The adventure-ready Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

When most people hear the word “Jeep,” the image of the iconic Wrangler is what comes to mind. But if you browse the inventory at your local Canadian Jeep dealer, you’ll find plenty of other models on the lot, and some of them look less like vehicles that can trace their history back to World War II and more like modern SUVs. The Cherokee, for example, is a compact SUV in the same class as the Hyundai Tucson and Honda CR-V, and its exterior aesthetics don’t do much to make it stand out.

But if you take a closer look at its stats and features, you’ll find that Jeep has gone out of its way to design a vehicle that fits into its rugged lineup. Let’s look at one particular trim level, the Trailhawk, and see what it has to offer and how its features make it optimized for outdoor adventures. From raw power to off-road capability to creature comforts, we’re going to dig in and see what the 2022 Cherokee Trailhawk brings to the table.

Off-road performance

The Trailhawk trim comes standard with the largest engine available for the Cherokee: a 3.2L Pentastar V6 producing 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. This gives the Trailhawk a maximum towing capacity of 2,041kg, so you can take your outdoor adventures up a notch by bringing a trailer full of gear or a boat to explore the lake.

While most compact SUVs boast that they are better prepared than cars to handle rough roads and bad weather, the Cherokee Trailhawk is truly capable off-road. It comes standard with the Jeep Active Drive Lock 4×4 system that lets you save fuel by using two-wheel drive on dry, paved roads and automatically engages 4×4 when the terrain becomes less predictable. The system also includes a rear cabinet. This means that if one of the rear wheels loses traction, perhaps due to a mud puddle or other obstacle on a rough OHV trail, the rear axle locks so that both rear wheels spin at the same time, giving you the traction you need to keep going. The Trailhawk also has skid plates that protect the transmission, fuel tank, undercarriage and front suspension on uneven surfaces.

Traction can also be adjusted with the Selec-Terrain Traction Management System, which is standard on the Cherokee Trailhawk. This allows the driver to switch between Auto mode for normal road driving, Sport mode for better performance, Snow mode for surviving Canadian winters and Sand/Mud mode for rough terrain. In addition to these modes, the Trailhawk features a trim-exclusive Rock mode, which is designed to tackle off-road trails while providing seamless steering feel.

Interior features

Going on outdoor adventures can require a lot of gear, from coolers and extra clothing to camping supplies. So the rear seats of the Cherokee fold completely flat, giving you 1,548 liters of cargo space to work with. There is also a multi-level rear cargo floor which can be handy for storing taller items.

At the front of the cabin, the Cherokee features supportive seats to keep the driver and front passenger comfortable, even on longer trips on bumpy roads. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel keep everyone warm on cold winter days. An available dual-window panoramic sunroof can make driving through nature an even more immersive experience, offering natural light during the day and views of the stars above at night.

Adventure-ready design

As you’d expect, the Cherokee Trailhawk comes equipped with all-terrain tires that have treads designed to provide good grip on a variety of surfaces. It also has a full-size spare tire on board, so you can start rolling again if you hit a particularly sharp rock. On top, the Trailhawk comes with roof rails that you can use to transport cargo that’s too big to fit inside.

The rear window has a defroster, wiper and washer so you have a clear view even on the dustiest trails. Heated power mirrors also help repel fog and frost on cold winter days. Deep tinted privacy glass in the rear windows helps protect you and your belongings from the view of passersby.

Abundant technology

The size of the Cherokee’s standard touchscreen has increased from 18cm to 21cm for the 2022 model year. This upgrade makes everything from audio settings to navigation instructions easier to see at a glance, so you can quickly check the information you need and get your eyes back on the road (or trail) ahead. But while the touchscreen is centrally located between the driver and front passenger, there’s also an available 18cm digital display just behind the steering wheel. Using controls on the steering wheel, you can select the vehicle data you need in real time and display everything within your natural line of sight. The display is fully customizable, so you can prioritize the information that is most important to you.

A blue 2022 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is shown off-road.

Driver assistance functions

The Cherokee Trailhawk is loaded with safety features that keep drivers informed and in control, whether cruising down the highway, navigating a dark country road, or mastering a tricky OHV trail. All 2022 Cherokee trims come standard with features designed to help you maintain control of the vehicle, even at high speeds in difficult circumstances.

  • Electronic Stability Control and Electronic Roll Mitigation are automatic systems that work to keep the vehicle on course.
  • Hill Start Assist senses when you stop on a slope and keeps the brakes engaged when you move your foot to the accelerator to prevent you from rolling backwards.
  • All-Speed ​​​​Traction Control maintains the vehicle’s traction in slippery conditions by limiting how much the wheels can spin.

The 2022 Cherokee also comes standard with LED low and high beam headlights, which provide plenty of light for driving in the dark, even on country roads. It also comes with LED daytime running lights and taillights, making the Cherokee easier to see during the day as well. North trim and up (including the Trailhawk) come standard with LED fog lights, which can cut through thick fog and illuminate foggy roads.

The Trailhawk also comes standard with a Blind Spot Monitoring System, which keeps track of whether or not there is a vehicle in your blind spot and warns you if you attempt to change lanes in front of another driver. It also has rear cross-traffic sensing, which comes in handy when you’re backing out of a space, either at a shopping center or a campsite parking lot.

While the Trailhawk is built to handle off-road driving in rough terrain, it’s still possible to find yourself in a situation where you need a tow. That’s why the Trailhawk comes with three towbars: two in the front and one in the back. Their bright red color makes them highly visible, and since there is at least one on each side, you should be able to get a good angle no matter what position the vehicle is in.

Our overall impression

Inside and out, the Cherokee Trailhawk is built with adventure in mind. Not only does it have the chops to handle rough and rocky off-road trails, but it also has interior features that can keep both driver and passengers safe and comfortable while exploring the great outdoors. While many other SUVs focus on creating an exterior that looks tough and rugged, Jeep follows up with a truly capable vehicle that’s ready to tackle just about anything.

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