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AUTO RECON: An Insider's Guide to New Cars & Trucks

2015 Jeep Renegade

Best-in-class off-road capability.

Other Reviews

2015 VW Beetle Converitble

State of the art technology, with a classic feel.

2015 Subaru Outback

2015 Subaru Outback has been completely redesigned

2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 

With its aggressive exterior styling and the off-road capabilities , the top-of-the-line 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk stands out among other nondescript crossovers and competitors are left in the dust.

Standard is  a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 184 horsepower, but there is an option for a 3.2-liter 271 horsepower V6 for $1,695. The 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 is heavier than similar-sized CUVs, but the optional V6 gives it more power and a more refined , while the nine-speed automatic transmission provides smooth shifts. It is remarkably quiet at highway speeds, and over uneven city streets it offers probably the most composed ride that you'll get in the class.

All Cherokee models have a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Trailhawk 4x4 adds:

  • low-range gears
  • Jeep's Selec-Speed Crawl and Selec-Terrain systems
  • trail-oriented suspension tuning
  • rear locking differential
  • skid plates
  • wider wheels and all-terrain tires

The Selec-Terrain system allows dialing up setting such as Snow, Rock, and Mud/Sand by simply twisting a knob on the center console, while other off-road selections such as Selec-Speed Crawl Control are accessed by buttons in the center of the Selec-Terrain dial.

Some of the conveniences it comes with are: Hill Start Assist, keyless entry, a rear-view camera, and halogen headlamps and LED daytime running lights.

The Uconnect infotainment system has an 8.4-inch touch-screen that makes it one of the most intuitive available. It has a combination of apps that leverage a driver's connected smartphone as well as an embedded modem for telematics features. Streaming music apps include Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Slacker, and other cloud content is available via Aha Radio. It has almost every automotive audio source you'll need: AM, FM, satellite radio, CD, USB and aux ports, SD card slot, and Bluetooth streaming. The system also has a Yelp app for local search that's tied into the navigation system, and built-in pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi is also on tap via the built-in modem.