August 21, 2015
We spent a year with a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited and liked it. Mostly.
Its V6 delivered good power and even better torque, which made it a good needle for threading highway traffic. Comfortable seats, a nicely crafted interior and decent off-road ability helped the new-generation Cherokee straddle a unique niche between modern crossover and useable dirt toy.
But its nine-speed automatic transmission came in for sharp rebuke, seemingly always bogged down looking for the highest, slowest gear in a quest for ultimate fuel economy. We can't argue with the results, though. After more than 22,000 miles, we did 0.5 mpg better than the EPA estimate of 22 mpg combined.
The Cherokee's biggest flaw? Its name.
July 29, 2015
On his last road trip in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, Dan's quick thinking prevented a pesky windshield chip from growing into a full-blown moving violation. But the ghost of that hurtling rock remains, taunting us from the peripherals of sight.
The crack may never move another millimeter, but the psychological effect of this eyesore is beginning to grow the more I see it. How much would it cost to exorcise our windshield demons?
July 20, 2015
Autonomous cars continue to be a hot topic in transportation today. Silicon Valley tech giants and auto makers have whetted our appetites with small tastes of technologies they've cooked up, from Google's cartoonish interpretation of personal people movers to Bobby, a racetrack-devouring Audi RS7.
On a larger scale, many consumers have already experienced small degrees of autonomous vehicle features, most commonly in parking systems like the one in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited.
These systems have been commercially available in the U.S. since 2006, appearing first in the Lexus LS sedan. With 9 years of development between now and those first-gen systems, I was curious to know how far they've come.
July 1, 2015
Can you believe it? Our 2015 Ford F-150 just suffered a broken windshield and now lightning strikes again. This time it was the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, and I was driving. It happened just as I rolled in to the city limits of Moab, Utah after nearly 800 miles of incident-free driving.
The rock was big enough that I saw it come off the tire of a car in the opposite lane. The only reason it didn't hit dead center in front of me is because I flinched. The result: a dollar coin-sized star, about head high and a foot to the right of my direct line of sight.
And it was perfectly ugly. Based on its size, I was sure it would grow and take out the entire windshield if I waited to have it filled back in California. I had to do something. Luckily, there was a glass shop in town between my location and the hotel where I would stay that night.
June 23, 2015
My trip to Moab, Utah in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4 was business-related. What kind of business?
The best kind.
Jeep invited me to participate in an overnight off-road excursion in a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, the Trail-Rated version that's more off-road focused than our Limited equipped with the basic Active Drive I four-wheel drive system. The off-road differences between the two are far more significant than red tow hooks and fender flares.
June 19, 2015
I know that mileage milestones are just numbers. They don't mean anything in the grand scheme. That said, I've always paid attention when the odometer in my own cars rolled over from a row of nines to a bunch of zeroes. It always felt like something just happened that was worth celebrating, if only for a moment.
That ritual has lost some of its luster since rolling mechanical odometers have given way to graphically-represented ones. There's no longer the rolling tenths digit that heralds the approaching moment, no jerky motion or temporary misalignment of the new zero digits that seemed like some sort of reluctance on the car's part to grow older.
It's much more clinical nowadays. Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee 4x4's odometer simply winked from 19999 to 20000 in an instant. It's similar to the time readout on my microwave oven or coffee maker, but without the winking colon of the passing seconds to give it some sort of rhythm.
June 4, 2015
Risue Canyon Road (Forest Road #050) is 16.5 miles long and runs through the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. My plan was to get to one of the primitive campgrounds at the tail end of the trail before dark. In no way is this trail the Rubicon, so I felt confident in anything AWD/4WD, with no need for a 4-inch lift, lockers, or 35-inch tires.
I was having a great time. The Cherokee was a blast and soaked up the bumpies with ease.
June 1, 2015
I recently took our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited on an extended road trip north along the Eastern Sierras. I soaked up most of the miles with the help of satellite radio, Chex Mix, and my dog, Fritz. The Cherokee is comfortable, quiet, and loaded with tech that really helps melt away the miles.
I'm an avid camper, and the plan was to have a couple days to myself before meeting up with the rest of the crew for Memorial Day weekend. I had my Eastern Sierras Off-Road trail book in hand, earmarked with many different off-tarmac byways. No particular plan in mind, just miles and time to kill.
May 18, 2015
Fiat-Chrysler announced an increase in the number of 2014-2015 model year Jeep Cherokees affected by an earlier recall to reprogram airbag software. The additional 62,148 vehicles share the same potential for accidental deployment of side curtain and seat-mounted side airbags. Fiat-Chrysler said most reported incidents occurred in "harsh, off-road environments."
We called to see if our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited was part of the recall. It was.
