2014 Jeep Cherokee SUV Rating Details | Edmunds Rating Details
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2014 Jeep Cherokee SUV - Rating Details

B
Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested

2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4dr SUV (3.2L 6-cyl. 4x4 9-speed Automatic)

Driven On 5/8/2013

Ratings Summary

In many ways the Trailhawk version of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee deserves an "A" because it's pretty much the only game in town. No other crossover offers as much on the off-highway end of the performance spectrum, and the Trailhawk still does well as a daily driver. But, the V6 version is a bit thirsty and prices can drift high if you start checking off options.
A
Performance The Trailhawk gives up a little in ultimate handling and acceleration in return for off-road capability that's a cut above any other crossover. It's still nicely balanced. Those who don't go off-road can get the Latitude or Limited versions.
Acceleration
B
The optional 3.2-liter V6 accelerates the Trailhawk to 60 mph in about 8 seconds flat, a decent performance in this class, especially considering the off-highway potential.
Braking
B
Nicely firm and responsive brake pedal in daily use. The Trailhawk's knobby off-road tires result in a slightly long 131-foot panic stop from 60 mph; regular Cherokees should do better.
Steering
A
Responds predictably and isn't over-sensitive. Driver gets a good impression of what's going on down where the rubber meets the road, but there's zero kickback in rocky off-road terrain.
Handling
B
The Trailhawk's off-road tires limit ultimate on-road grip, but it retains good balance and coordination. And body roll isn't excessive, either, despite the high-riding stance.
Driveability
B
The Cherokee's 9-speed transmission (yes, you read that right) serves up smooth upshifts and ready downshifts. Initial throttle response is subdued, making for easy low-speed control.
Towing
A
With the $495 tow package it can tow 4,500 lbs, the most in the small crossover class. Trailhawk (or Latitude/Limited with 2-spd transfer case option) can also be flat-towed behind a motorhome.
Off-Road
A
Among crossovers, the Trailhawk has no equal. Articulation is average, but its knobby tires, generous clearance, low-range gearing and rear locker are unmatched in this class. Also, full-size spare tire!
B
Comfort Despite appearances, the extra beefiness of the Trailhawk doesn't translate into extra harshness. It remains a comfortable and quiet machine you could happily drive every day.
Seating Comfort
B
Easy to find a comfortable driving position, and the front seats proved supportive and comfortable throughout an all-day off-road trip. Our backseat passenger was equally impressed.
Ride Comfort
A
The suspension is tuned slightly toward the soft side to promote off-road flexibility, but it's well-damped, too. The combination makes for a smooth and pleasant ride on and off the pavement.
Quietness
B
The optional 3.2-liter V6 is quiet and unobtrusive, unless you mash the throttle. The Trailhawk's bigger off-road tires are quieter than expected, but there is occasional faint tread noise.
B
Interior The 2014 Cherokee Trailhawk does a lot of things right. There's plenty of room, it's easy to climb in and out of, and the controls are mostly self-explanatory. You won't find yourself thumbing through the owner's manual that much.
Ergonomics
A
Simple and logical audio and climate control knobs. The Uconnect navigation and infotainment system is powerful and easy to master. Four-wheel drive control system couldn't be easier.
Ingress/Egress
B
The Trailhawk may be taller than the average 2014 Cherokee, but it's still a crossover so the step-in height is very reasonable. The accomodating front and rear doors open wide.
Space/Room
B
There's plenty of room up front, and the rear seat has a decent amount of head- and legroom, too. Storage bins are strategically placed about the cabin.
Visibility
B
Good all around visibility with a rear three-quarter blind spot that's no bigger or smaller than average. The available rear-view camera is useful for backing out of driveways and off-road.
Cargo/Storage
B
Rear cargo space is good-sized but not class-leading, probably because there's a full-size spare tire under the floor. Rear seats fold flat for more room.
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B
Value Yes, it's pricier than a Mazda CX-5 or Honda CR-V on the face of it, but the 2014 Jeep Cherokee has more off-road potential and more high-end options. The Trailhawk V6 is unique in this segment, but it also has a unique appetitie for gasoline.
Build Quality (vs. $)
B
Looks well-built inside and out, but a couple of the interior trim pieces are simpy average. Still, nothing here is likely to disappoint.
Features(vs. $)
B
Our fairly-loaded Trailhawk cost about $36,000, but the competition has no similar off-road drivetrain, V6 engine option, brawny tires or 9-speed transmission.
Cost
B
Cherokee pricing and equipment starts off similar to the competition, at a little over $23,000, but unique options such as adaptive cruise, ventilated leather seats and the big V6 jack the price up.
MPG
C
The Trailhawk V6 is the thirstiest version of the Cherokee at 20 mpg Combined (18 City/25 Highway). The 2.4-liter Limited 4x4 is good for 24 mpg Combined, which is far more competitive.
Warranty
A
The basic warranty is a fairly basic 3 yrs/36,000 miles, but the powertrain is covered for 5 yrs/100,000 miles, which is great considering the new engine and transmission.
Ownership
B
Roadside assistance up to and including towing is provided for 5 yrs/100,000 miles. There is no free scheduled maintenance program.
B
Fun To Drive The Trailhawk feels nicely planted on the pavement. And we spent all day exploring under-maintained fire roads in the Trailhawk, and it did an admirable job. It didn't beat us up in the process, which made the trip that much more fun.
Driving Experience
A
It's not a true rock-crawler like the Cherokee of old, but it is the most capable of the new breed of compact crossovers. It has a go-anywhere feel that other CUVs lack.
Personality
B
The Cherokee's unique front end styling earns it a lot of looks, most of them approving. The Trailhawk treatment gives it a veneer of toughness that's much more than a veneer.
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