3.6 Overall Score
Performance 3.5 Comfort 3.8 Styling 3.8 Value 3.7

Editor's Overview

Jeep’s 2016 Cherokee SUV is about as American as apple pie. Building off one of the most successful nameplates in the company’s history, the 2016 Cherokee combines modern comfort and conveniences with rugged, off-road-ready capability. Available in a number of trims and offering a choice of 4-cylinder or V6 engines, the Cherokee is unique among compact-crossover SUVs.

You'll Like The 2016 Jeep Cherokee If...

If you’re seeking a more stylish alternative to the Subaru Forester or Honda CR-V, plus you need real off-road ability, the 2016 Jeep Cherokee SUV is ready to get dirty with you.

You May Not Like The 2016 Jeep Cherokee If...

If the Jeep name conjures up images of boxy SUVs with upright grilles and stark interiors, the 2016 Cherokee from Jeep may come as a shock. Fiat’s Italian styling philosophy has clearly influenced this particular Cherokee, which is also rather pricey and not terribly powerful with its standard engine.

What's New

For 2016, the Jeep Cherokee compact-crossover SUV sees improvements in driver comfort with revisions to the front seats, steering-column position and instrument cluster. The 8.4-inch Uconnect touch-screen option gains a Drag and Drop Menu Bar, Siri Eyes Free and a Do Not Disturb setting.

Interior Features

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee SUV interior blends traditional Jeep cues – such as the trapezoidal "center stack" – with modern touches to create an attractive and upscale layout. The seats offer good support and come trimmed in either attractive cloth or soft Nappa leather. The heated and ventilated top-of-the-line seats also come with power adjustments and memory. The 2nd-row seats adjust forward and backward for better legroom, and split 60/40 for maximum cargo flexibility. We were particularly fond of the available wireless-device charging pad, plus the enormous glove box. However, we do wish the Cherokee offered more room overall inside.

Exterior Features

Polarizing is the best way to sum up the Jeep Cherokee for 2016. It's one thing to stray from the traditional Jeep design aesthetic of round headlights flanking a 7-slot grille, but quite another to ditch the appearance of headlights entirely. However, we've warmed up to the newest Jeep Cherokee, and there's a lot here that says “Jeep.” The 7-slot grille has a "kink" folding it into the hood, and the less controversial rear resembles the Grand Cherokee SUV. Trailhawk versions kick up the macho with a higher ride, red-painted front tow hooks, skidplates and more aggressive front and rear treatments.

Driving Impressions

The Jeep Cherokee SUV for 2016 is offered in five variations: Sport, Latitude, Altitude, Limited and Trailhawk. All but the Trailhawk come standard with front-wheel drive (FWD); 4-wheel drive (4WD) is optional. The Cherokee competes well with the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. However, the Cherokee’s 4-cylinder engine isn’t as smooth or refined as the Honda’s, nor is it as fuel-efficient. Fuel economy notwithstanding, the optional V6 is the best engine for on-road acceleration and off-road exploration. Along with the three available 4WD options is the Selec-Terrain system that allows for optimal off-road traction. Drivers can choose settings for Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. Or, one can simply set the knob to “Auto” and let the Cherokee select the best mode. All Cherokees are endowed with generous approach and departure angles and good ground clearance, while the Trailhawk maximizes the Cherokee’s off-road potential.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Sport, the base model, starts around $24,000 for the FWD version. Midrange Cherokee Latitude and Altitude models start at about $26,000 and $26,800, respectively, while Limited models start at about $28,000. If you want the off-road-ready Cherokee Trailhawk, bring $30,000. The 4WD system on the other models adds around $1,000 to $2,000, while the V6 adds about $1,500. That's right in the heart of competitors like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Toyota RAV4, none of which offer a V6 engine. If you're looking for serious off-roading chops and reasonable towing capabilities, the Cherokee is the choice, otherwise, note that some competitors offer more interior space. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase price to see what others paid in your area. Also note that the Cherokee's cost of ownership runs better than average.

Notable Equipment

All Jeep Cherokee SUVs come standard with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, offering very good fuel economy and a range of about 500 miles on a tank of gasoline. Other standard equipment includes a Uconnect 5-inch touch-screen media center that includes Bluetooth, USB, SD and auxiliary ports. Also standard are a 3.5-inch full-color center display, 10 air bags, electronic stability control, traction control, Hill-start Assist, electric power steering, and an electric parking brake, plus cruise control, air conditioning with rear outlets, and remote keyless entry. The Jeep Cargo Management system includes standard hooks and a storage tote.

Notable Options

Jeep Cherokee Latitude, Altitude, Limited and Trailhawk models can get the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine. There are three 4WD systems available as well: Active Drive I, Active Drive II and, on Trailhawk models, Active Drive Lock. Other upgrades include an 8.4-inch touch screen for Uconnect, an Alpine premium audio with nine speakers and a subwoofer, and a CommandView dual-pane panoramic sunroof with power sunshade. Cherokee Limited models add leather, heated power seats and steering wheel, Keyless Enter-N-Go, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Trailhawk models emphasize off-road capabilities with skidplates, an increased ride height and a more rugged look.

Favorite Features


German transmission specialist ZF created a 9-speed automatic for the Cherokee that not only improves performance and fuel economy it works without a glitch, giving the potent V6 engine highway fuel economy as good as some 4-cylinder competitors.


The secret to the 2016 Jeep Cherokee’s off-road prowess is hidden in its Selec-Terrain system. Utilizing 12 different vehicle systems including the stability, brake, drivetrain, powertrain and transmission controllers, the Cherokee ensures maximum traction in all situations.

