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2018 Jeep Cherokee Review

The 2018 Jeep Cherokee ranks near the back of the competitive compact SUV class. It has an upscale interior, great off-road performance, and balanced handling. It’s held back by its below-average predicted reliability rating and safety scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Good off-road capability
  • Roomy, upscale cabin
  • User-friendly features
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • Mediocre fuel economy
  • Small cargo space

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Jeep Cherokee's #13 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Jeep Cherokee has a score of 7.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 35 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Jeep Cherokee Overview

Is the 2018 Jeep Cherokee a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the Jeep Cherokee is a fine option if you want a used compact SUV that’s capable off-road, yet comfortable to drive on the road.

The 2018 Cherokee has many highlights:

  • Spacious cabin with five seats
  • Premium interior styling and materials
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Impressive off-road capability from Trailhawk models
  • Smooth ride quality, even on rough pavement
  • Punchy V6 engine with hefty towing ability
  • Many available active-safety features

But it does have its share of drawbacks:

  • Subpar predicted reliability rating and safety scores
  • Hesitant automatic transmission
  • Four-cylinder engine can feel pokey on the highway
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Less cargo space than class rivals’
  • No support for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Look into alternatives like the 2018 Toyota RAV4 and 2018 Mazda CX-5 if the safety and reliability ratings concern you. Both rate higher in these categories.

Compare the Cherokee, RAV4, and CX-5 »

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our Best Cars team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and a third party handles the advertising on our site.

We’ve analyzed 39 Jeep Cherokee reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

How Much Is the 2018 Jeep Cherokee?

Based on listings for the 2018 Jeep Cherokee on our site, the average list price is $22,100, which is slightly less than average for the class. Prices range from $17,600 to $29,000 and vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Jeep Cherokee Cost to Own?

The Cherokee’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $22,300, or $4,460 per year. That’s better than average for a compact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Cherokee?

The 2019 Cherokee starts at around $25,500, and it can eclipse $38,000 in its higher trim levels. You can spend thousands of dollars less by purchasing a used Cherokee, though the 2019 model’s upgrades make it a more-refined vehicle overall. Updates for 2019 include a new and zippier turbocharged four-cylinder engine option, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a restyled exterior.

Read about the new Jeep Cherokee »

If saving money is your top priority, consider an older Cherokee model. The Jeep Cherokee returned to the U.S. market in 2014, replacing the Jeep Liberty, and it underwent minimal changes from 2015 through 2018. These models all offer similar performance and features, though none have good reliability ratings.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Cherokee »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Jeep Cherokee?

The Jeep Cherokee has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Cherokee reliability »

2018 Jeep Cherokee Recalls

At the time of writing, five recalls have been issued for the 2018 Jeep Cherokee:

  • Potential for a fuel line leak (four-cylinder engine only)
  • Oil pump housing may be cracked (four-cylinder only)
  • Voltage regulator could cause engine to stall
  • Cruise control may stick in the ON position
  • Front halfshaft may have been improperly heat-treated (4WD models, only)

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Jeep Cherokee safety recalls »

Which Used Jeep Cherokee Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Cherokee is available in five trim levels: Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland, and Trailhawk. The entry-level Latitude trim is a bit short on convenience features; for instance, it doesn’t come standard with air conditioning. The Latitude Plus trim is a better option. It adds air conditioning, as well as amenities like push-button start and a larger touch screen. Notably, each trim is available with both engine options: a four-cylinder or a V6.

  • Jeep Cherokee Latitude: The base model Latitude trim comes standard with a 5-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, six speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, cloth seats, remote keyless entry, cruise control, automatic headlights, fog lights, and 17-inch steel wheels.
  • Jeep Cherokee Latitude Plus: The Latitude Plus trim adds an 8.4-inch touch screen, satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, air conditioning, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
  • Jeep Cherokee Limited: The midrange Limited trim adds blind spot monitoring, a power liftgate, leather seats, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
  • Jeep Cherokee Overland: The luxe Overland trim adds heated and ventilated front seats, a nine-speaker Alpine stereo, and a navigation system.
  • Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk: The rugged Trailhawk model is offered solely with four-wheel drive, and it adds a taller off-road suspension, skid plates, and high- and low-range gearing. It also subtracts some of the convenience features found in the lower trim levels, such as heated seats, leather upholstery, and a navigation system.

See 2018 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. Only Volkswagen offers a worse program.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Cherokee?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Cherokee a four-star overall safety rating out of five. The SUV received four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests and a five-star rating in side crash tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Cherokee a top rating of Good in four out of five crash tests. It received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for driver-side small overlap front crash safety. Properly equipped Cherokees earned a Superior score for front crash prevention. Depending on trim and options, the Cherokee's headlights earned Acceptable (second best) or Poor (worst) ratings for how well their headlights illuminate the road ahead.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • forward collision warning with brake assist
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane departure warning
  • parallel park assist
  • automatic high beam headlights

See Cherokee safety scores »

2018 Jeep Cherokee Versus the Competition

Some of the Cherokee’s strongest competition comes from within the Jeep brand, especially in terms of off-road performance. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is one of the most capable off-roaders available. The subcompact Jeep Renegade, compact Jeep Compass, and midsize Jeep Grand Cherokee all offer varying degrees of off-road capability as well. Like the Cherokee, each is available with a rugged Trailhawk variant.

