On Wheels: Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4

Warren Brown

There was a downpour replete with thunder and lightning. It was angry weather, frightening in intensity and wind speed. I was tempted to plow through the hostile climate, man and machine against nature. But the 8.4-inch Uconnect screen was carrying an emergency weather warning including flood alerts for my driving area.

I laughed at myself. Idiot! This is how so many people wind up being rescued on the evening news, if they are lucky, driving when they should be parked, betting that their four-wheel-drive vehicles are mightier than the Almighty, venturing into water of uncertain depth and flow force because, after all, “I’m driving a Jeep.”
Warren Brown is a columnist who writes about autos for The Washington Post. View Archive

I was driving a Jeep — the 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4. The Trailhawk is what I call “Jeep Heavy,” equipped with a bona fide off-road-drive system, especially designed to rumble in the rough. In fair weather and on paved roads, I felt invincible in the Trailhawk. Off-road, that is, in limited off-road runs, and in foul weather, I felt daring — that is, stupid.

I thank Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, maker of all things Jeep, for anticipating my self-destructive hubris. The Uconnect screen’s flood warnings were clear, in paraphrased summary: You might want to reconsider driving in this direction. Floodwaters can be deep . . . and swift. You have one heck of a capable sport-utility vehicle, but you seriously might want to reconsider what you are about to do.

The Washington Post