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2016 Jeep Cherokee Review

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee is very capable off road and has a high-end interior, but its bottom-of-the-barrel reliability rating drags it to the lower half of our compact SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Exceptionally capable off road
  • High-end interior
  • Poor reliability rating
  • Dull handling
  • Small cargo area

Rankings & Research

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee's #12 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Jeep Cherokee has a score of 7.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 29 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Jeep Cherokee Overview

Is the 2016 Jeep Cherokee a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee is a good five-seat SUV for those seeking off-road adventures. To really enjoy the mud, however, you'll need to purchase above the base model. The Cherokee is well put together and comfortable as a daily commuter. Still, rivals offer more standard features, extra cargo space, and sharper handling, as well as better reliability ratings.

Why You Can Trust Us

To help you decide if the Jeep Cherokee is the right SUV for you, we've gathered and analyzed 29 professional reviews. We've also included information about the Cherokee's fuel economy, safety, reliability and much more to give you an idea of the Cherokee's strengths and weaknesses.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking the best vehicles since 2007, and our editorial staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To keep our reviews impartial, we don't accept expensive trips or gifts from car companies, and an external partner places and sells the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Jeep Cherokee?

Based on the nearly 2,600 listings on our site for the 2016 Jeep Cherokee, you can expect to pay between $16,000 and $26,200 for this vehicle. The average list price is $20,400. The vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location influence price.

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How Much Does the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Cost to Own?

Over five years of ownership, you can expect to spend around $22,800 on your Jeep Cherokee for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. That comes out to nearly $4,600 per year. The 2016 Subaru Forester has similar costs, while the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox will cost you a couple thousand dollars more over five years.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Cherokee?

Jeep refreshed the Cherokee for the 2019 model year, giving it new styling, more standard features, and a new optional powertrain. Even with these upgrades, it's hard to argue for the new model, which has a base price that's about $3,500 more than the average price of a used 2016 model (and nearly $8,000 more than the cheapest 2016 Cherokee listed on our site). The Cherokee's scores have not improved in our rankings since the 2016 model, so you'll still have many of the same drawbacks in the new model.

Read about the new Jeep Cherokee »

There are no new compact SUVs with a comparable starting price to the 2016 Cherokee's average price. If you can sacrifice some space, you may find that a new subcompact crossover is within your budget. The highly rated 2018 Mazda CX-3, for example, starts at $20,110. It is nimble through turns, gets above-average gas mileage, and has a high-end cabin. The 2018 Honda HR-V (starting at $19,670) offers more cargo room than the Cherokee, despite being a smaller model, and it generally earns great reliability ratings. It's not exactly thrilling to drive, but the HR-V offers great value in the class, and we named it the 2018 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Jeep Cherokee?

The Cherokee has a reliability rating of two out of five, which is the lowest possible rating. Three is average for the auto industry as a whole, but most compact SUV rivals have a score of 3.5.

Read more about Cherokee reliability »

2016 Jeep Cherokee Recalls

There are five recalls on the 2016 Cherokee at the time of writing. Two cover the risk of the front halfshafts disconnecting and leading to an accident. There's also a fire risk due to a water leak, as well as a potentially inoperable fire extinguisher. The final recall concerns an improper fastener that could cause the seat to move in a crash.

See more information on Jeep Cherokee safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Jeep Cherokee Is Best?

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee is part of a generation that began in 2014 and includes the 2019 model year. The Cherokee received an upgraded infotainment system for 2016, and a few advanced safety features became available for 2015. Otherwise, there aren't any significant differences between the 2014 and 2018 model years. Additionally, all models dating back to this crossover's introduction earn similar overall scores in our rankings. That all means you can likely find an older model with similar features and ratings but for less money.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Cherokee »

Which Used Jeep Cherokee Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee comes in five trims: Sport, Latitude, Limited, Trailhawk, and Overland. Front-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is available in all trims. The base Cherokee Sport comes with a 5-inch touch screen, a USB port, and Bluetooth, which are common standard features in the class. The Cherokee Latitude adds a standard rearview camera and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

Most buyers should go for the well-equipped Cherokee Limited, which comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch instrument cluster color display, and leather upholstery. If you plan to do any off-roading, go with the Cherokee Trailhawk, which comes standard with four-wheel drive, hill descent control, and a traction control system. The Overland trim comes with navigation, an 8.4-inch touch screen, power-adjustable ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors.

