Vital Stats

Engine:
3.2L V6
Power:
271 HP / 239 LB-FT
Transmission:
9-Speed Auto
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
4,106 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
54.9 CU-FT (max)
MPG:
18 City / 25 HWY
As Tested Price:
$38,059
When we look back at some of the more shocking product launches of recent years, the Jeep Cherokee is certainly high up on the list. And we aren't just talking about its off-the-wall, polarizing design.

For starters, it brought back the iconic Cherokee nameplate – something Jeep enthusiasts have coveted for ages. But beyond that, it brought a new evolution for the Jeep brand. After all, the Cherokee is car-based – using the same compact platform that underpins the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. It has a greater focus on technology and refinement than ever before, in an effort to appeal to a new crop of Jeep customers. And powering it all is a new (optional) V6 engine paired with an equally new nine-speed automatic transmission.

Can the Cherokee's car-based roots still allow for a vehicle that's superb when the going gets tough? Will its design still be a love/hate affair in one year's time, or will it start to blend in? Is the powertrain strong enough to not only support the needs of daily driving and road trips, but blaze a few trails as well? We're aiming to answer all these questions, and more, over the next 12 months. Welcome to the Autoblog long-term garage, Cherokee.
2014 Jeep Cherokee2014 Jeep Cherokee
2014 Jeep Cherokee2014 Jeep Cherokee

All-in, our Cherokee stickers for $38,059, including $995 for destination.

So, let's meet our new girl. Jeep was kind enough to let us spec out this loaded-but-not-fully-loaded Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 for our year-long loan. Yes, that's the top trim, but we left off a couple of non-mission-critical options in an effort to try and keep its price down a bit. This high-end model's base MSRP is is $29,495, but then we added things like the Technology Group ($2,195), Comfort and Convenience Group ($1,895), 3.2-liter V6 ($1,495), black hood decal ($199), upgraded UConnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen ($795) and a higher-end audio system ($395), all-in, our Cherokee stickers for $38,059, including $995 for destination.

That's still a lot of coin for a compact utility, especially considering we opted to forego things like the panoramic sunroof or full leather seating (for what it's worth, the cloth seats are still heated, as is the steering wheel). But put into perspective, the pricing strikes us as a fair shake. Load up a similarly sized Ford Escape, and you'll land just south of there, for instance. You'll score a few more bells and whistles, sure, but you won't have an iota of the Cherokee's off-road capability. Trailhawk 4x4 models like ours come equipped with Jeep's sophisticated Active Drive II terrain management system, and we can't wait to put the system to good use.

2014 Jeep Cherokee
2014 Jeep Cherokee2014 Jeep Cherokee

As you can see, we went with Deep Cherry Red paint, which looks pretty tough with all of the Trailhawk's black plastic accents, hood decal and red tow hooks. Inside, the only cloth fabric available was black, and while some Autoblog staffers have already commented that the seating surfaces look a little busy due to its varying textures, the cloth is comfortable and looks really premium. The rest of our Cherokee's black cabin with brushed accents looks both upscale and rugged, and with a year's worth of duties on its docket, we're curious to see how it'll hold up through all the wear and tear.

The Cherokee marks the first implementation of Chrysler's new 3.2-liter V6, producing 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque.

There's plenty more for us to discover with this Jeep, too. The Cherokee marks the first implementation of Chrysler's new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6, producing 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. And then there's the nine-speed automatic transmission – something that caused quite a stir when the small Jeep launched. We're interested to see how this complex transmission works in a variety of on- and off-road conditions, as well as to assess its manners and durability over long drives.

Naturally, because our Trailhawk 4x4 has Jeep's famous Trail Rated badge, we'll be taking this thing off road. The Cherokee certainly looks able, with its 17-inch wheels wrapped in meaty P245/65R17 Firestone Destination A/T tires and off-road-ready ground clearance. Associate editor Jonathon Ramsey took the Jeep off-roading in our First Drive, and had great things to say about it.

2014 Jeep Cherokee

Say what you will about the Jeep's design – it's certainly a head-turning creation.

We've only had the Cherokee for a very short time, but our first impressions are that it's comfortable, competent, and sure does garner a lot of attention out on the road. That's even true here in the Greater Detroit area, where Cherokees are already thick on the ground. Say what you will about this Jeep's design – it's certainly a head-turning creation, and we've received just as many "we love it" reactions as we have "ew, what is that thing?" As a staff, we've grown to be largely in favor of the Jeep's bold styling, though a few of us still have some warming-up to do. Will our thoughts on the Jeep's design change over the next year? Stay tuned.

