2016 Jeep Cherokee Review

Pros & Cons

  • Refined available V6 engine
  • smooth and quiet ride
  • spacious seating
  • abundance of available high-end tech features
  • Trailhawk offers unique off-road capability for the segment.
  • Sluggish performance with four-cylinder engine
  • less cargo capacity than other small crossovers.
List Price Range
$10,920 - $25,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2016 Cherokee can deliver plenty of off-roading capability, but the bigger story is that it's civilized and comfortable enough to drive to work every day. It's worth a look if you're shopping for a small SUV.

Vehicle overview

The small crossover segment is one of the most competitive in the industry, filled with affordable, well-equipped and comfortable vehicles. The 2016 Jeep Cherokee looks to distinguish itself by offering those traits plus the allure of Jeep's legendary off-road capability. Additionally, the Cherokee features a roomy interior with straightforward controls and ample sound insulation. Aside from its unusually modest cargo capacity and an underwhelming four-cylinder engine, this Jeep's got a lot going for it.

Although Jeep lists that 2.4-liter four-cylinder at a competitive 184 horsepower, we're not particularly fond of the way it puts down that power. The Cherokee feels sluggish on the road with it, and the associated nine-speed automatic transmission can be slow to downshift when the driver demands power. The optional 3.2-liter V6 is superior, as it's much peppier when called upon, yet not much thirstier at the gas pump. We prefer the V6, but opting for the pricier V6 naturally hurts the Cherokee's value proposition.

While all versions of the 4WD Cherokee are off-road-capable, you really want the Trailhawk to tackle serious terrain.

As for the Cherokee's off-road credentials, they're mainly associated with the Trailhawk model, which is easily recognizable by its tough-guy looks and higher ride height. The Trailhawk gets a robust four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing and adds an exclusive locking rear differential. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and skid plates, the Cherokee Trailhawk can venture into terrain normally reserved for off-road-ready SUVs like the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep's own Wrangler. If the Trailhawk seems too expensive, the other trims offer a regular all-wheel-drive setup that puts the Cherokee on about the same level as rival AWD-equipped small crossovers.

If you're shopping for a small crossover, there are some other options to consider. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 offer more cargo space and superior four-cylinder engines than the Cherokee, while the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5 are more engaging to drive. You might also consider the Subaru Forester and Subaru Crosstrek, which come standard with all-wheel drive and match the Trailhawk's impressive ground clearance. Overall, though, the 2016 Jeep Cherokee is a solid contender with plenty to offer, particularly if you're the adventurous type.

2016 Jeep Cherokee models

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee is a five-passenger crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk and Limited.

Standard equipment on the Sport includes 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, remote keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, height-adjustable front seats, sliding and reclining rear seats with 60/40-split folding seatbacks, a rear wiper, floor mats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a USB charge-only port and a six-speaker audio system with a 5-inch touchscreen interface, an auxiliary audio input and an SD card reader. A Cold Weather Group package is available with a wiper de-icer, remote ignition, heated power-folding mirrors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

The Latitude adds alloy wheels, roof rails, foglights, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, body-colored door handles and mirrors, privacy-tinted glass, LED interior lighting, a folding front passenger seat with a storage compartment inside the seat cushion, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with built-in audio controls and a 115-volt outlet. Latitudes also come with a wider range of options including dual sunroofs (the front roof opens; the rear glass is fixed), an upgraded speaker system with nine speakers, and Jeep's 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen interface with a USB audio interface, Siri Eyes Free and smartphone-app integration.

Along with the Sport's Cold Weather package, the Latitude offers a Comfort/Convenience package that bundles a power liftgate, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar), the SafetyTec Group package (blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors and heated mirrors with turn-signal repeaters), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite radio.

There's also an Altitude package (it can also be referred to as a trim level) for the Latitude that includes special exterior trim details.

The off-road-themed Trailhawk comes with an advanced four-wheel-drive system (Active Drive II) and also boasts slightly wider 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, increased ground clearance, off-road-oriented suspension tuning, a locking rear differential, hill ascent and descent control, skid plates, tow hooks, unique exterior trim, cloth and leather upholstery, a larger driver information display with color graphics, the 8.4-inch touchscreen and satellite radio.

Options on the Trailhawk include the Cold Weather, Comfort/Convenience and SafetyTec Group packages found on the Latitude model, plus a Leather Interior Group package (bundles the power driver seat with leather upholstery, heated front seats and a steering wheel), a Ventilated/Memory Seat Group (ventilated front seats and driver memory functions), a Technology Group package (automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic low-speed emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors and an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system) and a navigation system.

