2018 Jeep Cherokee Review

 

The 2018 Jeep Cherokee is a compact crossover with off-road capabilities. Compact crossovers can handle paved roads, but the Cherokee is also capable of handling routes off the main roadways with ease. This feature is what distinguishes the 2018 Jeep Cherokee.

It also provides a comfortable ride on paved roads, and comes with a cozy cabin for the ultimate passenger experience. The transmission is a nine-speed automatic and there is an option of a four-cylinder or, for more power, a V-6. The front-wheel-drive can be upgraded to all-wheel-drive. Its off-road capabilities, unique style, and much-sought-after Jeep brand are all that is needed to attract prospective customers.

New Features in the 2018 Model

The 2018 Cherokee has not been updated much from the 2017 model, but the lineup reflects some updates in the standard features. Currently, the Latitude is the base trim. Standard 17-inch wheels, roof rails, and HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights are offered on every model.

Latitude models are now also available with Jeep's new Tech Connect package. The Tech Connect package includes a distinctive exterior and improved interior features. It also offers voice-recognition capabilities via Amazon Alexa, which allows for remote starting and stopping of the vehicle and other functions.

The all-new Latitude Plus trim includes luxuries such as a premium leather-surface interior, an adjustable driver's seat with eight settings, and a mini 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system. The Limited and Cherokee Trailhawk trims are now equipped with a standard blind-spot monitor, a rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors, and the Trailhawk now has standard dual-zone automatic climate control. All Limited models have a power liftgate.

Cherokee Transmission and Engine

What sets the Cherokee apart from the competition are the options of a V-6 engine and an all-wheel-drive system focused on off-road driving. The V-6 models all feature a start/stop system that turns off the engine when the vehicle is stopped. The new 2018 Jeep Cherokee retains the key SUV features of its predecessors; it drives great on tarmac but also gives excellent performance off-road.

The standard four-cylinder makes the Cherokee a good vehicle for commuters. Its 2.4-liter engine provides 184 horsepower and 171 pounds per foot of torque. Its front-wheel-drive gives it sufficient strength. The sound of the powertrain noises have been dampened, making for a pleasant commute.

The V-6 engine that is available is a 3.2-liter that provides 271 horsepower and 239 pounds per foot of torque, but it does add weight to the vehicle. In some trim levels, total weight is above 4,000 pounds. However, the V-6 provides a high degree of refinement as well as quick and reliable acceleration. V-6 Cherokees also come equipped with stop/start.

Both engine options transmit power to the wheels by way of a nine-speed automatic that includes a couple of very low gears, three overdrive gears, and several mid-range gears. The low gears are included to ensure good take-off. The wide range of ratios also contributes to the performance, even among inline-four variants.

The Cherokee has been rated as being able to tow up to 4,500 pounds. This together with its off-road capability makes it the "Swiss army knife" of the crossover-SUV niche.

Driving the 2018 Jeep Cherokee

Although it is a tall and heavy vehicle, the Cherokee offers more confident handling than is suggested by its high ride height and size. The body roll in the corners is controlled by the suspension, which is relatively firm, and it this is accomplished without a compromise in the quality of the ride. It reduces the amount of excess reverberation experienced upon the absorption of impacts and the Jeep never feels "floaty" during highway driving. The brake pedal makes it easy to remain calm in emergencies. The Cherokee's deceleration from 70 to zero mph is considered above average in its class.

The Interior of the Jeep Cherokee

The 2018 Cherokee's interior boasts supportive seats and easy-to-use controls. The cabin is comfortable. The front seats have a nice sculptured shape and plenty of cushioning. The rear seats provide good leg support and they can be adjusted backward and forward for increased legroom.

The interior design and materials of the 2018 Cherokee for sale in Belton, Raymore, Grandview and Kansas City are unchanged from previous years, but there have been new trims added and the standard features have been improved. Trailhawk models now have dual-zone automatic climate control and the Latitude Plus trim now has cloth seats with leather inserts, a leather steering wheel equipped with audio controls, ambient lighting, and an adjustable driver's seat with eight settings and lumbar support.

The dashboard is appealing. Its layout is similar to that of the bigger, more expensive Grand Cherokee. This gives it an upscale feel. The gauges are clear and can be read easily. The layout of the climate and audio controls is very logical and intuitive.

Upper trim levels feature wood and the quality of the leather upholstery is high.

Infotainment

The 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment screen that is available in the 2018 Cherokee is top of the line. The organization of its menus and its short response times to touchscreen inputs make it easy to use while driving.

Owners of a 2018 Cherokee that has the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system are now able to remotely start and stop the engine, lock and unlock the doors and track the vital attributes of the vehicle with their voice by means of a device such as Amazon Echo, which is compatible with Amazon Alexa. The least expensive way of obtaining this feature is through the new Tech Connect package, which is available only on the Latitude trim. With this package, you also get a 115-volt power outlet, SiriusXM satellite radio, and the 8.4-inch Uconnect system.

The Uconnect infotainment system provides many alternatives to the touchscreen, such as voice commands, steering-wheel controls, and clearly labeled buttons and knobs on the center stack.

The base Uconnect 5.0 system is also Bluetooth compatible and it can play music through the USB or auxiliary inputs. For SiriusXM capability, you must opt for the 8.4-inch screen. Several other features are offered only with Uconnect 8.4, such as built-in navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Uconnect 8.4 system is one of the most responsive touchscreens on the market. With its customizable layouts, you have the option of making the buttons you use most frequently easily accessible from the home screen.

The 2018 Jeep Cherokee Exterior

The front lighting of the 2018 Cherokee sets it apart. It can instantly be identified as a Jeep from its famous seven-slotted grille. The Trailhawk, which comes across as a rugged vehicle due to its tow hooks, added body cladding, and larger size wheels and tires, and the more luxurious models such as the Limited and Overland models, with their single color scheme and display of additional chrome trim, offer the personalization drivers often desire.

The Jeep Cherokee continues to be one of the larger vehicles in its class. It remains a few inches longer and wider than many of its competitors and has a high ground clearance. This contributes to its off-road credibility.

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