Best in-class capability for all (launch ramp) weather conditions.
By Garth W. Cane
When you want to tow your boat to your favorite lake, the new Jeep Cherokee is more than up for the job. With a choice of three innovative 4×4 systems for best-in-class 4×4 capability in all weather conditions, the Jeep can handle any road conditions on the way to the lake. It is the first mid-size SUV to feature rear-axle disconnect, resulting in reduced energy loss when 4×4 capability isn’t needed – improving fuel efficiency. The rear-axle disconnects seamlessly switches between two- and four-wheel drive for full-time torque management and does not require input from the driver.
For boaters who care about fuel econo-my and capability in all weather conditions with fuel economy of up to 31 mpg and more than 70 safety and security features, a nine-speed automatic transmission, a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 271 horse-power and 239 lb.-ft. of torque, or a 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine with 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque, you can achieve nearly 500 (800 kms) miles driving range on a tank of gasoline.
Legendary Jeep 4×4 systems will make launching or retrieving your boat on the slipperiest ramps, with crawl ratios of 56:1 with the 2.4-liter engine and 47.8:1 with the 3.2-liter engine. The 948TE transmission with planetary gear train, transverse layout, and ratio spread of 9.81 is standard on all models.
Overall length: 182” / 4.55 m
Ground clearance: 8.7”/ .21 m
Wheelbase: 107” / 2.67 m
Transverse engine, aluminum block
Displacement: 144 cu in / 3.2L
Fuel injection sequential multiport
Max engine speed 6500 rpm
Alternator 180 amp
Wheels 17” or 18” depending on model
Max towing capacity: 4,500 lb / 2,041 kg
MSRP: Starting at 33,695
Options as Tested ($4,905):
Trailer Tow Pkg
Safety Tec GroupT
For more information
The optional trailer-tow package includes a Class III receiver hitch, trailer-tow wiring harness with seven and four-pin connectors, full-size spare tire, and auxiliary transmission oil cooler. For vehicles equipped with V-6 engine, also includes heavy-duty engine cooling, 180-amp alternator, and 3.517 final drive ratio. The Cherokee offers best-in-class V-6 towing capability of 4,500 pounds, but with the 2.4L engine it only has a 2000 pound tow rating. The 32.L 4×4 weighs 4046 pounds with a GVWR of 5500 pounds.
Three different four-wheel-drive systems raise the standard for mid-size SUVs include “Active Drive I” (available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models), that features a single power transfer unit, which is fully automatic and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive at any speed.
“Active Drive II” (available on the Cherokee Latitude and Limited models) includes a two-speed power transfer unit with torque management and low range. The 4-Low mode locks the front and rear drive shafts for low-speed power or towing. The 2.92:1 gear reduction allows for enhanced climbing ability as well out-standing crawl ratios for severe off-road conditions.
“Active Drive Lock” includes all the features of Jeep Active Drive II and adds a locking rear differential for superior low-speed power for severe off-road conditions. It is standard on all Trailhawk models.
All 4×4 systems feature the Jeep brand’s renowned Selec-Terrain traction control system, will allow the driver to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum perfor-mance with up to five customized settings for Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock.
By shutting the engine off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop, Engine Stop-Start technology increases fuel efficiency and is standard on Cherokees equipped with the 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. The 700 ampere AGM battery allows the radio, gauges, heating or air conditioning, to continue to operate, making the operation transparent to the driver. The engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake, allowing seamless acceleration.
The stability control (ESC); electronic roll mitigation; Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, 10 standard air bags and much more.
The front suspension is McPherson strut, with long travel coil springs, one-piece aluminum sub-frame, aluminum lower control arms, and stabilizer bar. The rear has Four link suspension with trailing arm, aluminum lateral links, isolated high-strength steel rear cradle, coil springs, and a stabilizer bar. The steering is Electric rack and pinion, with overall ratio of 15.15 for 4×2 and 15.36 for 4×4 models achieving a curb to curb turning diameter of 38 feet.
The brakes in the front are 13” vented rotor with single-piston floating calipers, and he rear has 10.95” solid rotors with single piston floating calipers and four-wheel anti-lock system standard. Power-assist braking has tandem diaphragm with vacuum assist. The parking brake is operated by an electric motor on a caliper. Electronic stability control and four wheel traction control are a standard feature and front-wheel-drive Sport, Latitude and Limited have four-wheel anti-lock brakes standard.
As the years progress, the entertainment system in cars and trucks is getting more elaborate. For 2016 Jeep Cherokee vehicles equipped with the 8.4-inch touch-screen, Uconnect is introducing new features that include the all-new Drag and Drop menu bar, Siri Eyes Free and Do-Not Disturb. Jeep Cherokee owners now have the ability to personalize their touchscreen controls to fit their lifestyle and have one-button access to the features and services they value most.