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2014 Jeep Cherokee

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

The new-for-2014 Jeep Cherokee SUV has more off-road capability than most of its buyers will ever think of using. In classic Jeep fashion, it will take on boulders and swamps that other vehicles in its class dare not confront. But even as we were effortlessly negotiating the precarious cliffs of the Moab, Utah, landscape, we had to wonder, "Does it make any difference?" You might be able to answer that based on your own expectations, but if you are considering a Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 or market-leading Honda CR-V, you should be aware that the Cherokee is different animal: Not only can it climb mountains, but it offers creature-comforts that might well be the best in class. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want Jeep off-road capabilities in your small SUV and are willing to sacrifice a little room to get them, the Cherokee is for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't give two hoots about off-roading or if the Cherokee doesn't look enough like a classic Jeep to you, you might well make another choice.

What's New for 2014

The Jeep Cherokee is all-new for 2014, replacing the late and largely unlamented Jeep Liberty.

Driving the Cherokee

Driving Impressions The Jeep Cherokee is offered in four trims levels – Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk – and all but the Trailhawk are available in either front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive (4WD) configurations....

A very clever chameleon, its on-road behavior is in keeping with everything else in the class – perfectly acceptable but largely uninvolving. Acceleration from the 4-cylinder is adequate, and, as you'd expect, response from the V6-powered version is better. But when you get the Cherokee off pavement, the world changes. Equipped with any of its three 4WD systems – Jeep Active Drive I, Active Drive II and Active Drive Lock – the Cherokee offers class-leading off-road prowess. One key reason is the standard Selec-Terrain traction-control system, which allows the driver to choose settings for optimum performance, including settings for Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. It also has an "Auto" setting that decides for you, based on what the Cherokee's systems sense. All models offer good approach and departure angles plus reasonable ground clearance, while the Trailhawk version ups the ante in each department. Bottom line: the Cherokee performs very well as a daily driver, while at the same time offering you more traction enhancement than you'll probably ever need.

948TE 9-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Developed by global transmission giant ZF, Chrysler Group's 9-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment in all models of the new Cherokee. We appreciated its smooth launches and excellent power delivery, and the biggest plus is fuel economy that is vastly improved over the Liberty's 4-speed automatic.

SELEC-TERRAIN
Instead of relying on sheer muscle and torque multiplication, Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates and optimizes up to 12 separate vehicle systems to deliver control tailored to the environment you are traversing. Among the systems that get its special touch are the drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control, transmission, and powertrain controller.

2014 Jeep Cherokee Details
Interior

Both Jeep heritage (the trapezoidal "center stack") and Americana (an instrument panel layout that mimics the spread wings of an eagle) are represented in the 2014 Cherokee's attractive, upscale interior. The ergonomically designed seats offer good support and are trimmed with attractive cloth or Nappa leather. The top-of-the-line seats are power-adjustable, heated/ventilated and feature memory settings. The 60/40-split 2nd-row seats move forward and backward for increased passenger comfort and cargo flexibility. Among the coolest features are an available wireless-device charging pad and a glovebox so large "you could put a turkey in it," joked the Cherokee's lead interior designer, Winnie Chung. We also liked the optional 7-inch full-color configurable instrument cluster that functions like a smartphone.

Exterior
2014 Jeep Cherokee photo

The exterior design of the Cherokee is nothing if not controversial. Some critics have slammed the "kink" in the iconic 7-portal grille, but chief exterior designer Mark Allen noted that other Jeeps featured a somewhat similar front-end treatment. Fact is, this SUV looks much better in person than in photographs, and we warmed up to it quickly. The Cherokee is built off the same front-drive platform as the Dodge Dart, and we think the design and engineering team did a remarkable job in turning it into a vehicle that can truly be called a Jeep. The Trailhawk version kicks up the macho up a notch with a higher ride height, red-painted front tow hooks, skidplates and more aggressive front and rear fascias. For those who like to add open-air to their off-roading, the Cherokee offers a CommandView panoramic sunroof or the Sky Slider full-length-opening canvas roof.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Cherokee Sport is powered by the new 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark 4-cylinder engine offering praiseworthy fuel economy and a range of some 500 miles on a tankful. Standard equipment includes Uconnect 5-inch touch-screen media center with Bluetooth for hands-free phone and streaming audio, a media hub that offers USB, SD and auxiliary ports and charging capability, a 3.5-inch full-color center cluster, 10 air bags, anti-lock disc brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, Hill-start Assist, electric power steering, an electric park brake, cruise control, air conditioning with rear outlets, and remote keyless entry. The Jeep Cargo Management system includes standard hooks and a storage tote, and accessories are available.

Optional Equipment

Jeep figures the Latitude model will be the best seller, and its prime calling card is the availability of the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine. It also offers two 4WD systems: Jeep Active Drive I, Jeep Active Drive II. Added standard niceties include a fold-flat front-passenger seat with under-cushion storage space, 17-inch aluminum wheels and a 115-volt outlet. Options include the Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen, Alpine premium audio with nine speakers and a subwoofer, and the CommandView dual-pane panoramic sunroof with power sunshade. The Cherokee Limited adds leather, heated power seats, a heated steering wheel, Keyless Enter-N-Go, automatic headlights, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The trim level also features the Uconnect 8.4 system with SiriusXM Radio, ParkView rear backup camera, remote start, and dual-zone automatic temperature control. The Trailhawk isn't the traditional top-of-the-line trim model. Instead it concentrates on a variety of equipment that add off-road capabilities.

