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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2014 Jeep Cherokee

PRICE : For 2014 Jeep Cherokee $22,995

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee ranks 8 out of 22 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Jeep Cherokee, as well as reliability and safety data.

Reviews say the all-new Jeep Cherokee offers great off-road capability, a powerful V6 engine and an upscale interior.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee comes with a four-cylinder engine that test drivers say provides adequate acceleration, or an optional V6, which reviewers prefer for its lively acceleration and power. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models, which is a first for the class. Test drivers say it shifts smoothly and responds quickly in most driving situations. The base Cherokee earns fuel economy estimates of 22/31 mpg city/highway, which is respectable for the class, but isn't among the top estimates for a compact SUV. The Jeep Cherokee can be equipped with a choice of three available four-wheel drive systems. Reviewers agree that the Cherokee handles well in most driving conditions, with impressive off-road capability and solid performance for daily driving. Test drivers are divided on the Cherokee's handling around corners. Some say it's poised, while others wish it was more composed through turns.

Automotive journalists are pleased with the Cherokee's interior and say the cabin is attractive and outfitted with premium materials. The Jeep Cherokee also earns praise for its comfortable, supportive seats, which some reviewers note are trimmed in attractive, high-quality standard cloth or optional leather. Test drivers also like the spacious back seat, which they say offers plenty of legroom. The 2014 Cherokee has less cargo space than several rivals, but most test drivers say it has ample small-item storage in the cabin and note that the sliding rear seat can be adjusted for more cargo or back-seat passenger space. 

The Jeep Cherokee comes standard with a six-speaker stereo, a 5-inch touch-screen display, a USB port, an auxiliary input, an SD card reader and Bluetooth. The Cherokee can be equipped with an 8.4-inch touch-screen display, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, a wireless charging pad for your smartphone, navigation, lane departure warning, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, a park assist system and blind spot monitoring. Automotive journalists are impressed with the design and functionality of the Cherokee's standard and optional gauge screens, which display information like fuel economy and drive modes.


Jeep designers were inspired to create a vehicle that remains true to the brand while moving it into the next era with a shape that is as efficient as the vehicle and ages gracefully without losing the DNA that makes it a Jeep. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee not only looks efficient and capable, but is efficient and capable - on-road, off-road and in all weather conditions.

"Our objective with the Cherokee was to visually convey that this is an all-new Jeep while still communicating legendary best-in-class capability," said Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design — Chrysler Group LLC. "But the rest of the equation has changed. Our vision was a smooth and flowing upper body with signature Jeep cues such as the peaked seven-slot grille, trapezoidal wheel arches and the functional 'kink' in the beltline mated to a tough, durable lower body. We wanted a design that is fluid and efficient yet still rugged and looks at home on the trail or at the theater."

The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee has a powerful stance, an aggressive wheel-to-body proportion and a commanding road presence. The aggressive approach and departure angles contribute to the best-in-class capability.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee was designed with integrated aerodynamic features to reduce drag and assist in improving fuel economy. Aerodynamically designed features include:

 Fully integrated, aerodynamic tuned body
 Extensive rear spoiler
 Integrated underbelly pans
 Integrated sill aero spats
 Tail lamp design meant to kick air off the side of the body
 Lightweight aluminum wheels that were scrutinized for aero efficiency
 The 2014 Jeep Cherokee incorporates subtle, signature Jeep cues throughout. At the front,  Jeep designers subtly integrated a Wrangler outline into the front-end graphic.

The key waterline feature efficiently connects the rugged lower and smooth upper body.

The first key feature in the front of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is the waterfall hood with the iconic peaked, seven-slotted grille which includes a crisp, horizontal snap - a feature in many classic Jeep vehicles including the previous SJ, XJ, YJ and TJ models. The hood is clearly defined and separated from the front fenders in a modern twist of Jeep heritage. The one-piece hood and grille assembly ensures a precise build.

