This small SUV could be a contender, but the Dart-based Cherokee is underdeveloped and unrefined.
If you have your heart set on one, get the 3.2-liter V6 in Limited trim.
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder is slow and gets lousy fuel economy for the class at just 22 mpg overall.
The nine-speed automatic is not all that responsive or refined.
Handling is competent, but short on agility and the ride is jittery.
In Cherokee's favor, it's a quiet SUV with a comfortable backseat and a state-of-the-art infotainment system.
Limited trims can be equipped with many high-end features.
The Trailhawk is very capable off-road, and the V6 can tow an impressive 4,500 pounds. For 2018, the Latitude becomes the base trim -- the Sport goes away -- and a Latitude Plus trim is added.
Safety features such as blind spot warning, cross path detection and ParkSense rear backup warning become part of the available trim packages rather than being available only as part of add-on packages. A freshened 2019 Jeep Cherokee added a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and updated front-end styling. Updates for 2021 include standard forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic warning.