60,000 Mile Review
Just hit 60,000 miles today on my Trailhawk, and given the relatively few of us have hit that mileage level thus far I thought I would share my experiences.
The good news is that the more miles I rack up on the Trailhawk, the less problems I'm seeing. For the first time since I've owned her I went a full 10,000 miles without needing any repairs! For the first year I owned her she was had the dealer probably twice a month as they sorted through issue after issue after issue. But the good news is that with patience, they did seem to get everything resolved permanently other than the transmission (see below).
For a vehicle with this level of off road capability, she drives pretty much as nicely as she did when new. Despite moderate off road use several times a week, the steering and suspension feel like new (I did have to have the struts replaced under warranty about 2 years ago).
The engine seems to have every ounce of power it did when it was new, and the ride continues to be comfortable (other than the driver's seat, see below) and quiet. I've has none of the engine oil usage problems that others have reported. In fact, not once have I had to add oil between changes.
Interior wear is very good with one exception. The padding in the bottom of the driver's seat has been losing it's shape and is becoming uncomfortable. It looks like it has 200k miles on it rather than 60k.
The obvious weak point of the Cherokee, the transmission, is amazingly still unsolved. Car & Driver and Motor Trend recently tested 2016's and they are STILL complaining about the rough shifting and slow downshifting. I'm on the third transmission after the first two failed, and I concur with their observations. In fact, the 2016 transmission in my Trailhawk downshifts slower than the first two did. It's just amazing to me that after nearly 3 years FCA still has issues with this transmission. Perhaps they've finally given up on it and will replace it with something more conventional whenever the Cherokee is refreshed/updated.
All in all I still enjoy driving the Trailhawk every day, but I have to say if it were not for the darned transmissions I would be a far happier owner. At least I'm well beyond the point where the constant need for repairs has enabled me to really start enjoying the Trailhawk to a much greater degree than ever before.
Given that I no longer seem to have to wonder when the next repair is going to be, I'm now thinking I will keep her long term. At one point I almost traded her for a new Grand Cherokee, but the trade in values for the Cherokee are horrible because of all the bad publicity regarding the transmissions (or at least that was the Jeep dealer's excuse).
To sum up, the Cherokee really does have all the right stuff. It's just that the execution has been rough at times...
Granite TH Build Date November 2013
All options except hood decal