Advanced LED lighting technology is used throughout the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Forward lighting features a very unique daytime running lamp (DRL) shape, which plays a dominant role in the fresh front-end proportion giving the impression of a slim headlamp. A well-hidden projector headlamp is almost in disguise below the DRLs, near the dark fascia. DRL feature lamps are placed high for water fording.

The front of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee visually flows through the rest of the vehicle with windows that link together, with the fast front windshield speeding to the backlight.

The sides of the Cherokee project a fluid tension in surface execution and feature the signature Jeep trapezoidal wheel arches. The rich chrome appearance of the daylight opening (DLO) shape and execution draws a close relationship to the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee creating consistency across the Jeep lineup. The diving DLO line with kick-up draws inspiration from the iconic half doors on the Jeep Wrangler. This function of the drop-down DLO allows the driver better visibility while spotting obstacles on the trail, and creates a beautiful form on the road.

The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee offers a choice of two open-air roof options. The new CommandView dual-pane sunroof is available for the first time in a mid-size SUV, as well as the industry-exclusive SkySlider open-air sunroof.

The rear of the new Cherokee is highlighted by the contemporary full LED tail lamps which are an integral part of the rear backlight graphic, making the vehicle look stronger yet harmonious. This shape is the connection between the upper and lower rear as an interlocking graphic statement that brings a unique presence specific to this all-new Cherokee.

The lower fascia of the rear of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee was designed to allow for every license plate across the globe. The rear fascia also carries Jeep Cherokee-specific rear fog lamps and reflex.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a design that is very adaptable.

The Trail Rated 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model takes rugged design and capability to a whole new level. Exclusive exterior and interior colors, functional differences such as signature red front tow hooks, skid plates, and wider fender flares to accommodate aggressive all-terrain tires all add to Cherokee's rugged exterior appearance.

The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is available in four different models: Jeep Cherokee Sport, Jeep Cherokee Latitude, Jeep Cherokee Limited and the Trail Rated Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

The Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV will offer consumers 11 different exterior colors from which to choose: Bright White Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Eco Green Pearl Coat, Mango Tango Pearl Coat, Cashmere Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Auburn Pearl Coat, True Blue Pearl Coat, and Anvil Clear Coat.


Hop into a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, the compact crossover leaders, and you'll notice a lot of hard plastics. The new Jeep Cherokee has a much more inviting environment, with soft-touch materials on the dash, door panels and center console. Impressive.

Jeep has also put considerable thought into the Cherokee's interior colors. Buyers can choose from five different interior environments with colors influenced by the hues of nature. For instance, Vesuvio features dark brown and dark blue hues with white accents and silver trim, while Kilimanjaro mixes brown with red, and Morocco is mostly black with gold accents. For the most part, these are traditional interior colors, but some of the combinations are unique. All choices are attractive.

Cherokee buyers also get the latest in in-car connectivity. The base trim comes with a 5.0-inch touch screen with voice controls, and higher-line versions come with Chrysler's 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen and a 7-inch TFT customizable instrument display. The 8.4-inch screen is one of the best infotainment systems on the market. The layout is intuitive, the large screen makes the virtual buttons easy to access, and the reaction times are pretty quick. The customizable instrument display also lets drivers choose the information they want to view at a glance.

A crossover needs space for passengers and cargo, and the Cherokee delivers. Passenger room is excellent, thanks to a roomy front seat and a rear seat that slides fore and aft up to six inches. Front-seat passengers sit on comfortable seats and the elevated driving position affords a good view of the road. While the Cherokee has less total cargo space than many of its competitors, that space is well thought out and quite useful. With the rear seats down, the Cherokee has 54.9 cubic feet of cargo volume compared to 68.1 in the Ford Escape and 73.4 in the Toyota RAV4. However, Jeep offers some useful features, including a fold-down front passenger seat, storage under the cushion of the front passenger seat, and a rear cargo management system. This system features a track on the side of the cargo area with four utility hooks and a reusable grocery bag. Other items, such as an off-road accessory kit, a cargo bin, a cargo mat, and a foldable cooler, are also available as accessories.


