2015 Jeep Cherokee

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Jeep Cherokee gets an engine stop-start system on V6-equipped models, slightly improving EPA fuel economy estimates. A rearview camera and automatic headlights are now standard on the Latitude and Trailhawk models, and a new frontal-crash mitigation system is optional.

Once upon a time, sport-utility vehicles were covered in mud, traversing streams and doing it all in the face of frugality. In the decades since, though, most car shoppers have realized that more sensible crossover SUVs are the way to go for everyday use. Jeep has tried to apply its off-roading heritage to some of its more civilized small crossovers (think Compass and Patriot), but the results have been disappointing. Thankfully, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee finally does come close to delivering the best of both real-world usability and capable off-road performance.

That real-world usability starts with the Cherokee's quiet, comfortable and even plush ride quality compared with that of some other small crossovers. The well-laid-out interior is another bonus, and it comes with some fantastic standard and optional tech features. We're also fond of the Cherokee's optional V6 engine, which is smooth and has plenty of power and decent fuel economy ratings. Once the pavement ends, Jeep has you covered with the Cherokee Trailhawk trim level. With low-range gearing and special equipment like a locking rear differential, the Trailhawk can go much farther off-road than your standard all-wheel-drive crossover.

Exterior Highlights
Five-passenger crossover SUV available in Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk and Limited trim levels

The 2015 Jeep Cherokee is a five-passenger crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk and Limited.

Standard equipment on the Sport includes 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, power accessories, keyless remote entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split rear seat, sliding and reclining rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker audio system with a 5-inch touchscreen interface, USB/iPod integration, an auxiliary audio input and an SD card reader. A Cold Weather Group package is available with a wiper de-icer, remote ignition, heated power-folding mirrors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. You can also get alloy wheels, a rearview camera, satellite radio and a CD player as stand-alone options.

The Latitude adds alloy wheels, roof rails, foglights, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, body-colored door handles and mirrors, privacy-tinted glass, LED interior lighting, a folding front passenger seat with a storage compartment inside the seat cushion, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 115-volt outlet. Latitudes also come with a wider range of options including a V6 engine, dual sunroofs (the front roof opens; the rear glass is fixed), an upgraded nine-speaker audio system and an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface with smartphone app integration. The Comfort/Convenience package bundles a power liftgate, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar), satellite radio, remote start and a cargo cover and net.

The off-road-themed Trailhawk is four-wheel-drive only and comes with low-range gears, slightly wider 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, off-road oriented suspension tuning, a rear locking differential, skid plates, tow hooks, unique exterior trim, upgraded interior surfaces, a bigger gauge cluster display, the 8.4-inch touchscreen and satellite radio. Options on the Trailhawk include the Comfort/Convenience package (power liftgate, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio and remote start), the Technology Group package (automatic high-beam control, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and low-speed crash mitigation, lane-departure warning and mitigation systems and an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system), leather upholstery, a navigation system and an upgraded audio system.

The Limited sheds the Trailhawk's off-road hardware, but includes all of the same interior electronics and gets most of the contents of the Comfort/Convenience package (minus the power liftgate). It also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and leather upholstery. The Luxury Group package adds a power liftgate, xenon headlights, memory driver settings and ventilated front seats. The Technology Group package (as previously described with the Trailhawk) is also available on the Limited.

Available on all trim levels except the Sport is the SafetyTec package, which adds blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alerts and rear parking sensors. The Trailer Tow Group package adds a tow hitch, trailer tow wiring harness and an auxiliary transmission cooler.

Interior Highlights
8.4-inch touchscreen entertainment and navigation interface, spacious passenger quarters, reclining rear seat

In the past, the standard Cherokee may have seemed far behind the Grand Cherokee in terms of quality and capability, but no more. The materials in the 2015 Jeep Cherokee have a high-quality look and feel, especially on upper trim levels. The available 8.4-inch touchscreen entertainment and navigation interface (Uconnect) is truly great and worth the extra cost if you can make the jump out of the Sport trim levels. It features easy-to-navigate menus, big touch buttons, voice commands and an accompanying knob that makes whipping through iPod menus a breeze.

Passenger quarters are spacious in the 2015 Jeep Cherokee. It's easy to get comfortable in the available power driver seat, which offers ample adjustability (although the steering wheel has an oddly limited range of height adjustment). The rear seat reclines, allows fore-and-aft adjustment and the high-mounted bench supports adults' thighs without pushing their heads into the rafters. This is one of the better backseats in the compact crossover class.

Standard safety equipment on all 2015 Cherokees includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the Sport trim level and standard on all other models.

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