The 2018 Jeep Cherokee is offered in 11 trim levels. Options and enhancements can transform this vehicle, from the Overland to the Latitude, Trailhawk or Limited models, which each have an option of four- or front-wheel drive. There are some significant differences among the trims. For example, the Overland rides on 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, while the special edition Latitude With Tech Connect Package Front-Wheel Drive is only available in two colors: Velvet Red pearl coat and Granite Crystal Metallic clear coat.
A choice of two engines is offered with this compact SUV, with both the front-wheel and four-wheel drivetrains. The basic 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 184 horsepower, and when coupled with the nine-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive, the Cherokee crossover can get as much as 31 mpg on the highway. The bigger and more powerful 3.2-liter V-6 engine generates 271 horsepower with outstanding acceleration when compared to the same class of vehicles. Fuel economy can further be boosted with automated engine stop/start technology, along with the nine-speed automatic transmission.
The performance of Jeep Cherokee is better demonstrated by its off-road handling. The Trailhawk edition includes components to provide better surface contact, such as a dedicated off-road suspension, along with the lower-range four-wheel drivetrain and locking rear differential. The compact SUV also includes five terrain modes: Auto, Sport, Snow, Rock, and Sand/Mud. The ride is comfortable and smooth on paved surfaces with minimal shifting on corners, as the suspension counterbalances jolts and shocks.
Cloth upholstery is standard with the five-seater Jeep Cherokee. It has a six-way manual or power adjustment for comfortable front seating, which can also be heated and ventilated. The rear seat includes the 60/40 split capability. Upholstery can be upgraded to combinations of Nappa leather, cloth, and vinyl, and a heated or leather-wrapped steering wheel is an available option. Additional interior features include the dual-zone automatic climate control, nine-speaker premium audio system, and navigation system, which are all controlled via the intuitive 8.4-inch touch-screen display of the UConnect infotainment system.
This compact crossover suffers no lack of safety features. The robust body includes 10 strategically placed air bags. The lane sense and lane departure warnings will alert the driver when unintentional drifts are detected, and if there is no response, the vehicle's course is auto-corrected. Forward collision with active braking employs radar to detect the speed of approaching vehicles, and alerts the driver or engages the braking system if the approach is too fast and not enough barking pressure is applied.