2014 Jeep Cherokee Not Recommended by Consumer Reports

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.

David Frost
I have a Cherokee Limited 4x4 built in 2014.  The 3.2 L V6 with the Trailer Tow Group provides a 3.517 Final Drive Ratio which gives it awesome acceleration - in wet or dry conditions!  The 9 speed transmission allows it to reach high revs (almost like a CVT) and is flawless.  The best mileage I can get is 7.0 l/100km, but I average 9.0 to 11.0 l/100km.  The CommandView Dual Pane Sunroof has never squeaked.  I keep the rear seats folded so storage is never an issue.  The Off Road Suspension turns it into my version of a jacked-up Audi TT - with a Git-R-Done Face!
NE Guy
Consumer Reports stopped being relevant about a decade ago.
I drove the Cherokee Limited and Trailhawk, and I think the shortcomings are few. First, the front seats are way too soft and seem like they won't hold up over time. They are comfy like a couch, but lack support. The overall black interior seems drab. How about some additional backlighting a'la the Dart? I prefer the rugged looks and features of the Trailhawk, but am perplexed by the fact that you can order only heated seats in the Trailhawk model, where the less-feature laden Limited allows you to add cooled seats. My 2011 Charger R/T AWD has the same limitation: if I ordered RWD only, I could have cooled seats, but they aren't available in the AWD edition. Don't they want my money? Performance, however, was excellent in handling, braking and acceleration. While no Hemi, the Cherokee v6 performed as expected. I did notice some odd shifting patterns (I tried back roads, highways and lots of hills). If Jeep could recalibrate the transmission, brighten up the interior, firm up the seats and allow me to order heated and cooled seats on the Trailhawk edition, I'd order one tomorrow. And what happened to the Skyslider roof from the Liberty that was supposed to be offered on the Cherokee? I want it!

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