Which Is Better: 2018 Jeep Cherokee or 2018 Honda CR-V?

The 2018 Honda CR-V is a great option in this segment. The CR-V’s all-wheel-drive system isn’t as capable off-road as the Cherokee’s four-wheel drive, but it outclasses the Jeep where it matters for most buyers – on pavement. The CR-V returns better fuel economy and rates higher for crash safety. It also offers a much larger cargo area, better convenience features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and even ritzier cabin materials. Consider the Honda first.

Which Is Better: 2018 Jeep Cherokee or 2018 Ford Escape?

It’s a similar story with the 2018 Ford Escape. The Escape can’t venture too far off-road, but it’s a better SUV for everyday driving. The Escape offers lively handling, a more-refined transmission, a larger cargo space, and features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Ford also has a much higher predicted reliability rating.

Compare the Cherokee, CR-V, and Escape »

2018 Cherokee Performance

How Does the 2018 Jeep Cherokee Drive?

The Jeep Cherokee is a pleasant SUV to drive. The Cherokee’s suspension soaks up bumps and dips in the road easily. The steering is responsive, and the SUV stays balanced around turns. Its brakes provide fine stopping power as well.

True to its Jeep heritage, the Cherokee excels off-road too. All four-wheel-drive models are equipped with Jeep’s Selec-Terrain knob; which allows the driver to adjust the traction control system for different off-road surfaces like mud, sand, rock, and snow. Jeep also offers two upgraded four-wheel-drive systems. Active Drive II adds low-range gearing, which helps the SUV crawl over tough obstacles with less traction loss. Active Drive Lock – standard in Trailhawk models – is a full-time four-wheel-drive system that also adds skid plates and a taller ride height (8.7 inches of ground clearance).

The Cherokee is available with two engine options. The standard four-cylinder engine hauls the Jeep around town without issue, but it feels weaker on the highway and offers meager passing power. The automatic transmission shares some of this blame, because it occasionally hesitates to downshift when needed. The available V6 feels a lot punchier, and it’s a better fit for the Jeep overall, especially if you want to tow a trailer.

  • Base engine: 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engine: 3.2-liter V6 with 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive (FWD); available four-wheel drive (4WD)
  • Transmission: nine-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Jeep Cherokee Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Cherokee gets below-average fuel economy for a compact SUV.

  • four-cylinder, FWD: 21/30 mpg city/highway
  • four-cylinder, 4WD: 21/28 mpg
  • four-cylinder, 4WD: 19/25 mpg (Trailhawk)
  • V6, FWD: 21/29 mpg
  • V6, 4WD: 20/27 mpg
  • V6, 4WD: 18/24 mpg (Trailhawk)
2018 Jeep Cherokee Towing Capacity

The Cherokee is rated to tow 2,000 pounds. Models equipped with the V6 engine and towing package can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

Read more about Cherokee performance »

2018 Cherokee Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Cherokee Seat?

The Jeep Cherokee is a two-row SUV with five seats. The front seats are supportive and well-cushioned, and it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position. The rear seats are cozy as well, and they can slide and recline to better suit tall passengers. Both rows offer ample headroom and legroom for adults.

The Cherokee’s interior is handsomely styled, and it sports a number of padded surfaces and soft-touch plastics, giving the SUV an upscale look and feel. The cabin remains fairly quiet at higher speeds. It also offers good visibility to the front and rear.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth seats

Available seating features:

  • power-adjustable front seats
  • leather seats
  • heated front seats
  • ventilated front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Jeep Cherokee?

The Cherokee has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use.

2018 Jeep Cherokee Features

The Cherokee benefits from two user-friendly infotainment systems. The standard 5-inch touch screen, known as Uconnect 3, has simple menus and responds quickly to inputs. The available 8.4-inch touch screen (Uconnect 3C) boasts sharp graphics and larger on-screen buttons. Both systems are complemented by knobs and buttons for the air conditioning and audio controls, making it easy to adjust these functions when driving.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 5-inch touch screen, six speakers, Bluetooth, and two USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: an 8.4-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker Alpine sound system, satellite radio, and a navigation system
  • Additional standard features: remote keyless entry and cruise control
  • Other available features: air conditioning, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, and a power liftgate

See 2018 Jeep Cherokee specs »

Read more about Cherokee interior »

2018 Jeep Cherokee Dimensions

Jeep Cherokee Cargo Space

The Cherokee has 24.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 54.9 cubic feet with these seats folded. That’s rather small for a compact SUV. Class competitors like the 2018 Subaru Forester and 2018 Nissan Rogue offer considerably more cargo room. The Cherokee is available with a flat-folding front passenger seat, which helps when transporting long items.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Jeep Cherokee Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 2 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,655 to 4,108 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Jeep Cherokee Built?

Jeep built the 2018 Cherokee in Illinois.

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Cherokee Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Mazda CX-5 2018 2018 Mazda CX-5

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Hyundai Tucson 2018 2018 Hyundai Tucson

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Ford Escape 2018 2018 Ford Escape

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Honda CR-V 2018 2018 Honda CR-V

#4 in 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs

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