The vehicle is high up for clearance purposes, and includes tow hooks. Its extra-curricular capability is achieved through an off-road suspension, skid plates, all-terrain tires, and an all-wheel-drive system with locking rear differential. A crawl-control system also keeps the Trailhawk moving ahead at super-low speeds, which might happen on rocky inclines.
HOW’S THE RIDE?
The Trailhawk I tested featured a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine, and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Numbers are 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. The Trailhawk is an all-wheel drive vehicle, for obvious reasons. It is officially Trail Rated, meaning it passed tests related to traction, water fording, maneuverability, articulation and ground clearance.
The engine sounds a bit whiny at times, but power is definitely there. It was a genuinely enjoyable ride on both standard roads and more rugged terrain, and lives up to the Jeep name.
What’s most impressive is that unlike some vehicles that excel at off-roading, the on-road experience doesn’t make you want to lose your lunch. It adapts very well to both scenarios.
The Selec-Terrain System offers options for your drive mode, including: Auto, Snow. Sport, Sand/Mud, Rock. Towing is rated at 2,000 pounds.
FCA’s Uconnect system with the 8.4-inch screen is one of best infotainment systems in modern vehicles, and is easy to use for young and old. Bluetooth connection is easy to set up, the vehicle responds well to voice commands, and navigation works like a charm.
Among other helpful tech and safety features on my test vehicle were: Backup camera, Blind spot and cross-path detection, adaptive cruise control, advanced brake assist, full speed collision warning with crash mitigation, LaneSense lane departure warning, rain sensitive windshield wipers and more.
The vehicle was also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for phone mirroring.
Official fuel mileage numbers on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk are 20 city/26 highway/22 combined. In my time driving the vehicle, I averaged around 25 mpg.
Compared to more standard compact crossovers like the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV, those numbers are behind the pack. But if you get the non-Trailhawk version of the Cherokee, those numbers rise to catch up to most of the competition.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite I tested was priced at $42,695, with a base price of $33,320. The base, non-Trailhawk Cherokee starts just over $24K, which is much more affordable but won’t allow for the off-roading ability of the Trailhawk.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk allows you to do your off-roading well and look good doing it, too. And it’s not too shabby on regular pavement either. For crossover buyers who like the Jeep brand and want the opportunity to be adventurous, it’s the rare vehicle that fits the bill.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.