Under the Hood

While many models in the segment are ditching their 6-cylinder variants to concentrate on the fuel-economy of the 4-cylinders, Jeep is adamant about offering a V6 version of the Cherokee. Its 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine produces 271 horsepower, 239 lb-ft of torque and delivers best-in-class V6 towing of 4,500 pounds. The 16-valve, 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 4-cylinder engine, standard in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, is the more technically interesting of the two engine choices. Using an electro-hydraulic fully variable valve-lift system, the 2.4-liter engine produces 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. Perhaps more important, it offers an estimated 31-mpg highway fuel economy rating. That's more than a 45-percent improvement versus the outgoing model. The 9-speed automatic transmission, a first in the segment, is standard equipment in all models of the new Cherokee.

2.4-liter inline-4
184 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 (front-wheel drive), 21/28 (4WD Active Drive I), 21/27 (4WD Active Drive II), 19/25 (4WD Trailhawk)

3.2-liter V6
271 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
239 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 (front-wheel drive), 19/27 (4WD Active Drive I), 19/26 (4WD Active Drive II), 18/25 (4WD Trailhawk)

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.1
Out of 10

Based on 107 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.6/10
    Quality
    7.3/10
  • Reliability
    7.6/10
    Performance
    7.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Very dissapointed this was my retirement vehicle.

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,400

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Looks nice"

Cons: "Front seats hard to get in and out of."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Transmission,transmission,transmission had to replace all computer models and transmission @4000 miles.Electronics continually going hay wire.I won't drive it but to work and back. I have a 2005 Saturn w/120,000 miles that I have more confidence in getting me where i need to go."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I have had better but it's ok

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "It looks great,"

Cons: "too many issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I traded a 2003 Saturn Vue for this Jeep because the wife has always wanted one. We have had several issues with it and have had it for 1 1/2 years. The radio went out, several recalls and it looses several quarts of oil between oil changes. So much oil that it shuts down no matter where you are. Have had it back to the dealer several times and they tell me just to keep an eye on the oil. Also the forward view is somewhat constricted at the side of the windshield. I have had several other SUV's and never had the issues that I have with this Jeep. If I were to buy another SUV it would not be a Jeep. Sorry"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love my Jeep - Mostly

By on Saturday, December 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handles well, great gas mileage, looks great"

Cons: "The windshield and the wipers freezing up"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love how my Jeep handles and I love the gas mileage. I opted to go with FWD instead of 4WD even though I live in Wisconsin. There have been 3 recalls to date, which is kind of a pain as my dealer is probably 35 miles from home and taking it in is difficult because of when I get off work and getting it to the dealership without having to take time off work to do it. My main complaints about this Cherokee is the windshield/wipers. There is a large part of the passenger side that the wipers never touch. For some reason, the wiper blades get slushed up and frozen up. I have had to pull off the road to clean them off more than once. Not sure how you would fix that problem, but it is my pet peeve about this Jeep. I went from a mini-van that I loved to this, so it does feel small to me, but plenty of room for what we need to do. I haven't had problems with it handling in the snow or rain. I drive probably 200 miles a week because I live 20 miles from my job. It it comfortable, handles well, and looks great."

10 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great small SUV

By on Saturday, December 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Stylish, small"

Cons: "Small, not many standrd features"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Very stylish and attractive. Amazing details in this jeep. I get a lot of compliments on the look of this jeep. Downside is...not very roomy. Will only seat 4 comfortably. For the price, this vehicle should come with more standard items such as CD player, GPS, and lifetime Satellite radio."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

'14 Cherokee Blacked Out 2.4L 4X4

By on Sunday, November 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "awesome appearance inside and out"

Cons: "occasional sluggishness"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I purchased this 2014 Jeep Cherokee Blacked Out with an Active Drive II system in May 2015. It was a demo at the dealer. I traded from a Mercedes-Benz. This Cherokee has more options than the MB did. I have owned several SUV's from Lexus, Toyota, Pontiac, Dodge and Chevrolet. The overall appearance of this vehicle is great and quite frankly looks better than any of the above mentioned vehicles. She shark appearance of the front is great. The Keyless package with remote start is convenient and works great. The seats are not leather but are something similar to denim and still has seat heaters. The seats are comfortable and the vehicle rides very well both on road and off. Gas mileage is also better than most vehicles I have had. Not long after I purchased the vehicle, it began to get sluggish when it should have downshifted, so I would pull it over to downshift it myself (which I should not have had to do). I phoned the dealer service department. It took a few weeks to get it in. I found that I could put it into "Sport Mode" in the Active Drive, and I would have no issues with the transmission and this practically cut gears 6-9 off. After they did the updates (7 of them) I have had no more issues. When stopping or pulling out sometimes it will jerk but even the MB and Lexus' I have had did that also. I really like this car. The good outweighs the bad in this vehicle. After all the updates, I have been impressed with how well the 2.4L will climb a mountain, especially in Sport Mode. I think the key to this vehicle is to know how to utilize all of the vehicle's features."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Love it at 300 miles - so far a great transmission

By on Sunday, November 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality, solid, comfortable, great Jeep 4WD value"

Cons: "None so far. Will be watching."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Jeep Cherokee is only one of two small SUVs with a 4WD low range. This, and the MultiAir 2.4 I4 engine with good SUV gas mileage made the Cherokee our choice. The 9 speed ZF transmission had notorious early problems, which were FCA's software problems. It seems these are well resolved, based on our initial driving experience. Seamless, well spaced shifts that adjust well to highway wind and hills. Very nicely laid out and comfortable driver and passenger area. Solid. I got the Active Drive II (for the low range), which requires the off road suspension. Even with this the ride is solid and smooth. The electronic steering is very responsive. The 4WD Active Drive allows driver selection of wheel traction. This helps with its good gas mileage. If this initial high quality continues, this will be the best car I've owned in 40 years."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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