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  • Truck Trend Pre-Owned: 2014 to 2018 Jeep Cherokee

Truck Trend Pre-Owned: 2014 to 2018 Jeep Cherokee


Colin Ryan
Jul 26, 2019
We should say this up front: Buying a pre-owned Jeep Cherokee is not as straightforward as something like, say, a Honda CR-V. But it could be far more interesting. This is a compact crossover/SUV that resurrects the famous Cherokee name. And thanks to its illustrious maker, there's an element of off-road ability baked in, which is more than can be said for its rivals.
This generation of Cherokee has the kind of refinement and ease of driving more often associated with cars than SUV/crossovers. The ride quality is comfortable, although the suspension is not particularly adept at taking corners; the upside to that is a less jarring experience on rutted dirt roads. The Cherokee is also roomy for rear passengers, while the rear seat slides and reclines, and splits and folds in the usual 60/40 way.
Photo 2/9   |   2016 Cherokee Trailhawk R3q
With the rear seats in place, luggage area is 24.6 cubic feet. That's below the class average by around 5 cubic feet. Fold those seats down and cargo space expands to 54.9 cubic feet. Most of the competition can offer an extra 10 cubic feet. The towing situation is healthier, though. With the right equipment, a Cherokee with the V-6 can pull 4,500 pounds.
The Cherokee received a face-lift for 2019, so we're focusing on the first four model years, which also means there will be a selection of used Cherokees available through the company's certified pre-owned (CPO) program.
Trims started out with Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk, and Limited. Sport is the entry level, with 17-inch steel wheels, a 5-inch infotainment touchscreen (the higher trims have an 8.4-inch touchscreen), and a six-speaker audio system. Latitude brings 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, and LED cabin lighting. It's also eligible for more options.
Photo 3/9   |   2016 Cherokee Limited Interior
Trailhawk is the most off-road capable, sporting a dedicated suspension, all-terrain tires, all-wheel drive with a locking rear differential as standard, a low-range reduction gear, and underbody protection. It's not as hard-core as a Wrangler, but that could be a good thing.
Limited is the luxury model, bringing dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, real leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel.
A rearview camera became standard in the 2015 Latitude model, along with an engine stop/start feature for the V-6, plus the option of forward-collision mitigation. A new range-topping Overland trim was introduced in 2016 that included heated/ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a powered tailgate.
In 2018, Sport trim was discontinued, leaving Latitude as the entry level, while a Latitude Plus trim was introduced as the next step up. Standard and optional equipment also received something of a shake-up at this time.
Photo 4/9   |   2016 Cherokee Profile Steep Angle
The base engine is a 2.4L four-cylinder unit making 184 hp and 171 lb-ft. That's a reasonable amount of muscle, but the Cherokee is on the heavy side. However, one thing that differentiates this SUV from its competition is the alternative of a 3.2L V-6, available in all but the lowest Sport trim. This develops a more energetic 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. Both engines connect to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Front-wheel drive is the default setup. Since this is a Jeep, all-wheel drive is not only offered, there's also a choice of systems. Active Drive I is for that extra bit of reassurance on slippery roads and more light duty. Active Drive II features low-range gearing for more ability when away from the tarmac. The Active Drive II system is standard in the Trailhawk and includes a locking rear differential in this model.
All-wheel-drive Cherokees also have the Selec-Terrain system that provides different settings for different surfaces, such as snow or sand; the Trailhawk gets a Rock setting. It also disengages drive to the rear wheels automatically when conditions dictate, to keep fuel consumption in check.
Photo 5/9   |   2016 Cherokee Trailhawk Underneath Shot
The nine-speed transmission has been the main problem with the Cherokee. It's sourced from specialist supplier ZF (which makes transmissions for virtually every car maker), but cramming nine forward ratios into one box proved tricky, and the Cherokee was among the first recipients of this new product.
One issue was the unit going into neutral at random times. Some owners have also complained about rough shifting action. The official response is that it's a software glitch, but recalls have also mentioned a fault in a control sensor.
Other recalls (of which there have been several) include cruise control that can't be cancelled, failing wipers, unintended side curtain airbag deployment, fractured front drive shafts, oil pump failure leading to engine stalling, and partial detachment of the rear shock absorbers.
Let's say, however, that a possible Cherokee purchase has been thoroughly checked over (as every potential buy ought to be), had the recall work done, and is ready to give a new owner many years of service. A 2016 model in Latitude trim with the four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive in good condition and purchased from a private seller could go for around $15,260. A similarly spec'd Ford Escape would be around $14,000, while a comparable GMC Terrain is valued at closer to $16,000.
Photo 6/9   |   2019 Cherokee Nose Lonely Road
Jeep Cherokee 2014-2018
Body type: Four-door compact SUV
Drivetrain: Front engine, FWD/AWD
Airbags: Driver, front passenger, front side, side curtain
Engine: 2.4/184 hp, SOHC I-4; 3.2/271 hp, DOHC V-6
Brakes, f/r: Disc, disc, ABS
Price range, whlsl/retail (KBB): $9,796/$11,762 (2014, FWD, 2.4 I-4, Sport), $24,149/$28,674 (2018, AWD, 3.2 V-6, Overland)
NHTSA frontal impact rating, driver/fr pass: Four stars/four stars



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