What's New for 2015:
- 4-cylinder engine meets PZEV standards in certain states
- Automatic start/stop added to V-6 engine
- Standard reversing camera and automatic headlights for Latitude trim level
- New SafetyTec package optional for all Cherokees except Sport versions
- Optional forward-collision warning system gains low-speed crash-mitigation system
- Trailhawk edition now offered with premium leather, ventilated seats, and more
The 2015 Jeep Cherokee is a 5-passenger crossover SUV, which the automaker positions as a midsize model. The Trailhawk version is the only member of the Cherokee family that is \"Trail Rated\" for serious off-roading excursions.
In a crowded segment, primary Cherokee competitors include the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge, GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Kia Sorento, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Murano, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, and Toyota RAV4. The Cherokee Trailhawk is aimed at the Nissan Xterra, Toyota 4Runner, and Volkswagen Touareg.
Models and Features
Jeep offers the 2015 Cherokee in Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk trim levels. All are equipped with a standard 4-cylinder engine, while the Trailhawk gets standard 4-wheel-drive (4WD) to replace the front-wheel-drive (FWD) system in other versions.
Upgrading to the Latitude trim level adds air conditioning, a reversing camera, fold-flat front passenger's seat with hidden in-seat storage, upgraded seat fabric, LED ambient cabin lighting, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 115-volt power outlet. Exterior trim is upgraded, and the Cherokee Latitude includes automatic headlights, fog lights, 17-in. aluminum wheels, and greater ground clearance.
Select the Cherokee Limited for a nicer interior with leather upholstery, an 8-way power driver's seat with 4-way power lumbar support, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and a dual-zone automatic climate control system with a humidity sensor and improved air filtration. The Limited version also includes Keyless Go passive entry with push-button engine starting, remote engine starting, a 7-in. multi-view display screen in the gauge cluster, Uconnect 8.4 touch-screen infotainment system with satellite radio and a USB port, auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage door opener, leather-wrapped shift knob, and a cargo net. A windshield wiper de-icer is standard, the outside mirrors fold and feature turn signal indicators and courtesy lighting, and the Cherokee Limited rides on 18-in. aluminum wheels.
The Cherokee Trailhawk is also based on the Latitude trim level and is equipped for rugged off-roading. Jeep's Active Drive Lock 4WD system is standard, along with Selec-Speed drivetrain control, hill-descent control, off-road suspension, front suspension skid plate, transmission skid plate, fuel tank skid plate, underbody skid plate, front and rear tow hooks, and unique 17-in. aluminum wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires. In order to maximize off-road capability, ground clearance, approach angle, breakover angle, and departure angle are improved over other Cherokee models.
Inside, the Cherokee Trailhawk gets leather-accented seats, all-season floor mats, 7-in. multi-view display screen, cargo net, leather-wrapped shift knob, and upgraded door panel materials. Jeep's Uconnect 8.4 touch-screen infotainment system is also standard.
Under the Hood
The Cherokee's standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 184 horsepower, delivered to the front wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission. For 2015, the 4-cylinder engine meets Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) standards in several states.
A 271-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6 engine is optional for all Cherokees except the Sport version. This year, it is equipped with new automatic start/stop technology that shuts the engine off while the SUV is idling in traffic or at intersections, a feature designed to improve fuel economy.
Depending on trim level, Jeep offers one of three 4WD systems for the Cherokee, ranging from a simple setup that automatically transfers power to the rear wheels when conditions warrant to a more robust system with a locking rear differential. All 4WD systems include Selec-Terrain traction control, which calibrates drivetrain response depending on the terrain.
Stick with FWD and the Cherokee's standard 4-cylinder engine returns 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. Choose the V-6 and those numbers dip to 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway.
Depending on the type of 4WD system, the Cherokee's fuel-economy ratings range from a low of 19 mpg in the city for a Trailhawk with either engine to a high of 28 mpg on the highway for the basic 4WD system and with either engine.
Safety and Technology
Jeep offers numerous safety, infotainment, and convenience technologies for the 2015 Cherokee. A park-assist system is optional, one that steers the SUV into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces while the driver operates the pedals and transmission. The Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system can be upgraded with navigation, Uconnect Access service with mobile Wi-Fi capability, and a wireless smartphone charging pad. Jeep installs hands-free text-messaging support and makes voice-activated text-messaging assist available as an option.
The 2015 Cherokee can also be upgraded with a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-path detection system, lane-departure warning system, and an adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go capability, and a forward-collision warning system with a new low-speed crash mitigation feature.