The Limited sheds the Trailhawk's off-road hardware, but includes essentially the same standard convenience items plus 18-inch alloy wheels, remote ignition, a wiper de-icer, the SafetyTec Group's upgraded side mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, the power driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Options include the above-mentioned Technology Group and SafetyTec Group (minus the standard side mirrors) along with a Luxury Group that adds xenon headlights, premium leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory settings and a power liftgate. The navigation system is also optional.

A few of the higher trims' standard features are available on lower trims as separate options. All Cherokee trims are eligible for a towing package, while all except the Sport can be outfitted with a dual-pane sunroof and nine-speaker audio system.

2016 Highlights

For 2016, Cherokees equipped with the 8.4-inch Uconnect system get Siri Eyes Free compatibility, a new drag-and-drop menu bar and a Do Not Disturb function that sends phone calls straight to voicemail and can generate an automatic reply to text messages.

Performance & mpg

Standard on all 2016 Jeep Cherokees is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 184 hp and 171 pound-feet of torque. Optional on all but the base Sport is a 3.2-liter V6 that makes 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard with both engines.

You have your choice of front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive with either engine, but Trailhawk models are 4WD only. Jeep offers two 4WD systems. Standard on four-wheel-drive Sport, Latitude and Limited models is the light-duty Active Drive I 4WD system; it requires no input from the driver, though it does come with a Selec-Terrain dial that features different terrain modes. Standard on the Trailhawk and optional on other 4WD Jeep Cherokees is the more rugged Active Drive II system, which features low-range gearing and a locking rear differential along with an additional "Rock" mode for the Selec-Terrain dial.

A tow package is available on all 2016 Jeep Cherokees and gives V6 models a healthy 4,500-pound towing capacity.

The four-cylinder engine is OK, but upgrade to the V6 if you can.

When equipped with front-wheel drive and the four-cylinder engine, the Cherokee is EPA-rated at 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway). With the V6 and front-wheel drive, the estimate is 24 mpg combined (21/29). EPA-estimated fuel economy for Cherokees with the Active Drive I 4WD system and four-cylinder engines is 24 mpg combined (21/28), which is slightly below average for this class, while V6 Cherokees with the Active Drive I system are rated at 23 mpg combined (20/28). With the Active Drive II system, estimates stand at 23 mpg combined (21/27) with the four-cylinder and 22 mpg combined with the V6. With its all-terrain tires, the Trailhawk gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined with either the four-cylinder or the V6.

In Edmunds testing, a V6-powered Cherokee Limited with Active Drive I went from zero to 60 in 7.4 seconds, a satisfactory showing for a small crossover with an upgraded engine. A Cherokee Trailhawk, also with the V6, fell back to 8.0 seconds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on all 2016 Jeep Cherokees includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front- and rear-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the Sport trim level and standard on all other models.

Trailhawk and Limited models can also be equipped with an option package that adds adaptive cruise control, a forward-collision warning and mitigation system (with automatic brake intervention in potential collision situations), a lane-departure warning system and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Cherokee Trailhawk came to a stop from 60 mph in 131 feet. The all-terrain tires contributed to that lengthy stop, but it's still one of the longest distances we've recorded in this segment. A Cherokee Limited with more common all-season tires and 4WD came to a stop in 122 feet, which is slightly better than average.

In government crash tests, the Cherokee received an overall rating of four out of five possible stars, with four stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for total side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Cherokee the best possible rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-crash and roof-strength crash tests. The Cherokee's seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts, but the Jeep received a "Marginal" rating (second worst of four) in the small-overlap frontal-offset test.

Driving

The 2016 Cherokee is on the heavy side for this segment, which is why the four-cylinder engine can feel sluggish despite its competitive horsepower and torque. This engine also has a more raucous sound than most other four-cylinders in this class. We really like the V6 engine, though, as it gives the 2016 Cherokee a relaxed, refined demeanor not found in the typical four-cylinder SUV. There's plenty of power, too, and the nine-speed automatic feels more at home in this pairing. With either engine, though, that transmission can be a bit reluctant to downshift once you're cruising on the highway.

The Cherokee is exceptionally quiet at highway speeds, and over rough city streets it provides about as cushy a ride as you'll get in this class. The downside is that the Jeep feels rather ponderous when going around turns. Its steering is precise, but this Cherokee doesn't feel as sporty as segment standouts like the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. All Cherokees have solid off-road potential if one of the 4WD systems is specified, but it's the Cherokee Trailhawk, which earned a "B" rating from our testing department, that stands out for trail-busting ability. If you have the inclination, the Trailhawk can take on some pretty serious terrain, thanks to its low-range gearing and rear locking differential.