April 16, 2015
Midway through my morning commute, our 2014 Jeep Cherokee's odometer clicked past the 15,000-mile mark. When I exited the freeway, I documented the occasion with the above snap.
March 23, 2015
With some cars the styling grows on you over time, with others it does not. I remember the first time I saw a BMW Z3 M Coupe. I was on vacation in Cape Cod, and there was one parked on the route of my daily run. I thought it was, well, kinda weird looking. After a week of running past that thing every morning, my feelings had completely changed and I wanted one. Even now, all these years later, it remains on the list of "Cars Mikey Must Have."
But in the case of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4, it's not growing on me. I just can't get beyond that schnoz.
February 16, 2015
I love dogs. If I had room in my life for one, it'd be a no-brainer. Scott's dogs, Archie and Dudley, are exceptionally cool and they proved it on our Nevada road trip. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, on the other hand, was adequate but not all that praiseworthy as a hauler of larger dogs, but perhaps not for the reasons that you'd assume.
February 13, 2015
Historically, I've never been a fan of cruise control. That all changed as adaptive cruise control began appearing in cars. As we pointed the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited north on the long desert highway towards Nevada, the system proved worthy of praise.
February 12, 2015
Not too long ago, I decided to stop making excuses for not getting out and seeing the world. Opportunities to pack up and head out were surprisingly forthcoming. The most significant so far came courtesy of my buddies in the Edmunds photo and video crew.
February 6, 2015
Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited is a great example of how to blend old and new technology in a way that's easy to use. It not only has one of the better user interface setups for its touchscreen, it also has a handful of physical knobs and buttons for the stuff you use most often.
January 23, 2015
With our week in Bend, Oregon, sadly at an end, my wife and I packed up the Cherokee once again and set course 822 miles due south for what would hopefully be a full day of driving. I say hopefully, because you never know what weather or a jackknifed tractor trailer on a mountain pass might be ahead.
January 22, 2015
Whereas Mike Magrath bought a freakin' cake for our CL65's 15,000-mile milestone, my observance of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited's 10,000-mile crossover was rather less involved: I was asleep.
January 21, 2015
Being in Southern California is wonderful for reviewing cars, as you can pretty much do photo shoots and track-testing every week of the year without fear of a blizzard or torrential rain. However, there are car features we simply don't get to test as you would in normal parts of the country. One such common feature is remote ignition and I got a chance to experience and appreciate it in in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited during my road trip to Bend, Oregon.
January 20, 2015
We were a mere 10 minutes or so into a 12-hour-or-so journey to Bend, Oregon, when our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited's trip computer alerted me I should change its oil soon. Great, perfect timing. Looks like I would be visiting an Oregonian Jeep dealer.
January 19, 2015
I'm going out on a limb here and say for the money the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited and other Chrysler-family vehicles have the best adaptive cruise control. During my road trip to Bend, Oregon, it was absolutely invaluable and an example of how to do such a system right. If cruise control was its own category in our vehicle ratings, it would get the rare 10 out of 10 from me. The fact that it's not that expensive is a 3-inch slab of icing on the cake.
January 15, 2015
When you buy a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited instead of a Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester or indeed most other "compact" SUVs, you should do so with the knowledge that it does not possess the same amount of cargo space. A major culprit for this deficiency is its higher load floor created by the large spare tire and the need for a taller departure angle. This is what you call a trade-off for the Cherokee's requisite Jeepness, but how useful is the existing space?
January 14, 2015
Though we made it to Bend, Oregon, free and clear with no inclement weather to challenge the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, that quickly changed. First, we drove the half hour or so up to the ski resort area of Mt. Bachelor, traversing the curving Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway to get there, the latter 20 percent of which was caked in a thin layer of snow. Even with all-season tires, we plowed through without issue. A day later, things got even more interesting.
January 13, 2015
The trip from Los Angeles to Bend, Oregon, should take around 12 hours. It's a distance I did coming back in the CL65 back in August, but as driving through rural Oregon after dark is a lot different than doing so in the outskirts of L.A. sprawl, a two-part journey is recommended. As we had friends meeting us in Bend who were planning to stop in Chico, California, we opted to divert there for our overnight pit stop. And of course, we stopped in Weed, California, for gas and the obligatory photo.
January 12, 2015
Back in August, my wife and I ventured to Oregon in our long-term Mercedes CL65. It was such a wonderful trip, and we enjoyed Bend, Oregon, so much that we decided to return during the winter to experience it when all that green had been dusted in white.
January 9, 2015
Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited was closer to the 4Runner than the camera would have you believe, but not so close to impede the upward motion of the liftgate. Still, the Cherokee liftgate design has a fairly narrow opening radius that's handy when using in the confines of beach town parking on a weekend.
