Jeep Cherokee Trail­hawk 4x4

The Washington Post Sunday - - CARS -

Bot­tom line: Peo­ple shop­ping for a high-qual­ity, neatly styled, com­pact four-wheel-drive ve­hi­cle with gen­uine off-road ca­pa­bil­ity should con­sider the Trail­hawk, with the V-6 ga­so­line en­gine. If fuel econ­omy is a pri­mary con­cern, take a look at the ga­so­line-four-cylin­der Honda CR-V.

Ride, ac­cel­er­a­tion and han­dling: This gets good marks in all three.

Head-turn­ing quo­tient: It’s con­tro­ver­sial. The Trail­hawk’s sleek, for­ward styling of­fends some Jeep tra­di­tion­al­ists. But many folks like the Trail­hawk’s stylish body with its slanted nar­row front grille and slen­der, wrap­around LED head­lamps.

Body style/lay­out: The Cherokee is a front-en­gine, com­pact four-door sportu­til­ity-ve­hi­cle with a rear hatch avail­able with front-wheel or four-wheel drive. There are four trim lev­els — Sport, Lat­i­tude, Trail­hawk and Lim­ited.

En­gines/trans­mis­sion: It comes stan­dard with a 2.4-liter in-line four­cylin­der ga­so­line en­gine (184 horse­power, 171 pound-feet of torque). The Trail­hawk model used for this col­umn was equipped with an op­tional 3.2-liter, 24-valve ga­so­line V-6 with vari­able valve tim­ing. Both en­gines come stan­dard with a nine-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion that can be op­er­ated man­u­ally.

Ca­pac­i­ties: Seat­ing is for five peo­ple. Cargo ca­pac­ity is 24.8 cu­bic feet with all seats in place. The fuel tank holds 15.8 gal­lons (reg­u­lar ga­so­line is fine). The Cherokee can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

Mileage: I av­er­aged 25 miles per gallon in high­way driv­ing.

Safety: Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes four-wheel disc brakes, ven­ti­lated front and solid rear; four-wheel anti-lock brake pro­tec­tion; emer­gency brak­ing as­sis­tance; sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol; post-col­li­sion safety sys­tem; and side and head air bags.

Prices: The 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trail­hawk 4x4 starts at $30,395, with an es­ti­mated dealer in­voice price of $28,000. Price as tested is $36,869, in­clud­ing $5,479 in op­tions. Es­ti­mated dealer’s price as tested is $34,000.

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