See 2016 Jeep Cherokee trims and specs »

What Does Jeep's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Jeep offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Jeep extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. Additional benefits are available, including a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, and a car rental allowance. There are mileage and model restrictions, so read the Jeep warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Jeep has one of the worst CPO programs in the industry. Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen all have better programs.

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How Safe Is the Cherokee?

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee has an average safety score for a compact SUV. The Cherokee received the best rating of Good in every Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test but the small overlap front test, in which it earned the second-lowest rating of Marginal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 Cherokee four out of five stars overall and in the frontal and rollover crash tests. The Cherokee received five stars in the side crash test.

Available safety features include a rearview camera, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, active park assist, and blind spot monitoring.

See Cherokee safety scores »

2016 Jeep Cherokee Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Jeep Cherokee or 2016 Chevrolet Equinox?

The Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Equinox have a lot in common. Neither SUV has a strong base engine nor athletic handling, but both offer an upscale interior with straightforward technology, comfortable seats, and a sliding-and-reclining rear row. However, the Equinox has a better safety score and one of the highest reliability ratings in the class (five out of five). Unless you’re going off road, the Equinox is the better choice.

Which Is Better: 2016 Jeep Cherokee or 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee lives up to its name as a larger, enhanced version of the Cherokee. You will pay more for the Grand Cherokee, but there are three available potent engines, as well as a performance-tuned trim: the Grand Cherokee SRT. The Grand Cherokee also has more cargo space, a nicer interior, and more standard and available features than the Cherokee.

Which Is Better: 2016 Jeep Cherokee or 2016 Jeep Cherokee?

The Subaru Forester is another solid option in the class for off-roading. Unlike the Cherokee, the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive, so all models are equipped for modest trips off the pavement (think dirt roads, not mudding). The Forester has a smooth ride, and its available turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes plenty of power for city or highway driving. Additionally, the Forester has one of the roomiest back seats in the class and much more cargo space than the Cherokee.

Compare the Cherokee, Equinox, and Grand Cherokee »

2016 Cherokee Performance

How Does the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Drive?

The Cherokee offers a smooth ride on the pavement, but rivals like the Mazda CX-5 are more fun to drive around turns. The Cherokee leans quite a bit when rounding corners, and though its steering is precise, there's little feedback through the steering wheel. Well-equipped Cherokees are most at home on unpaved roads, offering a wealth of available off-road features found in few competing SUVs. Under the hood, the base 2016 Jeep Cherokee has a 184-horsepower four-cylinder engine that generates decent acceleration for driving around town. However, this Jeep feels labored at highway speeds. The available 271-horsepower V6 engine solves that problem.

Does the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base Cherokee with the four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive gets up to 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. That's average for the compact crossover segment. If you upgrade to the V6 engine, you'll lose 1 mpg on the highway. The off-road oriented Trailhawk model with full-time four-wheel drive and the V6 engine only gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

2016 Jeep Cherokee Towing Capacity

The Cherokee can tow up to 4,500 pounds when equipped with the V6 engine and Trailer Tow package.

Read more about Cherokee performance »

2016 Cherokee Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Cherokee Seat?

Premium materials abound in the 2016 Jeep Cherokee's handsome five-seat cabin. Both rows are comfortable and have quality materials, even with the standard cloth upholstery. The back seats have plenty of space for adults, and they slide and recline for added flexibility.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Jeep Cherokee?

In the back row, the outboard seats have two full sets of LATCH connectors for child car seats. The back middle seat has an upper tether anchor, a lower anchor, and the ability to borrow a lower anchor from an outboard seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Cherokee's LATCH system an Acceptable rating, the second-highest score, for its ease of use.

2016 Jeep Cherokee Features

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee comes with a 5-inch touch-screen, a USB port, and Bluetooth with phone and audio connectivity. Available features include a nine-speaker Alpine stereo, remote start, wireless smartphone charging, and a Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen. The available infotainment screen is easy to reach and operate, as are the system’s redundant dashboard buttons.

See 2016 Jeep Cherokee specs »

Read more about Cherokee interior »

2016 Jeep Cherokee Dimensions

Jeep Cherokee Cargo Space

With a maximum of 54.9 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down, the Cherokee's cargo bay is one of the smallest in the class. There's only 24.6 cubic feet available with the rear seats in use.

2016 Cherokee Length and Weight

The Cherokee is just over 15 feet long, and the base model weighs 3,663 pounds. A V6 model with full-time four-wheel drive weighs in at 4,108 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Built?

The 2016 Cherokee was assembled at the Toledo North Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio.

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