The 2018 Jeep Cherokee is a compact SUV that comfortably seats five. If you are in the market for a smaller SUV, the Cherokee is worth a look. It can fill the role of family transporter and grocery hauler, as well as off-road adventure vehicle. And it does it all with style.
What's New For 2018
This is only the fifth year since the last major updates to the Jeep Cherokee. No major changes were expected for this year's model. The standard trim level has been changed to the Limited model for 2018. New trims and a few minor features have been added. Other than those things, the 2018 model is largely the same as the 2017 version of the Cherokee.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Jeep Cherokee – The Pros
1. Comfortable Cabin Area
The driver and front-passenger seats are nice and comfortable. The cabin area is roomy with just the right amount of headroom. All of the major controls are within easy reach for the driver. This is a comfortable daily driver, as well as a capable off-road machine.
2. Great Infotainment System
There are multiple levels of sound and infotainment systems for the 2018 Jeep Cherokee. All are easy to use and more than adequate. All levels offer Bluetooth technology and USB connectivity. It is really worth upgrading from the 5" screen to the 8.4" option. The screen is nice and makes it easier to see options and navigate through them.
3. Excellent Off-Road Capability
When it comes to routine SUV tasks, the 2018 Jeep Cherokee is average or above average. Where it really shines is in its off-road performance. It does off-road chores better than just about anything else in its class, especially at this price range. The 4X4 models offer a lot of fun.
4. Stylish Exterior, Luxury Interior
The exterior is stylish and rugged. Ruggedness is a trademark of Jeeps in general and the reason they are so popular with so many fans. The interior is large, comfortable and has a luxury look and feel. Seats are plush and comfy no matter what level of trim or upholstery you choose. Moving around within the interior is easy to do. The console is well designed, stylish and designed with convenience in mind.
5. Good Performance
The base engine is nothing to get excited about. If you select the V-6, performance is fantastic. The 3.2 liter engine cranks out about 271 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque. This is plenty enough power to haul trailers or to get you over bumpy, steep terrain. It provides nice acceleration under any conditions.
Traction control is second-to-none on the 2018 Jeep Cherokee. This makes it a fine, all-weather vehicle. The standard, 9-speed automatic transmission shifts when it's supposed to and operates smoothly. Steering is responsive and the Cherokee handles nicely on or off paved streets.
6. Spacious Passenger Area
The rear seats are easy to get in and out of. Once there, your passengers can ride in comfort. There is a lot of head, leg and elbow room. The 2018 Jeep Cherokee easily seats five adult-sized passengers.
7. Numerous Trims and Models to Choose From
The main trim levels for the 2018 Jeep Cherokee are Latitude, Limited, Trailhawk and Overland. The base model comes with an inline-4 engine, 6-speaker system and the smaller screen for the infotainment system. Each trim level has only a modest price increase, but a decent number of extra features.
The Latitude upgrades the infotainment system. It also adds climate control, leather upholstery and more safety features. The Trailhawk comes tricked out for heavy, off-road duty. It gets a sportier tuning, special suspension system and an upgraded 4WD mode for any terrain conditions.
8. Smooth Ride Quality
The 2018 Jeep Cherokee provides a smooth, quiet ride. The standard suspension system covers up any bumps in the road you may come across. The Trailhawk trim even makes off-roading a smooth-riding experience.
9. Lots of Safety Features
The 2018 Jeep Cherokee offers a number of nice safety features. Advanced traction control and 4X4 capabilities make it a safer ride in bad weather. Driver assistance systems help to prevent any unfortunate accidents. The Cherokee features a healthy number of airbags, automatic braking, blind-spot checking and lane sensors.
10. Great Towing Capacity
The Jeep Cherokee can tow up to 2,000 pounds, making it a versatile, utility vehicle for the family. With the V-6, you can haul as much as 4,500 pounds. If you need to pull another vehicle, tow a trailer, or get your boat to the fishing destination, the 2018 Cherokee can handle the job.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Jeep Cherokee – The Cons
1. The Fuel Economy Needs Improvement
The EPA has rated the Cherokee at 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg for highway driving. This is far from the best in class for compact SUVs.
2. Weak Base Engine
The Jeep Cherokee comes standard with an inline, 4-cylinder 2.4 liter engine. The engine produces 184 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque at 4600 rpm. This base engine feels downright sluggish at times, with weak acceleration. It is well worth the upgrade to get the V-6.
3. Not as Much Cargo Space as Competitors
The Cherokee offers 24.6 cu. ft. of cargo space. You get considerably more with the rear seats down, with just under 59 cu. ft. This is okay and may be fine for many consumers, but it's a lot less than what some competitors offer.
How it Stacks up to the Competition
The 2018 Jeep Cherokee faces its stiffest competition from the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. The Cherokee beats out the Rav4 in cargo space, off-road capabilities, towing ability and overall performance.
The Honda is extremely reliable and provides for a better on-road experience overall. Still, the Jeep excels over the Honda at off-road ventures and in overall power. The Maada rates higher than the Jeep in reliability, but again cannot match it's off-road prowess and power.
The compact SUV market is a crowded field. There are plenty of fine options in this category. Many of them are similarly prices with the Jeep Cherokee. Very few, however, can match the Jeep's performance during off-road driving. It really was built with off-road in mind first, and daily road commutes second. That means the Cherokee may not be for everyone. If you do appreciate the utility in an SUV, the Jeep Cherokee is worth serious consideration.
• Why buy a 2017 Jeep Cherokee? w/ pros vs cons