2016 Jeep Cherokee: A New Look With Even Greater Capability




Just because the 2016 Jeep Cherokee for sale now has a different look than the old Cherokee did in the past, doesn’t mean that it lost it’s performance capability. On the contrary, the Cherokee has never been equipped with such astounding engines, architecture, 4x4 systems, and any other performance oriented aspect you can think of. There might be a lot of people who disagree that the older Cherokee’s are still the way to go for off-roading adventures, but when you look at the capability of a 2016 Cherokee Trailhawk that’s earned Jeep’s Trail Rated badge, I’d have to disagree. 

Kick back and get comfortable. I don’t think you are truly aware of just how much capability the 2016 Jeep Cherokee has, but you're about to find out...


Cherokee Trailhawk is Trail Rated Tough



Before we take an in-depth look at some of the state-of-the-art performance features being offered on the new-looking Cherokee, let’s explore what it means for the Cherokee Trailhawk to be Trail Rated. That way, you can see first-hand how the new Cherokee is much more capable than the one you remember your parents driving. 

In order for the Cherokee Trailhawk to be bestowed with a Trail Rated badge, it has to undergo a grueling test: completing the Rubicon Trail. This trail isn’t a push over, either. It was specifically picked by Jeep in order to push their vehicles to the limit. The Rubicon Trail takes every possible type of off-roading condition imaginable, and combines them. Therefore, the Jeep in question must have exceptional traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation, and water fording abilities. Without excelling in all of these categories, there is no way a vehicle can complete the Rubicon Trail. 

From the front and rear tow hooks to the standard one-inch suspension lift, everything on the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk proves itself Trail Rated tough.


Powerful and Efficient Engine Options



But, this SUV wasn’t designed for just off-road use. With varying trim levels, new efficient engines, and a cutting-edge aerodynamic style, this Cherokee is made for equal parts off-road ruggedness and on-road comfort while cruising. 

The engine that comes standard on the Cherokee is a 2.4-liter Tigershark I4 engine. This 16-valve engine has advanced technologies — like dual VVT and a flow-control valve intake manifold — to give the Cherokee the best fuel mileage possible. The 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque is enough for minor off-roading trails. Anything more than that and you’ll want to opt for the V6. But, if your goal is to tote the kids back and forth to school, then the 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with FWD will suit you just fine. 

Optional on certain 2016 Cherokee trims is a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine. This is a solid all-around engine, balancing power with fuel-saving technology for a driving experience that’s easy on your wallet, but still provides power when you need it. Start-Stop technology also helps reduce CO2 emissions and uses sophisticated control strategies to reduce fuel when the brakes are applied — which is how it promotes efficiency. But, this engine’s main focus is off-road traversing. Therefore, this engine delivers a robust 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque. When the proper trailering package is equipped, it even boasts a towing capacity of 4,500 pounds. It might not be as fuel-efficient as the 2.4-liter, but returns of 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway aren’t too shabby for a Jeep. 


One engine option for cruising around on the highway and another one designed for off-roading purposes. Combine with that durable aerodynamic design and this Cherokee is able to successfully travel on both types of terrain — which is something the older Cherokee was never able to do. 


Architecture for Any Situation



The engines aren’t the only things oriented towards on and off-road performance, as the architecture has been designed to fit both on and off-road use. In 2016, the Cherokee structure is made of high-strength steel. This steel structure provides a strong, solid, safe, and lightweight vehicle on the road that also has the strength to withstand rugged terrain, along with the torsional stiffness to articulate effectively when going over frequent bumps. In the end, these specs add up to one of the most advanced frames ever equipping the Cherokee. 

Also, buyers have a choice of suspension. If you want it for a daily driver, then grab the on-road suspension that provides spectacular street and highway driving dynamics. It improves the overall handling on the road (something the old Cherokee was also lacking), while also making it fun to drive. Or, standard on the Trailhawk trim, the off-road suspension with a one-inch lift is geared towards handling the rougher parts of a trail. With this suspension, the Cherokee is a more than capable rock-crawler.


Alongside these suspension options, Jeep is also offering three advanced 4x4 systems.


Three Advanced 4x4 Systems



Jeeps have never had state-of-the-art 4x4 capabilities like they do in 2016, and the Cherokee is equipped with three systems that are more than capable of handling any situation that comes your way. 

The single-speed Active Drive I 4x4 system comes coupled with brake traction control, and is perfect for the buyer who is looking for something with easy-to-manage all-weather capability. Therefore, you’ll typically find this 4x4 system paired with the 2.4-liter engine that’s for on-road use. 

The Jeep Active Drive II 4x4 system has more than a low-range of speeds and is perfect for those looking to do some rock crawling. Finally, the king of them all is the Active Drive Lock 4x4 system that comes standard on Jeep's highly-regarded Trail Rated models. This system has 4-low capability and a rear locker, which locks the left and right rear wheels together. This ensures that they will spin together, so that even if one wheel is up in the air when off-roading, the one still on the ground will provide ample grip and push the Cherokee forward.


Along with these advanced 4x4 systems, Jeeps also come with Selec-Terrain traction control. This allows the driver to utilize four customizable off-road settings: Auto, Snow, Sport, and Sand/Mud. On the Trailhawk trim, Rock is also added to that list. All it takes is the turn of a dial to make your Jeep Cherokee 4x4 ready for whatever hazardous road condition you might encounter. 


Yeah, It’s More Than Capable

With state-of-the-art engines, 4x4 systems, and architecture, the 2016 Jeep Cherokee is more than capable.

So, if you are one of those people who think the Cherokee is any less capable than it used to be because it looks different and is made with a modern mindset, then go watch a video of the Cherokee getting its Trail Rated badge. I guarantee you’ll change your mind after that.