2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Large Digital Speedometer
December 19, 2014
In 1987 my father bought himself a new Corvette. Black. I was seventeen at the time, and it was the absolute coolest thing I had ever seen.
That car had digital gauges. Both the speedometer and the tachometer were displayed redundantly with both a colored graph that mimicked the function of an analog gauge and a numerical readout like KITT's speedometer, which the camera always zoomed in on during Super Pursuit Mode, which was awesome.
However, when I drove that Corvette, I always found myself focused on the colored graph for rpm and the numerical readout for speed. And I suspect I'm not the only one.
(Today's C7 Corvette Stingray also uses a digital instrument cluster, but its tachometer is limited to an analog style gauge, while its speedometer is a numerical readout.)
Twenty-seven years later digital gauges and speedometers come in many mutations. And the design in our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited is one of my favorites.
The Jeep instrument cluster has two traditional round analog gauges. Tach on the left. Speedometer on the right. Between them is an electronic screen that can display many different pieces of information, from the car's tire pressures to its fuel economy to the radio station you're listening to. And it's all easily toggled through with thumb buttons on the steering wheel's left spoke.
I like the Jeep's large digital speedometer. I use it all the time. It takes me back to 1987. Just like in my dad's old Corvette, I choose to use the Jeep's analog tach for rev counting and its digital speedo for speed.
And this setup is not limited to the Cherokee. In fact, it's becoming ubiquitous as more and more cars begin to include digital readouts and more informational elements to their instrumentation.
I'm not sure if today's interior designers have ever seen Knight Rider, much less know that some of what they are doing today was pioneered on the silly crime drama in 1982. And I'd bet my Member's Only jacket that most of them have never been in a C4 Corvette, which hit the streets two years later.
But that's okay. Or is it?
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 7,908 miles