2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Twenty-Four Hours and 1,000 Miles
June 10, 2015
While 1,000 miles isn't exactly a long-distance record, that's how far I drove last weekend in our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited. My brother and I visited family in Northern California, but we had a small window of time to get there and back.
West Los Angeles to Nevada City is a little shy of 500 miles and, with a small detour to pick up my brother, I easily added 1,000 miles to the Cherokee's odometer. Not a bad way to get acquainted with this five-passenger crossover.
The first thing I noticed when I took the Cherokee home was the frequent shifting from the nine-speed transmission. Other editors have mentioned these drawbacks before and immediately I could feel what they were talking about.
In traffic and around town, the nine-speed shifts constantly. On the highway, to transition from a cruise to a passing maneuver, you flat-foot the throttle but nothing happens. It feels like an eternity between input and response. I abandoned several passing maneuvers to avoid cutting off other motorists. It was better to wait and pull out.
In the mountains surrounding Nevada City, I wished I had brought something more like our long-gone, long-term Mazda CX-5. For a crossover, it was much more entertaining and responsive from behind the wheel. The Jeep is comfortable and definitely has some serious off-road chops for this segment, but road handling isn't its strength.
A highlight of the journey was the Cherokee's comfort, however. The seats are perfect for my 5'9, 170-pound frame. I adjusted the seats once when I left Los Angeles and a second time on the 500-mile stretch back home. In between, I had almost zero squirm-for-a-better-butt-position moments or back-aches, which is rare for me. My brother settled in for at least two naps along the way.
In a follow-up post, I'll detail how I set two new Cherokee fuel economy records on the trip.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 16,330 miles