Welcome to the forum, Serge
Let me guess : you are in Québec ?
There are no simple answers to your questions, unfortunately. This Cherokee (KL) is only into its third model year, so *reliability* can't yet be defined. What you've read are likely stories about the 9-speed transmission ; well, the first model year and early 2015s were at risk because of a faulty snap ring (and/or surronding hardware), and this situation may have been corrected as far as reliability goes. Time will tell. As far as other components : the engines appear very robust, the AWD systems are too new to tell. As far as the electronics go : time will tell.
Wish I had more convincing answers but I don't.
Is the Cherokee as *reliable* as a Honda ? That's a pretty big generalization and I can't comment, really. Historical data is on Handa's side though, and Toyota is probably top of the list (historically). But now we have a new CR-V with a CVT tranny that is unproven, so who knows. Honda uses the same 9-speed (that we have in Cherokees) in their Pilot Touring.
If you want a 12-year reliable vehicule, it's impossible to predict which SUV would last that long, with reasonable maintenance costs.
If you are not willing to allow a little risk in your buying experience, go Toyota (RAV4) maybe or even Mazda (CX-5).
FWIW, I was going for long term reliability as well before buying the KL (North in my case). But one test drive got me hooked for pretty much the same reasons you posted.
It's a competitive segment (considering you won't do any hardcore off-roading) and there are great vehicules to look at for sure.
Good luck !
My avatar is the Elder Predator
(goes well with my forum status and overall temper
2015 North (Canada) - V6 - AD1
Cold, Tow, 8.4A, 9 speakers with sub