October 29, 2014
I had a lot going on this past weekend, and found myself crisscrossing L.A. and Orange counties in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited. Saturday morning's chosen road was particularly pleasant and I was really enjoying myself until...
...the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning light started blinking.
The pressure display screen automatically popped up on the driver display screen, but it showed all four tire pressures to be bang-on the specified pressure of 33 psi. I pulled over and confirmed this with a quick check, but as I was doing it I knew it wasn't necessary.
A blinking light, you see, means a problem with the system itself, not the tire pressure. A steady light means you have a low tire. This distinction is coded in the TPMS regulations and noted in the owner's manual.
So I made a mental note and went about my business.
October 8, 2014
This week our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited's odometer crossed the 5,000-mile mark.
The Cherokee's first 90 days in our test fleet have largely been spent running around town, with the exception of a weekend road trip from L.A. to Monterey.
September 26, 2014
THAT's a Cherokee, on the left.
(say with Crocodile Dundee drawl for full effect).
I've been waiting more than a year to do this post. From when we first started seeing mule photos of the new Cherokee to taking delivery of our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, I've wanted to line this pretender up against the real thing. I'm glad I've held on to my old Heep (156,000 miles) and not just for this shot.See full article and comment.
September 19, 2014
A few days ago some neighbors of mine wanted to check out our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited I had parked in my driveway. As I was showing them the Cherokee and walking them through its various features, I realized this was a good opportunity for me to really sum up the Cherokee's strengths and weaknesses. In the end, I came away convinced that Jeep's got a solid crossover SUV on its hands.
September 18, 2014
There are other things about its powertrain calibration I find suboptimal, too.
September 16, 2014
Sometimes, it's as simple as that. You drive a car for a while and it just makes a good impression. For me, our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited is like that. I took it on a weekend roadtrip from L.A. to Monterey and it cemented things for me.
But what, exactly, makes the Cherokee good?
September 3, 2014
One of the appealing qualities I like about our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited is that its front-end styling stands out in the crowd. A lot of small crossover SUVs seem to fade into the automotive background because of their all-too-similar styling. But just a quick glance at the new Cherokee is all you need to know what it is.
August 26, 2014
Ah, the test track. The perfect place to observe a Jeep Cherokee in its natural habitat.
Well, not really. We aren't going to be tearing down the corkscrew at Laguna Seca in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited anytime soon (we'll leave that to the Corvette). However, subjecting it to our standard performance testing procedure does give us a chance to safely see what its limits are. Here's what we discovered when we put our newest crossover through its paces.
August 20, 2014
Our new 2014 Jeep Cherokee long-termer has a nine-speed automatic transmission. It has manual-shifting ability with the console shift lever, and it's even in my preferred layout of push-forward to downshift.
It doesn't blip the throttle, but that's not a huge deal. In general this is a good transmission, with pretty smooth shifts, both up and down.
What I'm finding strange, though, is that it doesn't provide much in the way of engine braking.
August 14, 2014
I know. I'm not fooling anyone. The vehicle under the photo-shopped tarp is a Geo Tracker, not a 2014 Jeep Cherokee. But the question is a good one nonetheless. Can you tow a 2014 Jeep Cherokee behind a motorhome?
After all, the new Cherokee is a great vehicle for the RV crowd. It's light and easy to tow. It's not terribly expensive. It's comfortable to drive. It's not a total gas hog. And certain versions (I'm looking at you, Trailhawk) are surprisingly capable when it comes to off-road exploring near the campsite.
A trailer will work, obviously. But four-down "dinghy" towing is the Holy Grail here. It's the preferred method for those who spend a lot of time in their motorhomes. Trailers are a pain in the you-know-what and your typical two-wheeled tow dolly isn't much better.
So can you pull a 2014 Jeep Cherokee behind your motorhome?
August 12, 2014
Diagonal parking spots are much easier to pull in and out of than other types. That's the hypothesis, anyway, but it all breaks down when a windowless extendo-van parks in the adjacent upstream spot. That's exactly what happened to me the other day when I was driving our 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
As you can see, my view was totally blocked. My most emphatic head-check was no match for the looming Ford Econoline.
August 5, 2014
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited isn't for everybody, but what it offers that the Honda CR-Vs and Toyota RAV4s of this world do not is the sort of personality that comes from about seven decades of heritage.
July 31, 2014
I spy with my little eye on our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited's passenger seat bottom a little pull-loop.
July 23, 2014
The new Jeep Cherokee puts a new twist on a classic nameplate. Does it live up to the legend or take it in a completely new direction? We have a new long-term Cherokee for the next year to find out.