The Jeep Cherokee has been knockin down back roads for a long time. They have always been crude, boxy, and rough all over since day one. That isn’t to say that the Cherokee isn’t dearly loved by Jeepsters; in fact, the opposite true. The Cherokee has been an off-road icon for decades. The 2020 Jeep Cherokee, on the other hand, has not received the same love and adoration.
The 2020 Jeep Cherokee got ripped to shreds by Consumer Reports. The once-beloved Jeep is now getting dragged in nearly every category. Although there are not many good things to say about this Jeep Cherokee, three major categories should keep any prospective buyer away. In a time with so many great SUVs, the Cherokee can’t hang.
2020 Jeep Cherokee Driving Experience
I wouldn’t expect the Jeep Cherokee to be nimble and quick through the corners, but Consumer Reports found that every turn was clumsy and lumbering. Though the body roll isn’t horrible, the steering input required in most turns is heavy and laborious, yet still doesn’t give the driver much feedback from the road. And, the driving problems don’t end with the steering.
The powertrain is also a big mess. The base turbocharged four-cylinder makes 270 hp. As CR puts it, “not all of the horses seem awake.” The Cherokee is not just slow; its throttle response is sluggish and sloppy. If that weren’t enough, the nine-speed automatic is choppy and undecided. Even with its smaller four-cylinder, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee only gets 24 mpg. Compared to older XJ Jeeps, I guess that’s not bad, but it is bad for a modern SUV with that small of a motor.
It honestly doesn’t really get any better off-road. The Jeep Cherokee isn’t really made for heavy off-road use, but it still has AWD and multiple driving modes for snow, mud, and sand. The same vague steering and sluggish power rob any off-road joys.
The Interior of the Jeep Cherokee
Although the interior does give off an up-class sort of vibe, It never crosses into leading its class in sophisticated tech or features. The seats and other bits of leather trim are surprisingly plush and comfortable, but the dash is home to a pile of cheap-feeling buttons and knobs.
Strangely some drivers have reported that while the driving position is nice, the steering wheel’s adjustments are odd and unhelpful. The steering wheel is reportedly similar to a vertical bus-like wheel that requires the driver to stretch out uncomfortably for it.
Reliability worries for the future
Obviously, brand-new cars don’t tend to see too many problems right away. Consumer Reports has a system to predict future reliability. They look at the number of problems that previous models had without major mechanical updates and uses those figures to predict how many problems the new model will have. It’s not looking great for the 2020 Jeep Cherokee.
Since 2014, the Jeep Cherokee has received pretty bad marks for reliability. The problems have ebbed and flowed over the years and, in some cases, got a little better with later models. Still, across the board, the Jeep Cherokee has dealt with major problems like transmission issues, body integrity, suspension, and, most commonly, cabin electronics.
The real problem is, there are too many great, affordable SUVs out these days to roll the dice on a model about two decades past its prime. Skip the 2020 Jeep Cherokee; you can do better.