 Engine:V6 (Est.)
 Horsepower @ RPM:271 (Est.)
 Torque @ RPM:239 (Est.)
 Wheelbase:106.3 inches.
 Weight:4,004 pounds.
 Displacement:3.2 L (Est.)
 0-60 time:9 sec. (Est.)
 Top Speed:135 mph (Est.)


The 2014 Jeep Cherokee goes after a broad swath of crossovers with four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk, the "Trail-Rated" model in the lineup.

With the $23,990 Sport (all prices include $995 in destination charges), the Cherokee tackles some other basic tall wagons and hatchbacks. It's a four-cylinder model, with front-drive standard and with a simple Active Drive I all-wheel-drive system as an option. The Sport comes standard with LED running lights and rear taillamps; air conditioning; cruise control; 17-inch wheels with all-season tires; power windows, locks, and mirrors; cloth seats; keyless entry; an AM/FM radio; a USB port and an auxiliary jack; and Bluetooth with audio streaming. The audio and phone display is a 5.0-inch screen, with redundant information in a 3.5-inch screen located between the gauges.

Options include satellite radio; a rearview camera; aluminum wheels; and a cold-weather package with heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote start. A CD player is an option, and it mounts in the console, out of sight and out of mind--part of the long goodbye to that format, we think.

The $25,490 Jeep Cherokee Latitude takes that equipment and adds a fold-flat front passenger seat; LED ambient cabin lighting; a 115-volt power outlet; roof rails; and fog lamps. Options include the V-6 engine; Active Drive II all-wheel drive; a 506-watt Alpine audio system; a panoramic sunroof; cold-weather and towing packages; a convenience package with pushbutton start, satellite radio, tonneau cover, power driver seat, power tailgate, rearview camera, and remote start; and Uconnect with an 8.4-inch touchscreen and smartphone-app connectivity for Aha, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Slacker. We continue to be impressed with the Uconnect suite of connectivity services, as much for its easily absorbed graphics and functions as for its quick responses.

All the Latitude's standard gear carries over on the $28,990 Cherokee Limited, which also gets power front seats; leather upholstery; heated front seats; pushbutton start; 18-inch wheels and tires; a 7.0-inch reconfigurable information screen in the gauge cluster; the Uconnect touchscreen radio; satellite radio; a rearview camera; remote start; and dual-zone automatic climate control. Options include the V-6; Active Drive I or II; navigation (available after the original purchase as a dealer download); Alpine audio; the panoramic sunroof; a wireless charging pad that uses Qi recharging standards and hardware; comfort and towing packages; a luxury package with Nappa leather, ventilated front seats, memory seating, and remote start; and a technology package with lane-departure and forward-collision warnings, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, and Park Assist, which lets the Cherokee guide itself into parallel or perpendicular parking spots.

Finally, the $30,990 Cherokee Trailhawk takes Latitude standard equipment and couples it with a Trail Rated badge--which comes with the ability to cross California's Rubicon Trail, Jeep's gold standard for off-road capability. To do that, the Trailhawk gets a tougher suspension with more ground clearance; its own front and rear bumpers; red tow hooks; skid plates; transmission and oil coolers; the most advanced Active Drive system with a locking rear differential; Selec-Speed Control, which lets the Jeep climb up grades at a consistent speed; and 17-inch wheels and OWL all-terrain tires. Options include the V-6 engine; navigation; Alpine audio; the panoramic sunroof; an open-air sliding glass sunroof; and the cold-weather, technology, convenience, towing, and leather packages.


 Jeep Active Drive 1

Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive I features a single power transfer unit (PTU) which is fully automatic and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive at any speed. The system does not require any driver intervention or feedback, delivers yaw correction during dynamic events and improves both understeer and oversteer conditions.

