Jeep Cherokee (2013-present)

Strengths & Weaknesses


Rugged looks
High level of standard equipment
Large boot


Bouncy ride
Expensive top-of-the-range versions
Thirsty petrol engines

Time was when Jeep and rival 4x4 manufacturer Land Rover were the only game in town but time marches on and now these two old stalwarts face rivals from all corners of the globe. Land Rover has kept pace with the new Discovery Sport but Jeep’s Cherokee model is beginning to look outgunned by smarter and more sophisticated alternatives.

It still has lots to recommend it, though. It has real heritage for one thing, and it looks ‘toughly stylish’ and, from the front, quite imposing. It’s also pretty handy off-road and it’s competitively priced, at least from entry-level to mid-range.

There are also lots of trims available from basic Longitude all the way to the expensive 75th Anniversary (that’s how long Jeep has been in the 4x4 business).
Kit levels are good with even Longitude versions having air-con, a digital radio, rear parking sensors and a five-inch touchscreen. Limited, with its larger touchscreen and wireless phone charging, is the best all-rounder. The interior looks stylish and feels well made if not quite as polished as those you’ll find in the Mercedes GLC, BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

And then there’s the Cherokee’s sliding rear seat which gives you the option of creating extra rear legroom or a larger boot, which varies in size from 591 to 714 litres. However, with the seats folded down, the resulting load space is smaller than an Audi Q3’s. This hints at other problems, namely the rather cramped passenger space. Rear legroom is especially tight. The Discovery Sport, with its two additional seats, is a better all-round package.

Its slightly cramped interior is the first chink in the Cherokee’s armour, the second being its on-road performance. It’s comfortable, which is probably a good thing in most people’s eyes, but it isn’t especially engaging to drive. The steering lacks feel and there’s a fair amount of body lean in corners. The Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga strike a better compromise between ride comfort and handling.

The Cherokee’s diesel engines are outclassed by German motors but the recently introduced 2.2 – available in two power outputs – is smooth, punchy and economical, if not especially refined. They make good, relaxed cruisers, though. If you don’t need the extra traction of four-wheel drive, the two-wheel drive versions are cheaper to run. On that point, the petrol versions are thirsty and best avoided.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 16:45