12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited – Feeling out Our Boundaries

By - August 22, 2014
2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited Front Flood
Long-Term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Update - SUMMER 2014 (1 OF 1)
Miles to Date: 4714
“Don’t order a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk for a Four Seasons test. Don’t order a Trailhawk. Don’t do it.” The Trailhawk’s bright-red front tow hooks, matte black appliques, off-roading bits, and bird badge on the back end made the inner child in each of us a bit giddy. But we knew that the current, car-based Cherokee would pale next to the tough, XJ Cherokees we had bounced along in on dirt paths. So, as mature adults, we instead ordered a totally pedestrian 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4.
A “normal” Cherokee is what almost every other Jeep owner will experience, so why not be part of the masses? “It’s the sensible thing to do,” we told ourselves.
2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited Profile Sand
“This is a perfectly nice crossover with a well-trimmed interior, a decently powerful V-6 engine, and a composed ride,” says associate web editor Joey Capparella. His web colleague, Jake Holmes: “The Cherokee drives like a car, with really good steering and brakes. The cabin is quiet, the seats very comfortable, and the interior pleasant and roomy.” Eric Weiner, yet another web dude, says, “The Uconnect infotainment system is great, as we know, and the cabin is comfortable and appears well put together.” Even videographer Sandon Voelker, who owns a lifted XJ Cherokee, says, “I'm glad we didn’t get the Trailhawk. The model we ordered handles very well in traffic and on the freeway.”
The Jeep hasn’t seen mud yet, but senior editor David Zenlea did test the prosaic Cherokee’s wading depth. “Flash flooding paralyzed roads in metro Detroit, including several right outside our office. I interpreted this as, ‘playtime.’ I put the car in sand/mud mode because, well, I like turning dials and flipping switches. I splashed through the knee-deep water a dozen times and came through just fine.” Another staffer took the Jeep on sandy off-road paths in northern Michigan. Utilizing sand/mud mode, he said the 4-wheel-drive system worked wonderfully and kept the Cherokee charging along, and that the Jeep felt more at home on the soft trails than on any of the highways he’d taken to get to those trails. “A Trailhawk would’ve been cool, but I think this Jeep still has a lot potential for fun,” he said.
Check back next month, when we try to force ourselves to stay on pavement to see how our pedestrian Cherokee fares at truly pedestrian tasks.
Body style 4-door SUV
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.) $30,990
As tested $36,430
Engine 24-valve DOHC V-6
Displacement 3.2 liters (198 cu in)
Power 271 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque 239 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission 9-speed automatic
Drive 4-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 19/26/21 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.7 turns
Turning circle 38.0 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 18 x 7.0-inch
Tires Pirelli Centurato P7
Tire size 225/60R-18
Headroom F/R 39.4/38.5 in
Legroom F/R 41.1/40.3 in
Shoulder room F/R 57.6/55.1 in
Wheelbase 106.3 in
Track F/R 62.7/62.7 in
L x W x H 182.0 x 73.2 x 67.3 in
Passenger capacity 103.4 cu ft
Cargo capacity (rear seats up/down) 24.6/54.9 cu ft
Weight 4044 lb
Weight dist. F/R 57/43%
Fuel capacity 15.9 gal
Est. fuel range 334 miles
Fuel grade 89 octane (premium unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT 18-inch polished aluminum wheels Jeep Active Drive I 4-wheel drive Selec-Terrain system Hill start assist Trailer sway damping Passive entry and pushbutton ignition Remote start system Rear backup camera Dual-zone automatic climate control Power windows Uconnect audio system with 8.4-inch screen Bluetooth SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription Heated front seats Heated steering wheel 8-way power driver seat Cruise control Tilt-and-telescopic steering column LED DRLs and tail lamps
OPTIONS FOR THIS VEHICLE: Technology group - $2155 Parallel and perpendicular park assist Blind spot warning Rear cross-path detection Forward collision warning with crash mitigation Lane departure warning Adaptive cruise control Advanced brake assist Rain-sensing wipers Automatic high beams 3.2-liter V-6 - $1495 Active drive II - $995 Hill descent control Navigation - $795 HD radio 1-year subscription to XM Traffic/Travel Link

Long-Term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Reviews to Date:

SUMMER 2014
2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited – Feeling out Our Boundaries
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Comments

Photo Gallery

  • The Cherokee on soft-sand trails in northern Michigan.
  • A 9-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive II is a $995 option.
  • The now-famous Sand/Mud mode, incorrectly used by Zenlea.
  • We weren’t kidding when we said the sand was soft.
  • Who needs big, knobby, off-roading tires when you have these?
  • Believe it or not, this is a shallow area.
  • Better than Splash Mountain at Disneyland.
  • Chicago’s water is green on St. Patrick’s Day. Detroit’s is green all year.

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Cost to Own
Depreciation
37.6%
Depreciation
$13196
Insurance
$6770
Fuel Cost
$9442
Financing
$2703
Maintenance
$1983
Repair Costs
$543
State Fees
$415
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own