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2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk aimed at the off-roading crowd Featured

Jun 18, 2017 Hit: 681 Written by 
The 2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk has true off-road credentials.
The 2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk has true off-road credentials. Photo by Matt Myftiu/

While the overall state of FCA as an auto company can be debated, there’s no question that Jeeps remain very popular, and are one of FCA’’s biggest strongholds in the industry (along with their Ram trucks). And while many Jeep fans have turned into city dwellers and haven’t left the pavement in years, there are still some dedicated off-roaders out there who remain committed to the brand.


For them, there are still some Jeep options that keep their needs in mind, including the 2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, in which I recently spent some time.

What is a Trailhawk?
There are two engine options on the Cherokee Trailhawk; A tamer 2.4-liter four cylinder option (184 hp); or a powerful 3.2-liter V6 (271 hp). My test vehicle had the stronger option and it performed admirably for me; I would recommend the upgrade.

The vehicle features a 9-speed transmission, and optional all-wheel drive (again, it’s recommended).

The Cherokee Trailhawk is designed for off-roading capability, so it must be said that this vehicle does not offer the best feel on regular roads (it can be quite bouncy and unsettling at times, to be honest).

Instead, it is designed to perform in adverse conditions (snow, sand/mud  and rock settings are included via the Selec-Terrain system), and work well no matter what conditions you are driving in.

The Cherokee Trailhawk features all-terrain tires, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, Selec-Speed Crawl Control, Off-Road Suspension, All Speed Traction control, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Roll Mitigation and Anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, plus higher ground clearance and tow hooks, and unique designs in the front and rear vs. a standard Cherokee. Add all that up, and you end up with a Trail Rated vehicle -- and not in name only. It’s gone through the testing to show it can handle the not-so-beaten path.


Additional Info

  • Vehicle:: 2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
  • Price as tested:: $42,525 (base price is $31,195)
  • Best feature:: Off-road capability, strong tech offerings
  • Rating:: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?:: Those who value their vehicle’s off-road prowess above all else

Roomy interior
One thing about the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk that i found impressive was the size of the interior, which was better than I envisioned when seeing the vehicle from the exterior. This is a smaller SUV, but the size of the rear seating is actually roomy compared to most vehicles of similar size.

Should you like some refinement with your ruggedly equipped ride, you can also opt for an upgraded/more plush interior, which includes: Premium leather-trimmed bucket seats, power seats, power liftgate, remote start and keyless entry, heated front seats and heated steering wheel.

Fuel mileage suffers

Keeping with a general trend of FCA vehicles, fuel mileage is not great on the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Official numbers on the vehicle are 18 city/24 highway/21 combined. In my experience driving the vehicle, I averaged about 20.3 mpg.

I will say, though, that the type of buyers typically interested in off-road capability aren’t going to have fuel mileage as a focus in their search for a vehicle.

Safety/tech features
You get a strong array of safety and tech options on the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

You can choose Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection, and the Technology Group option offers: Full-speed collision warning with crash mitigation; parallel and perpendicular parking assist; Adaptive Cruise Control (a great feature); Advanced brake assist; LaneSense lane departure warning

As usual, FCA’s Uconnect infotainment system with Navigation was among the most user-friendly in the business. It’s like a familiar friend who always responds well, with a large, responsive display for physical control, as well as impressive voice recognition.

Overall government safety ratings are strong, with most tests coming in at 4 out of 5 stars, and the side crash numbers at 5 stars.

Bottom line
The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is most definitely what you would call a specialty vehicle. It’s meant for the hardcore Jeep fans who want to use in mainly off-road, not those who primarily will stay on your standard highways and byways.

It knows what it is. It’s got a limited audience, and the price is probably a bit high, but the folks who do love this kind of vehicle will get a real kick out of it and what kind of fun it can offer them in future off-road endeavors.. can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.


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