When the KL Cherokee came out it left some members of the general public going ‘huh?’ It’s curvaceous styling stood in stark contrast to the literal box that was the previous Cherokees. Fast forward a few years and it has turned into one of the most beautifully styled crossovers on the road. Now if the design is a little to svelte for you there is this Cherokee Trailhawk trim model. It injects some testosterone to the Cherokee line and comes with 4WD only, All Terrain Tires, Red recovery hooks, locking rear diff and all the off road goodies you expect from a Jeep. So how is it? Well it is a mixed bag.
The aforementioned styling is the perfect combination of grace and machismo. The interior is pretty much the same as the regular Cherokee which is not a bad thing. The controls are excellent, the infotainment rig is one of the best in the market and the seats are wonderfully comfortable. The interior does feel a bit cramped compared to it’s competitors like the Ford Escape but the materials used are a step up in quality.
It’s a Jeep afterall so it comes with a full time 4wd system with terrain select, locking diffs, hill descent mode etc. The engine is a 3.2 liter V6 making 271 horsepower and 239 ft/lbs of torque. Those numbers may sound solid but with those heavy wheels and tires, the 4wd and a 9 speed transmission that only shifts by committee vote….it feels sluggish to say the least. Fuel economy also suffers with our, as tested, 18.4 mpg in mixed driving. With it’s competitors doing low to mid 20 mpgs…that’s just not good.
So how do I sum up the 2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk? It’s one of the best looking crossovers on the market with a fantastic interior and with legitimate off road cred….if you can live with it’s drivetrain.