2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Performance Testing
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.
Vehicle: 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited
Driver: Mike Monticello
Drive Type: Front engine, Four-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 9-speed automatic
Engine Type: naturally aspirated V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,239 / 198
Redline (rpm): 6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 271 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 239 @ 4,400
Brake Type (front): One-piece ventilated with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): One-piece solid with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type(front): MacPherson strut
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink
Tire Size (front): 225/60R18 100H M+S
Tire Size (rear): 225/60R18 100H M+S
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: ProContact TX
Tire Type: Low Rolling Resistance, All-Season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,103
0-30 (sec): 2.9 (w/ TC on 2.9)
0-45 (sec): 5.0 (w/ TC on 4.9)
0-60 (sec): 7.4 (w/TC on 7.4)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.1 (w/TC on 7.1)
0-75 (sec): 11.1 (w/TC on 11.1)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.5 @ 89.6 (w/TC on 15.6 @ 89.4)
30-0 (ft): 31
60-0 (ft): 122
Slalom (mph): 62.0 (61.9 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): .78 (.80 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,900
Acceleration comments: This is a strong, quick-revving V6. Pulls nice and hard right from initial throttle tip-in. Using the Sport mode made no difference in acceleration times, even though it supposedly adjusts shift action. Upshifts would come at around 6,400 rpm, smooth but not overly quick. This Jeep does not like any kind of power braking (brake/throttle overlap prior to launch to bring the revs up). Doing so would actually make the times slower. Manual shifting is via the console lever (push forward for downshifts: Yes!). Manual shifting proved futile for quicker times, though, as the upshift is accomplished so slowly that it would continue to gain another 500-1,000 rpm after you requested the shift, which meant you would for sure run into the rev limiter. That rev limiter is at about 6,800 rpm, but it starts cutting in around 6,500 rpm. It does not blip the throttle on manual downshifts, but it does hold gears to that 6,800-rpm limiter.
Braking comments: Extremely firm pedal with remarkably short travel, and it stayed as such throughout our brake testing. There's quite a bit of nosedive, but the Jeep always stayed straight, never wandered. Stopping distances remained consistent, too, with the first stop at 125 feet, the third stop the longest at 126 feet, the fourth stop the shortest at 122 feet and the sixth and final stop at 125 feet.
Slalom: Soft and sloppy. That about sums up this Jeep Cherokee. The steering is pretty intuitive, meaning it tries to go where you point it, but the soft suspension allows tons of body roll. On the bright side, even with all this movement it's a pretty forgiving vehicle, so you can get aggressive with your steering efforts and it never really gets all that out of shape.
Skidpad: The massive amount of body lean doesn't help things here, puts big punishment onto the outside front tire. We did find that the Jeep actually responds pretty nicely to changes in throttle. If you let off the throttle quickly, the rear of the Cherokee will step out slightly, which in the case of the skidpad this helps the vehicle regain front tire grip and continue on the intended path without pushing wide of the arc.
Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 2,077 miles