Under the Hood

The base engine for all 2016 Jeep Cherokee models is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine offering 184 horsepower. However, unlike many of its competitors, Jeep offers a V6 engine in its small SUV as well: a 3.2-liter V6 with 271 horsepower, and the added ability to tow up to 4,500 pounds. Both engines offer good fuel economy, with the 4-cylinder obviously being the fuel-sipper's choice. Both engines come with a 9-speed automatic transmission, whether equipped with front-drive or 4WD. Three different 4WD systems are available, ranging from the Jeep Active Drive I and Jeep Active Drive II, to the aggressive Jeep Active Drive Lock reserved for the off-road-ready Trailhawk. V6 models get a modest fuel economy bump thanks to the standard start-stop mechanism.

2.4-liter inline-4

184 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm

171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg (FWD), 21/28 mpg (4WD Active Drive I), 21/27 mpg (4WD Active Drive II), 19/26 mpg (4WD Trailhawk)

3.2-liter V6

271 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm

239 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg (FWD), 20/28 mpg (4WD Active Drive I), 19/26 mpg (4WD Active Drive II), 19/25 mpg (4WD Trailhawk)

Editors' Notes

Unlike the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, the 2016 Jeep Cherokee crossover SUV boasts genuine off-road credentials worthy of the Jeep name. Even in its most formidable trim level – that being the rugged Trailhawk – the Cherokee surrenders nothing in the way of comfort or handling. When the need arises, however, the Cherokee’s low-range mode and three different 4-wheel-drive systems permit everything from light off-roading to rock crawling through passes unnavigable by most Cherokee rivals. Yet, for all its rough and tough bravado, the Cherokee’s interior is a luxurious oasis of modern design and technology. Toss in the available V6 engine and standard 9-speed transmission, and you get a compact-crossover SUV unlike any other in the segment.

Road Test Video Reviews

2016 Jeep Cherokee Owner Reviews

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2016 Jeep Cherokee Sport

Great vehicle. It makes me feel safe and secure regardless of the weather conditions. It has many safety features and can handle all types of terrain. It rides comfortably and is great for long distances. It has an automatic cut off feature that saves gas when sitting at stop lights. It has optional 4 wheel drive for mountain or rough terrain driving. It has the option of automatic transmission or manual transmission. It has plenty of space and the seats are comfortable. The audio system plays well with multiple features such as playing your own music downloaded to the vehicle. It does not have a CD system but uses music saved to a USB drive. You can personalize it by downloading pictures and other information. It's navigation is a feature used very often. It does not update routinely so it is unaware of any new roads that may exist. Overall, this is a great vehicle. I have vowed to only drive a Jeep. I know several friends that also drive a Jeep and they feel the same way. They will only drive a Jeep as long as they can which is why you see these vehicles take the mileage they can take before ever being sold. It is hard to sell a Jeep because of all the memories that this vehicle will create just by being able to access areas other vehicle can't. Therefore, many owners try to keep their Jeep as long as possible. The company has really combined the best of both worlds with the crossover with the ability of the Jeep along with a family vehicle for everyone. It has plenty of room in the back seat and plenty of storage in the very back. It is the all around vehicle for all adventures who also want to share their experiences with loved ones.

- Michelle B

Sleek, attractive design. Sporty yet a serious workhorse.

2016 Jeep Cherokee

The Cherokee staying is classic and attractive. The interior is roomy and comfortable. The dashboard is easy to use but can be a bit confusing if you are used to driving Japanese made vehicles; the radio and hvac controls are reversed. The cargo space is adequate but if you need to pick up and deliver equipment or furniture then you'll need to put the seats down. That is not a big deal. The one noticeable thing is the engine. While you do have options the 2. 4l engine and 9-speed transmission takes a little getting used to, especially if you've owned something bigger like a grand Cherokee. While I appreciate not having to fill up every other day I miss being able to hit the pedal and feel the immediate response needed to pass the car ahead of me. Also while I appreciate conserving energy and reducing our carbon footprint I still cannot get used to the engine nearly shutting down when I pull up to a stop. As a result, the heater (or air conditioning) and defroster shut down almost completely in stop and go traffic which is annoying when the temperature is below freezing (or above 75). Just be prepared. The ride is comfortable if you are used to driving a SUV, but if you used to a sedan it will feel rigid and you will feel more bumps in the road; you'll get used to it, however. The rigid frame actually makes me feel safer though I am not sure why; just intuition I guess.

- Steven A

A Great Value, A Great Investment

2016 Jeep Cherokee Sport

It has been solidly reliable since the day we brought it home. It comes with many features that are very useful. One such feature is the back up camera, because the Jeep sits so high, it is reassuring to know what is behind you, at all angles. I do sometimes catch myself looking and not using the camera view, so it does take some getting used to. But, definitely worth having. Another great feature is being able to put the vehicle into the four wheel drive, especially in the winters here in New Jersey. Four wheel drive is not the only option of gears, also available is sport mode and a mudding option if you ever want to go off road and have some fun! It is very comfortable as well. The only downside to the Jeep Cherokee is that the sport SUV is 4 cylinder and, although not bad on gas, it can be slow. I also would like to mention that it is one of the more attractive SUVs I have seen. I also appreciate the fact that it comes with roof racks as standard. There is a very short and limited warranty, but they will send you notification when it is about to expire along with the option to extend warranty coverage at a discount to you. Overall, this is an excellent vehicle. The price range averages between 28,000. and 33,000, depending on what features you need. One great thing is that Jeep really do hold their value. I would highly recommend the Jeep Cherokee.

- Lisa E

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