching, but it’s also aerodynamic. These intentional styling cues help improve several aspects of the Cherokee’s performance.

Meanwhile, the halogen projector headlamps will provide the necessary visibility if you’re deep in the woods at night. The heated power exterior mirrors also prove useful, as snow and ice won’t be able to accumulate and obstruct your view.

Safety

Of course, if you’re traveling on some uneven terrain, you are putting yourself in a bit of danger. With the Cherokee’s array of safety features and capabilities, you can at least be assured that the vehicle’s occupants will remain safe and secure.

The full-length side-curtain and side-thorax airbags will provide occupants with the necessary amount of cushion in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, the rigid body cage will help absorb the energy during a collision, preventing it from reaching the passengers.

If you do find yourself in an accident, the emergency 9-1-1 Call button will provide immediate relief. Featured on the rear-view mirror, the system will connect you with an operator who will be able to assess your situation and dispatch emergency assistance. If you need emergency services as soon as possible, another button will send personnel right away.

Do you want a rugged and capable compact SUV that can reliably get you through many types of terrain or weather conditions? Oh, and do you also want that vehicle to be affordable?

Look no further than the 2016 Jeep Cherokee. Starting at $23,395, you’re not going to find a better buy from the SUV segment. The combination of performance attributes and options puts the Cherokee on a tier of its own among compact SUVs.