Be sure to follow our Cherokee's long-term page for all its future updates, and be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more on-the-fly impressions.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 154 Comments
      Revis Goodworth
      • 7 Months Ago
      A long term test cannot hide obvious problems... (1) It remains ugly as sin; (2) It is way overpriced; (3) And it is NOT a Jeep.
        Snark
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        Those are your problems, brah.
        superchan7
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        (3) The previous Cherokee also wasn't a real Jeep then. It was also a unibody like this new one.
          montoym
          • 7 Months Ago
          @superchan7
          Don't confuse unibody with car-based. The XJ was not built off of a car platform, while this new Cherokee is, yet both are unibody. There are lots of unibody SUV's that are not based on car platforms.
      reattadudes
      • 7 Months Ago
      when they first tested the new Cherokee a few months back, the comments here on Autoblog looked like an entire high school detention class was putting their two cents worth in. of course, those juvenile comments would never be complete without the timeless, "EPIC FAIL". really? since this "EPIC FAIL" was introduced, it has turned into one of the most successful launches of any new SUV. the factory can't produce them fast enough, and over half are pre-sold even before they reach dealerships. "EPIC FAIL", indeed!! so the style is polarizing? that's a complement. how many of you are waiting with baited breath for the new Camry? was the styling on the first Viper polarizing? you bet! I have a dealer-only video that Chrysler sent out before the introduction of the then-polarizing 1994 Ram Pickup. Tom Gale, head of Chrysler styling at the time, said they first thought about making the '94 Ram like a big Dakota (think Toyota T-100 pickup; bland). styling clinics said it was "nice', and "pleasant"...lots of 5s and 6s, on a 1-to-10 scale. that was not what they wanted to hear, and they threw everything out and started over. when they showed the 1994 Ram prototype, they got 10s and 1s, with the majority being 10s. people wanted to know where and when they could buy this truck; many wanted to put down deposits then and there. "nice" and "pleasant" were replaced with "I want one NOW". the Chrysler group is in an enviable position. Ram is nipping at Chevrolet's heels, and will overtake it permanently within the next two years (argue the point all you want, boys; it WILL happen). Jeep is the envy of the industry, with the average buyer income of over $150,000. Dodge has an average buyer age of 36; Toyota's is in the mid 50s. Chrysler's new 200 is a hit (most dealers are out of inventory), and the new 300 is stunning. the new Cherokee is exactly the same way. as we sales in sales, "the numbers don't lie".
        no1bondfan
        • 7 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        That's one of the best comments I've read on here in a long time. You took the time to explain your position instead of just spouting off an opinion.
          • 7 Months Ago
          @no1bondfan
          [blocked]
        F_Monk
        • 7 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        "...the numbers don't lie". But marketing often does lie.
        Chris
        • 7 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        I want Chrysler to succeed as much as the next guy, but let's not get too overzealous here. The new 200 may or may not be just as good as any other mid size sedan on the market, but I have a hard time believing that it's worked its way into buyers' consciousness the same way more established players such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion have. There are still a lot of negative perceptions about the brand floating around out there, and that won't change over night. As for Ram "overtaking Chevrolet PERMANENTLY"? That's just a bold, and unrealistic statement to make right there. Chevrolet offers a pretty full line of both cars and trucks, and nothing is permanent in this business.
        raughle1
        • 7 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        Your post is so thorough, yet you forgot to mention the Dart.
      Teleny411
      • 7 Months Ago
      I almost vomit when I see one on the road. I find it extremely ugly.
      luigi.tony
      • 7 Months Ago
      FIAT has a hit on their hands.
      Snarf
      • 7 Months Ago
      Kill it with many fires, this thing is absolutely ugly. Over priced plastic for near 40 Grand?
      luigi.tony
      • 7 Months Ago
      People complain about the front, I find the rear more revolting than the front.
      bullitt2605
      • 7 Months Ago
      $38k that's funny.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 7 Months Ago
      25 mpg on the highway. O U C H
        montoym
        • 7 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        Yup, similar to every other V6 powered AWD competitor. If you want the higher mpg's, then don't option for AWD or the V6. Or, better yet, get a car.
          carguy1701
          • 7 Months Ago
          @montoym
          Aaronm has to have something to bash.
          The Great 1
          • 7 Months Ago
          @montoym
          Exactly Montoym, I dont know what people are expecting. There are indeed trade offs.
        Snark
        • 7 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        So get the 4-cyl.
      A M
      • 7 Months Ago
      Now that I've seen this in the flesh, it basically looks like a Hyundai. There's really nothing shocking about this vehicle. It's competing with the Rav4, Honda Whatever, and all the other me-too mobiles in this segment. It'll probably never go off road, like most SUVs, and it if they do it right, it will probably sell well. Personally, I don't get how there are so many people that enjoy dropping $40k on a station wagon, but, whatever.
      Beardinals
      • 7 Months Ago
      $40k is waaaay too much for this type of vehicle. The looks are (gulp) growing on me a bit.
      steban
      • 7 Months Ago
      Saw it recently on the street, and is the Aztek all over again. When I first saw the pictures online I thought it was extremely ugly. They tried really hard to get some good pictures of it and kind of manage to get some a bit later; so after a while I knew I will have to see it on the street to know. Now that I have seen it, the pictures dont' do justice on how bad it looks. We love you Jeep, please fire that designer and go back to awesome designed cars like always been.
        Bill Burke
        • 7 Months Ago
        @steban
        It's just not for you. They are selling like crazy. Must be a reason. The designer, by the way, just got a promotion and a raise. Seems, he got it sooooooooooo right.
      mikemaj82
      • 7 Months Ago
      I can't believe how many of these I've been seeing on the streets. It is so ugly looking. Who would pay $38K for this? People in this country have such terrible taste.
        Patrick
        • 7 Months Ago
        @mikemaj82
        How do you know anyone is paying 38K? Most of the ones sold are probably significantly less.
        Bill Burke
        • 7 Months Ago
        @mikemaj82
        Or do they have great taste ?
        rsholland
        • 7 Months Ago
        @mikemaj82
        Or maybe you wouldn't know good design if it hit you over the head with a 2x4.
          Bernard
          • 7 Months Ago
          @rsholland
          I think whoever designed this got hit over the head with a 2x4. An ugly tree 2x4...
          mikemaj82
          • 7 Months Ago
          @rsholland
          If you saw what's in my driveway you wouldn't be saying that.
    • Load More Comments