The 2020 Cherokee Trailhawk from Jeep slots into the mid-sizer SUV market and in the Trailhawk form comes well loaded with standard equipment. It’s the second generation of the 2010 model. Trailhawk tops a four-model range, with Sport, Longitude, and Limited the other available options.


It has a free-spinning 3.2L V6. Peak power of 200kW and peak torque of 315Nm. Tare (dry) weight is 1,889kg, and that peak torque is at 4,300rpm. Stop/Start technology is on board, and there is a button to disengage. Drive is via a nine-speed auto driving the front wheels with on-demand and electronic lock for the rear and with a towing rate of 2.2 tonnes. Inside and located next to the passenger’s right knee is the drive mode dial including Snow, Rock, Mud, and Low Range.


The 2020 Trailhawk has gotten a facelift from its 2010 version. The main visual difference is the integration of the formerly separate eyebrow LED driving lights and a lower mid-mounted headlight. It’s a cleaner and a more traditional looking design, and from a safety point of view, it makes sense as it prevents people from using the running lights as headlights.

The modification of the taillights resulted in a change to the framework in the cluster. The fuel access is on the right rear quarter and is cap-less, meaning the door is the cover. Body-coloured mirror covers and window surrounds add to the imposing presence.

The Trailhawk features bespoke exterior detailing, such as a bonnet blackout and black-painted 17-inch alloys. Plus a different bumper to the other three models with each end featuring hi-vis red tow hooks, the Diamond Black paint and blacked-out sections give the Trailhawk a menacing on-road presence.

There is a big difference between the approach and departure angle for the Trailhawk, with the approach at 29.9 degrees and departure at 32.2 degrees, while break over is 22.9 degrees and the wading depth is 480mm. It’s equipped with bash plates for the fuel tank, front suspension, transmission, and the underbody to ensure minimal issues with getting damaged or contaminated with outdoor elements.


The Traihawk has a dark and warm interior with soft, pliant, red-stitched premium cloth and vinyl (leather is standard in Limited) seats. Additionally, it has seats with heating and venting, and two-position memory for the driver’s pew. Tilt and fold rear seats lead to a cargo area that’s accessible by a powered tailgate. High up in the centre dash is a soft touch open and close storage bin.

There’s an Alpine sourced sound system complete with nine speakers with DAB. It’s crystal clear with the 514L cargo area sub/bass unit. Also, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and Android Auto can be used to stream music through the car. The highlight of the view from the front seats is the 8.4-inch touchscreen with Jeep’s UConnect interface. The layout of which is intuitive and easy to use and contains controls for items such as climate control and the seat venting/heating.

The driver faces a mix of old school analogue dials with a metallic silver look to the centre LCD screen, and it’s 7.0 inches in size. Steering wheel mounted tabs scroll information up or down, with each sub-menu numbered. There is a compass direction icon on display all of the time as well. Additionally, the soft-touch materials covering the dash and doors, plus the elegant sweep to the lines of the dash itself, make this a classy car. There’s plenty of leg, head, and shoulder room in the front, with rear-seat legroom adequate for most people.

On The Road

The Jeep is surefooted and confident in handling. It’s a decently friendly machine at its worst, an excellent highway cruiser at best.

The 3.2L engine found across the Cherokee range is a free spinner and has a rasp that lends a bit more Sport to the experience. A wheel thing also found that the nine-speed auto is excellent when they took it for a test drive.

There is a manual engagement of gear changing, with a simple pull on one of the paddle shifts on the rear side of the steering wheel, gives the driver more control and an improvement to the shifts have been made from the previous model. A gentle hold of the right paddle returns controls back to the computer.

Overall it’s beautifully damped, beautifully controlled, and for a vehicle designed to deal with off-road driving, it still feels at home on-road. The front end is built on a well-proven combination of McPherson Strut and long-travel coil springs. This sits on a one-piece steel sub-frame which connect to aluminium lower control arms. The rear is a four-link with trailing arm setup that sits in a steel rear cradle.

The Trailhawk handles corners well. There’s minimal scrub on the front tyres, and understeer is almost non-existent. The Cherokee Trailhawk is an easy throttle steerer too.


The Trailhawk has sensors at the front and rear as well as parking assistance, seven airbags (including a knee bag). The rear camera has dynamic guidelines. You’ll also have forward Collision Alert, Pedestrian Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Active Front Passenger head restraints that make for a high safety package with a four-star EuroNCAP rating.

Then there is the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Roll Over Mitigation, Rear Cross Path Detection and Blind Spot Alert. The forward collision system has a camera mounted in the lower section of the front bumper.

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The article used: by David