For more driving impressions, be sure to check out our long-term test of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Interior

The cabin of the 2016 Jeep Cherokee has a high-quality look and feel, especially on upper trim levels. The available Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen is a fantastic system, featuring easy-to-navigate menus, large virtual buttons and an accompanying knob that makes whipping through long lists a breeze. It's certainly worth the extra cost if you can make the jump out of the Sport, though even that trim's 5-inch touchscreen is a solid example of the breed.

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee's Uconnect infotainment system is one of the best in the business.

Passenger quarters are generous in the 2016 Jeep Cherokee. It's easy to get comfortable in the available power driver seat, which offers ample adjustability. The Cherokee features one of the better backseats in the compact crossover class. Not only does it recline, but it also provides for fore-and-aft adjustment, and the high-mounted bench supports adults' thighs without pushing their heads into the rafters.

Alas, cargo capacity is unimpressive. There are just 24.6 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 54.9 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded down. Both figures are 5-15 less than what most other small crossover SUVs offer; indeed, they're closer to the norm in the smaller "subcompact" crossover class. Another drawback is the lack of useful storage space up front for personal effects.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Jeep Cherokee.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Quite possibly the best vehicle we have ever owned
Mark,11/02/2016
Trailhawk 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A)
My wife and I purchased our 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 3.2 V6 in April, 2016. We have taken it on three road trips and just absolutely love it. Comfort, ride, visibility, power I could go on and on. I am a car guy so upkeep and cleanliness are top priority for me, this thing is put together like a Mercedes Benz. In fact, my parents liked ours so much they purchased one too. So far very pleased with product and dealer network and hope it stays that way. Note: I found no option for the Trailhawk with a 3.2 V6 so I used the 4 cylinder. Update: We are still just as happy with our purchase two years later. No creaks, rattles, leaks, etc. It just does everything well for us. My only complaint would be the headlights & Fog lights, but I did some research and corrected that problem. I replaced the OEM headlights with Sylvania Silver Star Ultras and a pair of LED fog light bulbs. The lighting is 100% improved. The 2019 has had the front end redesigned, so I assume the lighting issue has been resolved. We will keep driving this one until the wheels fall off. Update: Almost three years later and still just a pleased as we were the day we brought it home. It has been to the shop for a battery replacement and a wiper nut recall. Interior, exterior plastics, drivetrain and leather seats are all wearing less than average, but I do take really good care of it. Drivetrain is excellent, off road capabilities are very good too. The one thing I have really noticed this year is how well the vehicle holds the road in really bad rain storms. I hope the next 30k are as good as the first.
Safety of car - Car stops operating suddenly
MaryAnn Ragone DeLambily,01/07/2019
Latitude 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 9A)
After 6 months of operating this car, the car died suddenly while driving it on a major road. I brought the car in (once it started up again) and they told me it was because It needed an oil change. What? The car dies because it needs an oil change?? I was insulted! And the car was only 6 months old. BUT, I thought I would give it the benefit of the doubt. Well, some months down the road it happened again and again. And though I enjoy the comfort of the car, the operation of the car is absolutely awful. Looking back I should have returned the car and asked for a replacement. I'm at the end of my lease (thankfully) but as a departing gift I suppose, the car died on me AGAIN on a major road. This time, I called Jeep Customer Care, complained, had a tow truck tow the car back to the dealership to no avail. I get a "text" message the next day not knowing why my car was there. I am once again told that it is because of needing an oil change. WHAT??? OMG! Are you kidding me??? I have had oil changes every 5,000 miles (the car now has 35,000 miles) religiously. I am disgusted and thoroughly frustrated. After having a very "lively" discussion with one of the service techs who hangs up on me, I call back to speak to the Service Manager. He openly admits to me that this is a "flaw" with this car. He goes on to explain that because the car has a 2.4 tiered engine, at any time if the oil goes below a certain point the car will stop operating.........no control of the car, no steering, no nothing!! I don't know how to even respond to this. So, this car is on the road with this safety issue. A car that stops operating with NO WARNING, no red light, no oil warning light, no check engine light, nothing! How can this car be on the road. Why was it not recalled? I am disgusted. I proceed to tell him that I will NOT get back into a car that is this unsafe on the road to myself and others. So....I am presently without a car and will in fact, make a visit tomorrow to the dealership to begin negotiations. I hope that no one is ever seriously injured or worse, killed, because JEEP has continued to put a car on the road that should NOT be on the road at any time for any reason.
I love this SUV!
Lisa Schooner,06/10/2016
Trailhawk 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A)
I have owned many SUV's in the past and have not been as happy as I have been with this one. It is not as large as some of the other SUV's, so it is easier to manuver than other SUV's. The Cherokee also has a great turn radius which also helps. I purchased the trailhawk with the 3.2L engine and with all the upgraded packages. I test drove the 2.4L and that model was sluggish. This is the reason I went with the larger engine. The larger engine combined with the 9 speed transmission you will not be let down. It is also a quiet ride and with the trailhawk it comes with the locking rear diff, stiffer suspension, and larger off road tires. I have yet to find anything I do not like about this jeep!
Beautiful But Completely Unreliable
Lynn Madore,07/09/2017
Trailhawk 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A)
I own the 2016 Trailhawk V6 3.2L engine with tow package. Mango Tango! It was love at first sight; a work of art with unsurpassed comfort! But it's been just one year (14K miles) and I no longer feel safe in it, nor can I count on it to get me to my destination. Today, I write this review from my back deck when I should be enjoying my camping vacation, however for the 4th time in a 6 week period, the car completely shut itself down. Twice in the last few weeks the car has just shut itself off, requiring me to pull over. Each time it restarted after a few minutes. Thank goodness it was always where I could pull over. Today however, packed for my vacation, camper in tow, traveling 65mph EVERYTHING shut down: the electronics and the transmission. Dead as a doornail. No power brakes, no power steering. Nothing. Roadside assistance sucks. It took two hours for them to get a wrecker to me, but refused to take it to my local dealership, a whopping 4 miles further than the "closest" Jeep dealership, and made me abandon my camper. Furthermore they told me they would not get me home from the dealership they were willing to tow to (placing me 85 miles from home). So I paid the wrecker guy the FOUR MILE difference to take the car to my local dealer and my son-in-law rescued the pop up. I can't say enough for the service guys at my local dealership who did a diagnostic on the car first thing the following morning (Monday) to try and get me back on the road, but they could not replicate the issue and returned my car to me. :( I guess I'm stuck driving a $40K safety risk until this happens again, and again. Here are a few other things that annoy me about this car: the cruise control is a joke. Unless you are on flat land, it will take off on you going down hill as though it isn't engaged. I've had the car bolt from 55 to 68mph of its own volition. You can't turn off the radio; you have to mute the volume every time you get in the car if you don't want to listen. Bluetooth connects sporadically and often can't send messages or takes several minutes to respond. If your iPod/iPhone is connected to a USB port for charging, you can't get it to run through the speakers for music. I just paid $3K for the extended service plan; looks like I'll be needing it. This vehicle has a history of issues. ITS TIME CHRYSLER DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT; 3 MODEL YEARS IS ENOUGH! 07/25/17 update: spoke with a Chrsyler REP who has authorized looking deeper into the stalling issue AND got me a rental so I can tow and experience a vacation this summer. Let's see how the repair goes. I'll update as information becomes available.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2016 Jeep Cherokee

Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overview

The Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee is offered in the following submodels: Cherokee SUV. Available styles include Latitude 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Latitude 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Trailhawk 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Altitude 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Altitude 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A), 75th Anniversary 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 9A), 75th Anniversary 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 9A), High Altitude 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 9A), High Altitude 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 9A), Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (3.2L 6cyl 9A), and Overland 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 9A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee Latitude is priced between $10,920 and$20,990 with odometer readings between 11891 and121164 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee Limited is priced between $12,000 and$21,000 with odometer readings between 33574 and108878 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee Sport is priced between $11,500 and$17,289 with odometer readings between 35905 and91818 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is priced between $15,900 and$25,998 with odometer readings between 22871 and88923 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee Altitude is priced between $17,998 and$18,995 with odometer readings between 39400 and67114 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland is priced between $22,778 and$23,600 with odometer readings between 31172 and39329 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee 75th Anniversary is priced between $20,500 and$20,500 with odometer readings between 38053 and38053 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 Jeep Cherokees are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Jeep Cherokee for sale near. There are currently 81 used and CPO 2016 Cherokees listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,920 and mileage as low as 11891 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Jeep Cherokee.

Can't find a used 2016 Jeep Cherokees you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Jeep Cherokee for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $15,845.

Find a used Jeep for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $20,579.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep Cherokee for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,692.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $24,442.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Jeep Cherokee?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Jeep lease specials
Check out Jeep Cherokee lease specials