2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Oregon Road Trip Wrap + Fuel Economy Update
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.
Thankfully, we indeed made it to Los Angeles in a tidy 12.5 hours along a combination of Highway 97, Interstate 5, Highway 99 and then back on the 5 past Bakersfield. Despite being in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited longer on the way back, I didn't experience the same seat discomfort issues, as I had successfully found a seating position that worked for me and made a conscious effort to stretch at every gas, food or pee break. I still don't find the Cherokee's seats to be especially comfortable, but I was able to make it work.
Given such a long stretch of driving, my wife came in from the bullpen for me on a 100-plus-mile stretch in California's central valley, giving her an opportunity to try out the Cherokee. She too found the seats lacking in support, but she also became a fan of the superior adaptive cruise control. As she's only 5-feet tall, she has to choose between peering over the steering wheel like the quintessential little old lady, or sitting higher and consequently hovering her feet over the floor while operating the pedals. This is usually the case when she drives an SUV (which is why adjustable pedals are so helpful for short folks). She opted to sit higher, which gets tiresome over long distances, making cruise control and especially the Cherokee's adaptive system that much more beneficial.
In the end, we both thought the Jeep did the job. We weren't cursing it, but we won't be pining for it this summer when we head back up north. Having said that, it was certainly more impressive in the snow than on the highway, and I found that its power, character and electronics made it more appealing than most other compact SUVs would've been on the same trip.
Here are the facts and figures on our Oregon road trip, plus the Cherokee's fuel economy update for December.
Total Miles: 1,804.2
Total Time in the Car: 34:48:18
Total MPG: 24.9 mpg
Total Passes on Highway 97: 27
Total Monster Khaos Consumed: 3
Total Bags of Chex Mix Consumed: 2.5
Total Stops at Arby's: 1
Total License Plates Spotted Despite Being in Only 2 States: 35 + 2 Canadian provinces & Baja California
And now for the promised fuel economy update. My trip was quite kind to the Cherokee's running MPG tally, as it included the three most efficient tanks in the Jeep's 10,124 miles in our fleet. These included 28 and 27.8 mpg tanks, which are actually better than the EPA's estimate of 27 mpg highway (these stretches were mostly downhill from Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Lodi, California, and flat cruising through California's central valley). The previous best was 25.5 mpg, so yay me. The Jeep's lifetime fuel economy also jumped up to 21.4 mpg from 20.8.
Worst Fill MPG: 12.8
Best Fill MPG: 28.0
Average Lifetime MPG: 21.4
EPA MPG Rating: 22 Combined (19 City/27 Highway)
Best Range: 378.2 miles (also on the trip)
Current Odometer: 10,390 miles
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 10,390 miles