 Jeep Active Drive 2

Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive II includes a two-speed PTU with torque management and low range. 4-Low mode locks the front and rear drive shafts for low-speed power or towing. Low range provides a 2.92:1 gear reduction. The gear reduction allows for enhanced climbing ability as well outstanding crawl ratios for severe off-road conditions. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee with Jeep Active Drive II gives the off-road adventurer a ride height that is increased by an inch, a crawl ratio of 56:1 when powered by the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine, and 47.8:1 when powered by the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine - up to a 90-percent improvement versus the outgoing model.

 Jeep Active Drive Lock

Jeep Active Drive Lock includes all the features of Jeep Active Drive II and adds a locking rear differential for superior low-speed power for severe off-road conditions. Jeep Active Drive Lock is standard on all Trailhawk models.

All 4x4 systems feature the Jeep brand's renowned Selec-Terrain traction control system, which allows the driver to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum performance. Five customized settings are offered: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. Through the use of algorithms that enable unsurpassed control and capability, Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates and optimizes up to 12 systems on any terrain providing enhanced vehicle control including: drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control (ESC), transmission controller, powertrain controller and Selec-Speed Control (Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control).


The 2014 Jeep Cherokee drives with the even-handed aplomb of a Santa Fe Sport, sometimes stuffed with a Trail Rated off-roader. That makes it a crossover-SUV in the truest sense.

We've driven all the drivetrain combinations offered with the new Cherokee, and admire the performance range that can be dialed into its lunar-rover body with the right ticks on the options box. With a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, it's a tall, economical hatchback; with the six-cylinder and Active Lock off-road system, it's a nimble rock climber.

The choice of engines doesn't have to be a vexing one: for a change at this end of the Chrysler lineup, they're both pretty good. The standard engine is a 2.4-liter in-line four rated at 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. It's reasonably powerful, with a 0-60 mph time of about eight seconds in base trim. It's also, easily, the best-sounding Chrysler four-cylinder in a long time. The energetic nudge it gives to front-drive Cherokees isn't accompanied by the usual rasp and noise, just some mild exhaust drone. It's eerily vibration-free. It's also capable of a 31-mpg EPA highway rating, though 25 mpg combined sounds a lot more reasonable in everyday use.

Most of the crossovers in the compact class have gone four-cylinder-only; the 2014 Jeep Cherokee still offers a big six, a downsized version of the Chrysler six that's also in the Grand Cherokee. The 3.2-liter V-6 here makes a very strong 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. We'd peg the front-drive V-6 Cherokee at a 0-60 mph time of about 6.5 seconds--it's a fairly heavy vehicle, somewhere between 3,700 and 4,100 pounds--and we'd gauge the V-6's responses as quick and unobjectionable, in the engine-noise department.

All Cherokees, four- or six-cylinder, come with a new ZF nine-speed automatic transmission, with a very low take-off gear and a few very tall overdrive gears for fuel-economy concerns. It's a gearbox that really wants paddle actuation, though we'd settle simply for more direct control over some shifts. Chrysler says there are more than 40 shift programs to be chosen--but the Cherokee lacks the most important one, the one we pick. Choose "D" and the nine-speed rifles through the launch gear and a handful of usable driving gears before it races for those gas-mileage ratios--and once it's there, it's loathe to go back. There's no true manual-shift mode: you can change gears with the lever, and it will display a number for your selection, but the nine-speed's shift logic is the decider. It will pick a gear based on fuel economy and yaw state and throttle position, even though it still will display the gear you actually want.

By the way, you'll want to be in the Sport mode when it's available on the Cherokee you're driving-- all the time, just to get the quickest shifts. That likely will negate the fuel-economy gains the nine-speed brings.

The Cherokee's ride and handling are a pleasant surprise. We were prepared to feel underwhelmed, based on the relative lack of rebound control on the Dart sedan's suspension bits, but the Cherokee has much better composure. That starts with its flavor of electric power steering: it has a dual-pinion rack that delivers no feedback and somewhat heavy weighting, but good accuracy despite its off-road intentions and all-season tires. The Cherokee rides very well in most versions, with smooth damping over most urban streets and even into some unpaved ruts where it could rightfully balk. The Trailhawk deflects less road rash, thanks to off-road tires and an inch higher ride height; it's clearly labeled to avoid misconsumption.

