Since we exclusively busted open the 2014 Jeep Cherokee early, everyone's wondered if the Alfa Romeo-based CUV could ever achieve the "Trail Rated" status of other Jeeps. The Trailhawk is the answer to that question.
Visually, the new Cherokee is a big leap from the XJ of old. There are also some big technical differences. That was a truck. This is a crossover based on the Dodge Dart. If you get the Sport, Limited, or Latitude-trim you're getting a crossover. A bold one. But a crossover.
The Trailhawk is a little different. Think Vehicross. For your money you get meatier Firestone all-terrain tires, a lift to 8.7 inches of ground clearance (an inch more than base), skid plates on both ends, and more capable half-shafts. AWD, of course, is a necessity. Visually it has a more aggressive package with tow-hooks up front, black trim, and a black hood.
There are photos of it driving over rocks and through light puddles. It's a soft-roader, sure, but approach and departure angles are often as important as anything else when getting into the thick of it, and the Jeep's design seems to give it an edge here.
Engines include the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6, which puts out 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque, and the Tigershark 2.4-liter fourbanger putting out 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to a nine-speed automatic with no possibility of a manual anytime soon.
Now that you've seen the more aggressive model what do you think?