The 2014 Jeep Cherokee had a tough journey to production with numerous transmission calibration problems that delayed the crossover’s launch last fall. Now, the Cherokee has hit another bump in the road with a low test score from Consumer Reports that prevents this model from receiving the publication’s “Recommended” rating.
CR criticized the Jeep Cherokee for several issues, including a rough ride, unimpressive handling, and the unfinished feel of the nine-speed automatic transmission when paired with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Fuel economy was also a sore spot, as the four-cylinder Cherokee achieved only 22 mpg in CR’s testing, whereas other crossovers like the Subaru Forester hit 25 mpg in CR testing. The CR team was slightly more impressed with the V-6-powered Cherokee, but neither model tested scored high enough to be recommended.
In a statement, Chrysler acknowledged the low rating but pointed out the strong positive feedback that the company has received on the Cherokee from consumers and media alike. “We value feedback from all our customers, including Consumer Reports, and it helps guide the constant improvements we make to our products,” the statement reads.“We are receiving very encouraging feedback on owner satisfaction and initial quality from the approximately 35,000 customers who bought a Cherokee in its first three months on the market – and we have received consistently positive third-party (media/journalist) impressions since the vehicle was introduced.”
We were somewhat surprised by this low rating, as we were reasonably impressed with the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk we recently tested. The nine-speed automatic in our V-6 test car garnered praise from our editors for its smooth and seamless operation, although our fuel economy numbers also did not measure up to other crossover competitors. Blame the Cherokee’s high curb weight, as it weighs between 300 and 600 lbs more than other compact crossovers like the Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, and Honda CR-V.
We’ll see if this Consumer Reports rating affects the 2014 Jeep Cherokee’s strong sales numbers in the coming months. Stay tuned for more news about the Jeep Cherokee, as we think it’s likely that this crossover may receive some tweaks for the 2015 model year.