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2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

 

2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

Every year since 1974, Four Wheeler Magazine has named a “Four Wheeler of the Year” after rigorous testing and judging. This year, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk was declared to be the first-place winner, making it the thirteenth Jeep to hold the title. To check one out for yourself, head to Chapman Jeep Las Vegas.

Four Wheeler Magazine is considered to be the world’s leading publication on 4×4 SUVs and trucks. To qualify for this year’s Four Wheeler of the Year contest, each vehicle had to meet several specifications. These included the requirements that they be either brand-new or substantially revised, have a production run of at least 1,500 vehicles in the United States, be on sale by March 15th, 2015, and have a two-speed transfer case.

Three vehicles were found to meet these qualifications. The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, and the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. These SUVs were then subjected to a week-long test by seven judges who’ve all tested many off-road vehicles before. They rotated positions so that every judge got a chance to try each SUV and drove each 4×4 for about 900 miles through all sorts of terrain — from water to sand to snow to mud to paved roads. Without a doubt, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee is a great SUV you should check out.

The SUVs were judged in a variety of categories, including both on-road and trail performance and interior and exterior design. While the judges praised aspects of each vehicle they tested, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk was the winner after it did well on trail performance and “trounced the other vehicles in the On Pavement and Interior categories”.

One aspect that seemed to stand out to the judges was the Engine Start-Stop (ESS) technology that the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk was equipped with. This fuel-saving feature causes the jeep to cease fuel-flow and makes the engine turn off when you brake to a stop. The engine then immediately restarts and the 9-speed automatic transmission is re-engaged as soon as the brake is released. The feature can be manually disabled, and automatically disables itself when it in gridlock-like conditions, when the driver is alternating between coasting and braking.

The Jeep Cherokee bears the “Trail Rated” badge, which means that it is designed to perform well in off-road areas and excels in maneuverability, traction, ground clearance, articulation and water fording. The judges seem to agree with this in their conclusions, describing the car-based SUV with comments along the lines of, “super fun”, “super maneuverable”, and “I can’t believe how well this thing rides”.

The Jeep’s interior was also highly praised, with one judge remarking that “They got everything right on the inside. The fit, finish, and materials are all on-point.” Although the styling of the exterior was considered to be less-than-perfect by some judges, they still gave it high marks as well due to its high level of functionality.

Remarking on the results of the competition, Christian Hazel, editor of the Four Wheeler magazine, stated that “The team of seasoned judges appreciated Cherokee Trailhawk’s cutting-edge technology, fresh styling, and luxurious interior amenities packed in a vehicle designed for the 21st century that still maintains true off-road capability.”

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