  All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive: Active Drive I, II, and Active Lock

Before landing in the Trailhawk aerie, the Cherokee ambles through less adventurous territory, starting with the basic front-drive models. There are two traction systems between it and the Trailhawk, the first of which is Active Drive I, a light-duty setup with a wet-clutch design and variable torque distribution between the front and rear wheels. It's handled automatically by the sensors that also govern the Cherokee's throttle and transmission and stability control, and without a low range, makes it all-wheel drive. It's offered on the four-cylinder, but the added weight could tap the Cherokee's eagerness at higher altitudes; we didn't think its improved cornering responsiveness took too much away from the power on tap.

Active Drive II gets a low range with a sky-high (low?) crawl ratio of 56:1 with the four-cylinder, which Jeep says is 90 percent better than that of the Liberty. All Cherokees with four-wheel drive have Selec-Terrain, which lets drivers choose the best mode from Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud, and Rock. Sport splits torque front-to-back at 40:60 ratio; Snow reverses that ratio and starts the Cherokee in second gear for less slip; the sand and rock modes allow a rear split of up to 100 percent, and are combined with off-road braking modes. The Cherokee's rear axle will declutch when not in use, which saves some fuel.

Jeep's Trail-Rated badge applying to the Trailhawk, which gets a one-inch suspension lift, slimmer front and rear fascias, a locking rear differential, skid plates, and red tow hooks. It also gets Selec-Speed control, which lets Cherokee climb hills with the same tenacity as it lowers itself with hill-descent control, creeping up from 1 mph to 5 mph in increments selected with the shift lever. Approach and departure angles are good for off-road work, at 30 and 32 degrees--and with ground clearance of 8.7 inches, the Cherokee really has very few rivals in its highly developed off-road niche. We're not even sure we'd want to take a high-riding Subaru Forester down some of the trails we dusted in the Cherokee, or if we'd want to pull as much as the 4,500 pounds the Cherokee is rated to tow. It may be the only Swiss Army knife in the crossover-SUV drawer....SEE ALL PHOTO


 4 Drivetrain Option

At the lower trim levels, the Cherokee can be had with front-wheel drive, but the models present during my testing were both 4x4 models. Jeep actually offers three different versions of its Active Drive all-wheel-drive system.

Active Drive I is the simplest setup, which uses brake-based traction control to optimize its grip for different terrain types. It also features a rear-axle disconnect, which allows the system to free-wheel its rear wheel under most conditions -- effectively giving it the efficiency of a front-wheel-drive system -- then instantly re-engage rear drive when front-wheel slip is detected.

Active Drive II builds on the first system with the addition of a low-range drive ratio and a neutral mode that totally disengages all four wheels for flat towing.

Finally, there's the Active Drive Lock system, which is standard on the Trailhawk. This system also features a 4-Low drive ratio for high torque at low speed when, for example, rock crawling. Also added to the mix at this level is a rear locker, which can lock the rear wheels, which usually spin independently, into a fixed axle, increasing grip for off-road activities.

The Active Drive system features optimizations for a variety of surfaces, which the system can automatically detect or the user can specify using the Selec-Terrain traction controller knob on the center console. There are settings for auto, snow, and sand and mud. There's also a sport setting that optimizes vehicle performance and the transmission's program for more responsive on-road driving. For Active Drive Lock models, there's also a setting for rocks and it has buttons that engage the 4-Low drive ratio, rear locker, and descent speed control.

The Trailhawk trim level also features a number of other off-road optimizations to go along with its Active Drive Lock system. The suspension has been raised an inch over the stock ride height to increase its break-over angle and water-fording depth (now up to 20 inches). The front and rear bumpers are unique, increasing its approach and departure angles. Bright-red tow hooks have been affixed to the chassis at the front and rear ends and skid plates have been affixed to the undercarriage to protect the suspension from branches and rocks.

