2014 Jeep CherokeeConsumer Reports has just rendered its verdict on two of the more important cars to launch this year - the Mazda3 and the Jeep Cherokee. Considering the value a "Recommended" rating carries with the public and the viciously competitive markets these two cars compete in, Consumer Reports' view could have some impact on their initial success.

For Mazda, that's a good thing. CR spoke quite highly of the Zoom-Zoom brand's compact sedan and hatch, testing both models, and citing the excellent fuel economy and snickety-snack manual shifter as high points. Downsides to the 3 included a ride that is agile but "nervous," a bit too much noise and a cramped back seat. Still, the 3 was good enough to earn its place in the ranks of the "Recommended."

The Jeep didn't fare quite so well, with CR calling the polarizing CUV "half-baked." Although both engines were tested, the magazine called the 2.4-liter four-pot underpowered and its nine-speed automatic unrefined and unresponsive. That's particularly damning, considering the 9AT's role in future Chrysler products, including the extremely important 200. Overall, the Cherokee missed out on the coveted "Recommended" rating.

Hop over to Consumer Reports' website for a full rundown on both cars, and let us know if you agree with the ratings.


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  • 113 Comments
      David
      • 1 Year Ago
      CR doesn't ever sway my purchase of almost anything. They never review enough of anything to make a really informed decision. That is why years ago I stopped subscribing to their mag.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        canomalo
        • 1 Year Ago
        youve been told a lie, there are heavy rebates for this hideous vehicle already some are calling it the next aztec..
        Yeah yeah
        • 1 Year Ago
        Consumer Reports didn't uprate or downrate the Cherokee based on it's styling. They only rate cars on stuff like ride, handling, comfort, features, etc., not looks. I'm assuming the "polarizing" mention came from the Autobolog author, not CR.
      Marcus Swenson
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Consumer Reports were to rate itself, it would not meet the criteria to be recommended.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Cherokee is certainly the ugliest statement one can make-it should get some credit for that.
        J
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Teleny411
        I pulled up behind one the other day and at first I didn't know what it was. I saw the Jeep name and said there's no way. It looks more like a Kia. I figured it must have been one of those models they only sell in Mexico or something. Once I got closer and drove by it I realized what it was. It might be a great drive, but it's just so ugly. At some point you have to be able to stomach looking at your car.
      Car Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      CR has credibility with non-car people who view a car purchase the same as any appliance. Not saying there is anything wrong with that but the enthusiast's passion is not there. For the rest of us, CP is one data point among several. I personally take more credibility away from what JD Powers says.
        Lastchance
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Car Guy
        They have gotten better with rating cars on performance but still they focus on function, reliability and etc over performance.
        ehisforadam
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Car Guy
        I'm no fan of JD Powers, but at least they rely on a survey of many owners. The biggest problem with CR is that they buy one of something and do a lot of judging based off that. Sure they buy it, but it's a ridiculously small sample size for testing anything. They do have their own surveys, but it's only their own readers, which is pretty flawed as well.
      tarditi
      • 1 Year Ago
      Much of the public doesn't care for the styling of the Cherokee... so it's a technical loser and a styling loser - unless it's selling like hotcakes, Jeep may want to think long and hard before pushing the tiny Jeepette (or whatever they're calling it) out the door. Grand Cherokees & Wranglers... they can live well off of that - leave the cars, CUVs, cute-utes, etc. to the car makers.
        RamSport
        • 1 Year Ago
        @tarditi
        Since it's introduction, it has sold over 10,000 units per month, outselling the Wrangler in each month, so I'd say it's selling well enough to leave alone
          Will
          • 1 Year Ago
          @RamSport
          Thanks for bringing some real stats to the table. I don't get why people are so down on the Cherokee... If it's not their cup of tea, then move along. It doesn't have to outsell the CR-V to be a raging success.
          RodRAEG
          • 1 Year Ago
          @RamSport
          A jeep is outselling a different jeep? That's good competition to compare it to. What about other manufacturers?
      Kyle
      • 1 Year Ago
      Although the 9-speed in the cherokee is the same as the 200, the 200 uses a different system for AWD. Also, the 9-speed is adaptive and learns your different driving styles over time iirc. They likely gave it bad marks because it didn't come in Corolla beige...
      cpmanx
      • 1 Year Ago
      CR is clear about its testing priorities. They are not very interested in off-road ability or enthusiast performance. They are interested in resolutely mainstream user-friendliness, although they are paying more attention to style and handling than they used to. The flaws cited by CR have been cited by most other testers as well. The Mazda3 is not as smooth and quiet as some of the competition. The Cherokee 9-speed is a bit rough around the edges, and the Tigershark engine is no jewel (I just experienced it in a rental Avenger). So these reviews may be off-base for Autoblog readers, but they are useful to a certain demographic. Fortunately, many people out there understand what CR is about and take their advice (or don't) accordingly.
      ozric427
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chrysler does a lot of advertising in various magazines such as Car & Drive, Motor Trend and so on. They are paying them for good reviews. If they give them a bad review, Chrysler stops spending on advertising with them. That's how these magazines make money. They can't bite the hand that feeds them. Getting a 100 percent objective review from them is not possible. Many of the vehicles that the big Automotive Magazines review are provided by the manufacturer and are most likely cherry picked vehicles that may not be indicative of what the consumer will actually get. There is no advertising with Consumers Reports and they buy their own vehicles for testing. Consumers Reports has nothing to loose or gain by giving a good or bad report. Consumer Reports is defiantly aimed at the average consumer and not the die hard enthusiast.
      heavychevy
      • 1 Year Ago
      i respect all the work that consumer reports does but i am tired of hearing the same old stuff year after year, title of article should have been "consumer reports still all about japanese cars, slams jeeps"
      Steve
      • 1 Year Ago
      Two different vehicles why are they even being compared. First, I am sure that the all new Cherokee will beat the rest of the CUVs on a trail rated run! Consumer Reports did not test all of the other CUVs or did they? A full comparisoin test for all makers should be done to see how they compare to the all new Cherokee. Let the games begin Consumer Reports!!
        Silvrswt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Steve
        They aren\'t being compared, they are being tested independantly. CR just happened to publish the results at the same time.
      RamSport
      • 1 Year Ago
      So...every other AUTOMOBILE publication raves about the Cherokee, but the All Mighty at Consumer Reports don't like it....isn't that predictable. After all, it is an American vehicle
        ozric427
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RamSport
        "So...every other AUTOMOBILE publication raves about the Cherokee, but the All Mighty at Consumer Reports don't like it....isn't that predictable. After all, it is an American vehicle" Chrylser does a lot of advertising in those magazines. They are paying them for good reviews. If they give them a bad review, Chrysler stops spending on advertising with them. That's how these magazines make money. They can't bite the hand that feeds them. There is no advertising with Consumers Reports. Consumers has nothing to loose or gain by giving a good or bad report.
        mikeybyte1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RamSport
        Unfortunately you are correct. CR claims not be unbiased and they will point to other American vehicles that they will recommend. But they definitely have a chip on their shoulder for most American brands. Especially nowadays as many are quite competitive. I also feel they nit pick on things that most consumers actually would not. Example - they trash most Fords due to Sync, but many buyers love Sync and actually buy the Ford due to the tech. They like to think they are testing from the eyes of the consumer, but I find most of their rankings pure mysteries. No rhyme or reason to who they rave about and who they trash.
        yuno08
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RamSport
        Judging by your username, the only one who is biased here is YOU........
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