2014 Jeep Cherokee
Jeep Cherokee Performance
Automotive journalists are thrilled with the 2014 Jeep Cherokee's performance. They agree that it's one of the best compact SUVs available for off-roading, as well as a great vehicle for daily driving. Test drivers say the standard four-cylinder engine offers satisfactory performance, but they prefer V6 engine, which they say offers refined power and swift acceleration. The Cherokee's standard nine-speed transmission is a first for the class, and auto reviewers say it shifts smoothly and quickly. Auto writers also like the Jeep Cherokee's handling and say it takes on winding roads effortlessly.
- "There are finally a few current crossovers, the Cherokee among them, that fulfill the first, idealized promise: it really does drive like a car. It sits on the same Compact US Wide platform as the Dodge Dart, and the architecture has given up nothing in the composure department when going from sedan to on- and off-roader." -- Autoblog
- "Bottom line: the Cherokee performs very well as a daily driver, while at the same time offering you more traction enhancement than you'll probably ever need." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The 2014 Cherokee feels planted on the road, more carlike than trucklike, with crisp steering, well-damped body motions, little or no roll in corners, and pinpoint braking control. The structure is solid, with no creaks or groans, even over seriously uneven terrain. Think engaging, balanced sport wagon rather than lumbering, bobble-headed sport-utility. It's light on its feet like no Cherokee or Liberty before it, despite its 3600-plus pounds of mass." -- Car and Driver
Acceleration and Power
The all-new Jeep Cherokee comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 184 horsepower. A 271-horsepower, 3.2-liter V6 engine is available on upper trims. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models. The base Jeep Cherokee gets up to 22/31 mpg city/highway, which is respectable for the class, but still behind the fuel economy of comparably equipped compact SUVs like the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and Chevrolet Equinox.
Reviewers say that the Cherokee's four-cylinder engine offers adequate performance. However, they agree that for lively acceleration, the powerful V6 engine is the best choice. Test drivers also say the transmission generally shifts smoothly and quickly.
- "Twisting through canyon roads near Los Angeles, the four proved itself lively enough, but the V6 clearly was stronger and quieter-even if it did give off a nice burble under acceleration. The 9-speed trans kicked down promptly and shifted smoothly. It never seemed lost as we got on and off the power frequently while scrubbing off speed in tight switchbacks, then accelerating toward the next curve." -- Consumer Guide
- "Acceleration from the 4-cylinder is adequate, and, as you'd expect, response from the V6-powered version is better." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The four-cylinder is certainly adequate, but the V-6 is downright fun." -- Popular Mechanics
- "Unless you're hard on the throttle, shifts are imperceptible - it wasn't until we started pretending the Cherokee was a Porsche 911 that we could get it swapping cogs in places we might not have chosen." -- Autoblog
Handling and Braking
Reviewers are impressed with the 2014 Jeep Cherokee's handling and say it's easy to drive. They also agree that it takes on rough pavement and winding roads with ease. While test drivers are pleased with the Cherokee's handling, some reviewers wish its steering was heavier and offered more feedback.
- "We drove the 3.2-liter V6, throwing it into every one of the numerous corners found in the canyons Malibu is known for. The revelation was that we did not have to forgive anything about its performance because it's a Jeep - we didn't have to think about driving a crossover, we only had to think about driving and finding a good line." -- Autoblog
- "The few bumps and dips we encountered in our on-pavement test drives were well damped and sideways body motions never got bad enough to make us break stride in the twisties. Steering inputs were promptly heeded, but feedback through the wheel was somewhat lacking." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Cherokee Limited is light on its feet and easy to drive quickly on a rough and twisty road. The chassis seems to be calibrated more for flat handling than a cushy ride. The steering is light at low speed but the effort ramps up nicely as speed increases." -- Popular Mechanics
The 2014 Cherokee comes standard with front-wheel drive or the choice of three available four-wheel drive systems. Active Drive I is a full-time system that includes a single-speed transfer case. Active Drive II includes a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing for better off-road capability. Both systems are available on Sport, Latitude and Limited models. Cherokee Trailhawk models come standard with Jeep Active Drive Lock, which is similar to Active Drive II, and includes a locking rear differential for improved off-road performance. All four-wheel drive models come with Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system, which improves traction with driver-selectable settings that include auto (normal), snow, sport, sand/mud and rock.
Reviewers say that aside from the Jeep Wrangler, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee leads the pack when it comes to off-roading capability within the class. One reviewer says most drivers will be pleased with any of the available four-wheel drive options, but another notes that the top-of-the-line Trailhawk trim is the most capable.
- "But when you get the Cherokee off pavement, the world changes. Equipped with any of its three 4WD systems - Jeep Active Drive I, Active Drive II and Active Drive Lock - the Cherokee offers class-leading off-road prowess." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Will it do more off-road than anything we can think of in its competitive set? Yes." -- Autoblog
- "On Moab's slickrock trails, the 'Hawk is probably the most capable Jeep in the family-aside from the Wrangler, of course." -- Popular Mechanics