I wasn't able to really test Jeep's claims about the Cherokee Trailhawk's off-road chops, but was assured that the crossover had earned its Trail Rated badge during testing in the Mojave and on the Rubicon trail.

Our testing took place on public roads, so it should come as no surprise that I preferred my drive in the Limited model. Without the off-road optimizations, the standard suspension setup gave the crossover a much better seat-of-the-pants feel with much more responsive steering and a firmer ride. That the Limited was equipped with the larger engine option helped.


The ads will call the 2014 Jeep Cherokee a mid-size crossover SUV--but in truth, it's not much bigger inside than some of the compact utes we know well, vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester. It is somewhat smaller outside than most mid-sizers, and lacks a third-row seat option like the new Nissan Rogue now offers--more support, we think, for comparing it to those vehicles instead of bigger utes like the Chevy Equinox.

By the numbers, the new Cherokee sits about 182 inches long, with a wheelbase of about 106.3 inches (Trailhawk models have slightly longer wheelbases due to suspension changes). It has 41.1 inches of front-seat leg room, about 38 inches of head room front and back, and 40.3 inches of rear-seat leg room. It's essentially closest to the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, in all those ways.

We like most versions of the Cherokee's front seats. It's just on the roomy side of compact, with bigger drivers making contact with the center console and the door panels, but not objectionably so. It can be tough for taller drivers to find an ideal driving position: the Cherokee's steering wheel tilt up a bit from its bottom, in what we'd call classic Fiat style, and the windshield doesn't rise very high. The seats are supportive enough in their Latitude trim, nicer with Nappa leather in Limited trim. All of the different seats have headrests that sit forward too much, though, which forces some drivers into a more laid-back driving position.

That, in turn, can cut into what should be good rear-seat leg room. On paper the Cherokee has about the same rear-seat room as the Grand Cherokee, but subjectively, they're worlds apart. In the smaller ute, tall drivers leaning back puts the front seatback into the knees of tall rear-seat passengers, an automotive domino effect that can be mitigated by sliding the second-row seat back on its track a few inches. In either row the Cherokee has good head room; those second-row seats recline to give it better long-distance comfort.

The Cherokee's high cargo floor lets four-wheel-drive components ride beneath it, but it trims down on total cargo space. The Cherokee's stow area is at most 58.9 cubic feet--with the front passenger seat folded down. The space behind the front seats totals 54.9 cubic feet; behind the rear seats, 24.6 cubic feet, or 29 cubic feet if the rear seat is folded and pushed forward. A Honda CR-V nets 37.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats, 61.4 cubes behind the front seats; a Santa Fe Sport gets 35.4 cubic feet and 71.5 cubic feet from a similar wheelbase. The Jeep does offer a cargo-management system with a hanging grocery bag.

Elsewhere, small-item storage is good. There's a bin atop the center stack for a handful or two of stuff, and a glove box that can hold an iPad. The center console has a groove that props up smartphones. There's space inside the deep console for a CD player, too--and maybe other format zombies.

We're suitably impressed with all of the Cherokee's quality measures, versus the more iffy Dart. The interior's the equal of the Santa Fe Sport and Escape, with high-quality, low-gloss, soft-touch surfaces and smooth-acting buttons and switchgear. Interior noise levels are filtered out very well, too--it's the first Chrysler four-cylinder in a long time that didn't draw our groans for its groaning.


Options for the new 2014 Cherokee include leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a color reconfigurable instrument cluster display and a Jeep Cargo Management System. A panoramic glass sunroof is also available, as well as a sliding canvas roof to let in the sunshine. ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist is a new technology from Chrysler. It uses sensors to identify vacant parking spaces and automatically park the Jeep while the driver operates the transmission and pedals.

Jeep's Uconnect 8.4-inch color touchscreen infotainment system is also available, and a new Uconnect Access via Mobile service provides Bluetooth music streaming, voice-to-text messaging, 9-1-1 Assist emergency calling and access to mobile applications on a paired smartphone. The technology also turns the Cherokee into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot.

