- Unique styling
- Generous standard kit
- Good off-road ability
- Poor quality interior
- Inefficient engines
- High levels of depreciation
Stylish, rugged SUV, with lots of space
The Jeep Cherokee is one of the most iconic production cars ever to have been produced. Back in 1974, the Cherokee was the world’s first SUV. It completely changed the way in which drivers saw production cars. A lot has changed since then however, and there are almost limitless options in the SUV market. The latest Cherokee is spacious, generously equipped, and is one of the few SUVs that still performs well off-road. It’s let down however by poor refinement, some thirsty engines, and high depreciation.
2014 saw a completely new Cherokee, with unique styling, and a new chassis developed by Fiat.
Spacious, generously equipped, but let down by poor quality
SUVs today are built to be refined, comfortable, and prestigious, rather than rugged and functional. Unfortunately, the interior of the Cherokee falls way behind the class-leaders. There’s plenty of storage space, and good standard kit, but it still feels a little cheap.
The dashboard design of the Cherokee is actually quite attractive. Jeeps aren’t associated with contemporary looking interiors, but the Cherokee looks very 21st century. Whilst it might look good, the Cherokee is let down by poor quality. It feels well-built, but the plastics used throughout are hard, scratchy, and feel bargain basement. Even the ‘chrome’ accents are made from cheap plastic, and controls are confusing and illogical.
There is however quite a lot of space in the Cherokee, with enough room for five adults, and an impressive load capacity. With all the seats up, the Cherokee boasts a boot capacity of 591 litres. That’s more than enough space for most family needs, and a bulky buggy should easily fit in. You can also move the rear seats forward should you so wish, which increases the capacity to a humongous 714 litres.
As with most Jeeps, equipment is generous throughout the range. Even the entry-level Longitude trim comes with electric windows, parking sensors, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, an electric rear tailgate, alloy wheels, and automatic lights and wipers. You’ll also get the touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system, that incorporates a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. For an entry-level car, that’s mightily impressive.
The inside of the Cherokee is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s spacious, well-built, and comes generously equipped, and features an attractive design. Unfortunately however, all of this is undermined by poor interior quality, which is sure to put a lot of buyers off.
Comfortable on-road, with impressive off-road ability
When people think of Jeep, they think of rugged off-roaders. The latest Cherokee lives up to these assumptions, as it is one of the most capable SUVs off-road. Unfortunately, this does compromise on-road ability. It’s not awful, because there’s plenty of grip through the corners, but the steering offers little feedback, and is far too heavy around town, whilst there’s also a fair bit of body roll.
Suspension and Chassis
Whilst the Cherokee might not be the most engaging drive, it is quite comfortable. At lower speeds the four-wheel drive suspension and chassis setup fails to iron out bumps, but get the Cherokee out on the open road and it irons out even the roughest surfaces and potholes. There’s also very little in the way of road and wind noise, which makes the Cherokee and impressive motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Cherokee come in two guises. The entry level 2.0 litre diesel engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, that’s pretty decent, and offers good flexibility for both town and motorway driving. The rest of the range is fitted with an excellent 9-speed automatic. This transmission is smooth, refined, and reacts well to when you need a sudden burst of acceleration. It’s definitely the gearbox that suits the Cherokee best.
Three decent diesels, and one thirsty petrol
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Cherokee, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. The diesels are without doubt the pick of the bunch, as the powerful petrol is thirsty, and doesn’t have enough power to justify its higher running costs.
If it’s power that you want from your Cherokee, the stand-out option (at least on paper) is the petrol-powered 3.2 litre V6 Petrol. This engine produces 266bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds. That might sound impressive for an SUV, but this engine will cost you a lot of money to run. A better option is the 197bhp 2.2 litre diesel, which whilst less powerful, completes the 0-62mph dash just 0.1 seconds slower, as well as being infinitely more economical.
Eco-friendly buyers aren’t known for buying SUVs, and even if they were, the Cherokee would not be a good place to start. The greenest engine in the Cherokee range is the entry-level 2WD 2.0 litre diesel. This produces 139g/km of CO2 emissions, which isn’t particularly green, but it’s not bad for the class. This engine is also the best on fuel, as it can achieve up to 53mpg. Again, it won’t be at the top of money-savers’ lists, nor is it class-leading, but it’s not awful either.
If you’re going to buy a Cherokee, make sure you go for a diesel-powered model. The high-powered petrol doesn’t make much sense at all for UK buyers, as it’s inefficient, and lacks the power to make up for its high running costs.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, impressive standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Cherokee easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 93% in adult safety, 79% in child safety, and 67% in pedestrian safety, the Cherokee performed pretty well. You’ll also get plenty of standard safety equipment with the Cherokee. Even entry-level models come with seven airbags, three isofix points, and electronic stability control.
Decent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Jeep Cherokee is far from being the best value car in its class, especially when you consider its comparatively expensive purchase price. It’s not too expensive to run however, though it does depend on which model you choose to go for. The diesel engines are reasonably efficient, and aren’t too bad on road tax, but the petrol engine should be avoided at all costs.
Insurance costs in the Cherokee aren’t the best value either, though you won’t be paying much more than you would for an equivalent rival. The cheapest Cherokee to insure is the entry-level 2.0 CRD Longitude, which is in group 26, whilst the most expensive is the limited-edition 2.2 MultiJet II 200hp 75th Anniversary 4WD Active Drive I auto, which is in group 42.
Depreciation is a huge factor with the Cherokee, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Jeep Cherokee is still a great option for those who want an SUV that can perform off-road. It used to be exclusively good at this, but poor on-road, whereas the latest Cherokee is actually pretty refined. It’s also spacious, generously equipped, and safe. The interior is however of a poor quality, and it’s not the most efficient car in its class either. Nevertheless, it’s unique styling might be alone enough for some buyers to buy the Cherokee.
Buying a used Jeep Cherokee online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Jeep Cherokee for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Cherokee. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Jeep Cherokee online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Jeep? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Jeep Cherokee, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Cherokee, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Jeep to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.