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.
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.
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.
Our Jeep Cherokee has plenty of technology. From its adaptive cruise control system to its excellent rear parking camera, it's loaded. But there's one system I could do without.
That would be the automated parallel parking system. It's a popular addition to numerous cars these days. It promises to take the anxiety out of squeezing into a parking space on the street with the touch of a button.
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.
Rearview cameras are getting pretty commonplace these days and will in fact be required by law in a few years. Yet I'm still surprised by how nicely the rearview camera works in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee thanks to the large 8.4-inch display screen.
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?
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.
We're generally big fans of Chrysler's top-of-the-line Uconnect electronics interface, which is found in our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited and many other Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, SRT and Maserati vehicles, plus whatever other brands they're selling nowadays. I'm sure Eagle's making a comeback any day now.
Anyways, Uconnect's menus make sense and there are big old "buttons" on the touchscreen that are easy to see and press on the move. You'd don't have to be 15 to figure it out. I also appreciate the redundant knob that allows you to quickly flip through iPod playlists, radio stations or phonebook entries without tapping up and down arrows on the touchscreen like many other systems (Honda Civic, for instance) require you to do.
However, I object to the placement of that redundant knob and its buddy, the volume control. In most Chrysler group vehicles they are placed amongst the climate controls, which can be confusing at a glance, instead of near the screen they help control.
Just a few days ago, Engineering Editor Jason Kavanagh commented that our long-term 2014 Acura MDX had a hypersensitive collision alert. I've driven the MDX many times and I agree with Jay, but the MDX doesn't hold a candle to our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
In just three days with our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee, I must've yelled at the car a dozen times. Warnings were going off like a sinking submarine, without any real or imminent danger.
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