Some new safety systems are also debuting with the 2014 Cherokee. In addition to its 10 standard airbags, the new Cherokee can be outfitted with a backup camera, a blind spot monitoring system and a Rear Cross Path Detection system. A first for Chrysler, the Cherokee's optional Lane Departure Warning Plus system employs a camera to identify when the SUV is unintentionally drifting from its lane, and it can apply the brakes selectively to nudge the vehicle back into its lane. A new Forward Collision Warning Plus system uses a camera and a radar unit to identify unsafe closing rates with objects ahead. It automatically prepares the braking system to deliver full stopping power while providing warnings to the driver. If the driver fails to take action, the system can apply the brakes automatically.

Another new option is Adaptive Cruise Control Plus, which uses the same radar and camera system as the Forward Collision Warning Plus system to provide full-speed-range capability, meaning it can bring the Cherokee to a complete stop without requiring the driver to use the brake pedal. To resume motion, the driver presses the gas pedal or pushes a button...SEE ALL PHOTO


The Cherokee shares the Dodge Dart's Alfa Romeo Giulietta-based platform, and it drives similar to its compact car counterpart. That makes for a comfortable but somewhat dull driving experience. The electric-assist power steering is fairly direct and predictable, but it lacks the feel and feedback that can contribute to a fun driving character. Handling is typical of the class, with a slightly tall stance that creates some lean in turns and a tendency to understeer when driven hard through corners.

While the on-road dynamics are just average, the Cherokee's competitive advantage lies in its off-road prowess. While front-wheel drive is standard, the Cherokee is available with three 4-wheel-drive systems, each with more off-road ability than the last. Active Drive II has low-range gearing, which helps the Cherokee climb hills and crawl over rocks, and the most advanced system, called Active Drive Lock, adds a locking rear differential, which helps the vehicle conquer even tougher terrain. The Trailhawk also adds an inch of ride height to improve the approach, departure and breakover angles, and skidplates to protect the underbody from off-road obstacles.

A portion of our test drive included some technical off-roading in the Trailhawk. The Cherokee handled the various climbs and descents with ease, thanks in part to the available Selec-Speed Control system that moves the vehicles along at speeds ranging from 0.6 to 5.4 mph whether going uphill or downhill. The suspension articulation also dealt well with rock climbing. All of these situations were aided by the Selec-Terrain system, which adjusts various vehicle systems to best deal with various surface conditions.

The Cherokee also boasts powertrain offerings unmatched in the class. The base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is pretty typical, but the new 3.2-liter V6 and the 9-speed automatic transmission that works with both engines are class exclusives. The 2.4-liter puts up a pedestrian zero-to-60-mph time of 9.8 seconds, slower than average for the class, but it actually feels fairly peppy from behind the wheel. Passing requires some planning and the engine is a bit gruff, but the 2.4-liter should serve most buyers quite well.

The 3.2-liter V6 engine, which is a downsized version of Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, cuts the zero-to-60-mph time to 7.5 seconds and offers a more refined engine note. While we like this engine, it didn't feel as powerful as most of today's V6s and some turbocharged fours. There isn't much of a fuel economy penalty with the V6, though, so those who want more power won't have to sacrifice fuel efficiency.

Part of the reason both engines are so fuel efficient is the new 9-speed automatic. With so many gears, it lets the engines operate efficiently more often. Jeep postponed the Cherokee test drive to reprogram the transmission, and the extra time seems to have paid off. With either engine, the transmission shifts smoothly and responsively. It was never confused during our test drive, and it seemed to get the most power out of either engine during aggressive driving.


Two engine choices are available for the 2014 Cherokee, the first and standard option being Chrysler's 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir four-cylinder engine. This is the same mill that you can find under the hood of the 2013 Dodge Dart GT, should you be inclined to look, and is good for 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque while returning 22 city mpg and 31 highway mpg over the EPA's test cycle. That's an adequate amount of power. Though my three passengers and I weren't exactly blown away by the crossover's acceleration, the Jeep wasn't left wanting or wheezing during my short drive through the hills of San Francisco's Presidio. For drivers who prefer to take it easy, this is the configuration to choose.

Drivers who want a bit more power also have the choice to option a 3.2L Pentastar V-6 engine. This is actually a downsized version of the Chrysler Group's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that has served the brand for years. At this displacement, it outputs 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. Dropping a few ccs of displacement has allowed the Pentastar-equipped Cherokee to reach an estimated 19 city and 27 highway mpg on the EPA's test cycle.

In this configuration, the Cherokee is much more responsive to throttle inputs with, obviously, much better acceleration when asked. I'll gladly take the 3-mpg highway hit for the additional get-up-and-go and the additional towing capability that the torque-ier V-6 affords.

Either engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that features sport and manual shifting programs. Having nine forward speeds means that the Jeep does a lot of shifting when tooling around town, but you get used to the smooth gear transitions.


Standard safety equipment on all 2014 Cherokees includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. A rearview camera is either standard or optional on all models.

Trailhawk and Limited models are available with a large option package that includes a forward collision warning system (with automatic brake intervention in potential collision situations), a lane departure warning system that will give the steering wheel a nudge if you veer out of your lane on the highway, and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts.


The most fuel-efficient Jeep Cherokee can get up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway--so agrees the EPA. Most versions earn everyday gas mileage in the low-20-mpg range, with the most rugged editions dipping below 20 miles per gallon on the city cycle.

In spite of its standard nine-speed automatic transmission, the Cherokee doesn't fare so well against some other mid-size and compact crossovers--vehicles like the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Edge, and Chevy Equinox. None of those crossovers has its adventurous talent, though. The beefed-up body structure and heavier running gear its Trail Rating demands accounts for at least some of that fuel-economy penalty.

The base front-drive Cherokee has the best numbers, of course. It's rated at 22 miles per gallon city, 31 miles per gallon highway, and 25 mpg combined. In most cases those numbers would push the Cherokee to our next-highest green score--but since we believe most versions will come with at least some form of all-wheel drive and/or the optional six-cylinder engine, we're going by the bulk of its EPA-combined averages, all in the low-20s.
Adding the basic all-wheel-drive system to the four-cylinder Cherokee drops gas mileage to 21/28 mpg, or 24 mpg combined; going with the more advanced Active Drive II setup lowers highway economy by one more mile per gallon, to 27 mpg, and combined numbers to 23 mpg.

On six-cylinder Cherokees, fuel economy starts at 19/28 mpg or 22 mpg combined for front-drive models; Active Drive I all-wheel drive lowers highway economy to 27 mpg; and Active Drive II drops it one more notch, to 26 mpg highway.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is equipped with an electronic power steering system (EPS) that improves fuel efficiency and contributes to the Jeep Cherokee's nimbleness with a turn circle radius of approximately 36 feet in 4x2 models, approximately 38 feet in 4x4 models and roughly 39 feet in the Trailhawk off-road model. With EPS all of the power assist is provided via an electric motor system rather than a traditional hydraulic system. Because the system is fully electronic, the driver experiences optimal steering effort at all vehicle speeds, and there is less noise and better fuel efficiency since there is no parasitic loss from a power steering pump.


Video by : Motormouth Canada


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal


  1. Reviews say the all-new Jeep Cherokee offers great off-road capability, ...

  2. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee, in bright, metallic red, makes a striking statement of style in a V-6 SUV, while it also stands as a safety leader in its class. Within the category of affordable compact SUVs, Jeep Cherokee ranks 8 out of 22. This ranking refers to the dependability and safety information from published reviews of the Jeep Cherokee.

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  3. I read your blog on Jeep Cherokee and after reading your blog can't stop myself sharing my views on a Jeep Cherokee. Jeep Cherokee is a real SUV with its 3.2L PentastarTM VVT V6 engine and other safety features like Electronic Park Brake, 10 airbags, Hill Start Assist and lot more. Jeep Cherokee with its 4x4 capability leaves the competition in the dust.