Jeep Cherokee 2014 review

Jeep Cherokee 2014 review

Jeep says it invented the mid-sized SUV segment
when it introduced the Cherokee back in 1984. But now there’s an all-new model here and
it’s got a fair bit of competition on its hands. As well as all the mainstream competition
like the Nissan Qashqai and the Volkswagen Tiguan, Jeep has priced the Cherokee from
£25,000, so it’s expecting it to go up against proper premium SUVs, too. That puts the BMW
X3 and Audi Q5 in its sights, and while it may not have the same badge appeal, the Cherokee
has got some pretty brave styling. Jeep is promising us it’s made big improvements
to the cabin quality, too, so if you’re stepping out of an Audi, you won’t be disappointed. Because this is a pretty new car, we haven’t
really seen much of its interior yet, so I thought I’d talk you through it. And you do
get quite a few nice chunky switches, so it feels quite Jeep-y and the quality is pretty
good. This one is a top-spec Limited car, so you
get this soft-touch dashboard here with a nice bit of contrast stitching. There’s a
big 8.4-inch colour touchscreen in the middle, and there’s a seven-inch colour screen in
the instrument cluster. While all that’s quite nice and luxurious
and hi-tech, you do find that certain materials like this surround for the gear-lever here
looks a bit early 1990s – a bit cheap and tacky. And this lower down plastic here is
pretty scratchy and hard, and that’s the same for this centre part here. But at least you do get quite a lot of equipment,
so the mid-spec Longitude models get cruise control, dual-zone climate control, power
windows and rear parking sensors. Then if you upgrade to this Limited one, you get all
the fancy stuff I mentioned earlier, plus you get a reversing camera, so it’s pretty
well equipped and that’s good considering it’s going to have a bit of a premium price
tag. Because it’s a Jeep, this new Cherokee has
to be the best in its class off-road, but the engineers told us they’ve worked hard
on the on-road dynamics too. After all, that’s where it’ll mostly be used. For serious off-roaders, there’s a Trailhawk
version with better approach and departure angles, a proper locking rear-diff and a low-ratio
gearbox. So, if you don’t buy a Trailhawk, you can
basically choose from two-wheel-drive or two slightly less capable four-wheel-drive systems.
But whichever one you go for, in all likelihood you’ll probably have bought the 2.0-litre
diesel – that’s the engine most people are going to go for. It’s available with 170 or 140bhp, and we’ve
got the most powerful one here. It’s mated up to, as standard on the more powerful engine,
a 9-speed automatic gearbox. And it’s okay – the gearbox works really well and the engine
has enough torque. You get from 0-62mph in just over 10 seconds
and nice smooth shifts from the gearbox, but the engine itself? There’s some issues with
the refinement. It’s fine just cruising around like now, but if you do ever want to try and
use all that performance and the gearbox kicks down a couple of gears, then you do notice
it sounds quite rough towards the top of the rev-range. The ride is actually pretty good. It’s nice
and soft and it feels smooth over these bumpy roads, but when it comes to the handling,
the steering is nicely weighted – it has a bit of heft to it – which is what you want
from a Jeep. But, there’s not all that much involvement, it kind of feels really numb
and it leans a bit in the corners, so in terms of this being a fun-to-drive or performance-y
SUV, it doesn’t really feel that brief. So what we’ve got here, is a Jeep SUV that’s
really capable off-road, pretty good on-road with a hi-tech cabin and Euro NCAP named it
the safest car in its class last year – that’s a pretty long and impressive list of talents,
but then the Cherokee goes up against some seriously talented rivals. The good news is, is that it’s no longer as
far adrift from those rivals as it previously has been. It’s not best in class, but it is
at least an unusual alternative to the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan – and that’s
something we haven’t been able to say about a Cherokee for quite a long time.

41 thoughts on “Jeep Cherokee 2014 review

  • what were the designers thinking when they designed the front? are they really thinking they are going to sell this car ?

  • I really like it, I think it's one of those cars that looks better in the flesh than in the pictures. I hope they sell well, because I think jeep deserve some success. 

  • Even though it looks rather odd, it's grown on me lately. I like this. The thing you have to understand about this Jeep is that unlike an BMW X3, X4 or Audi Q5, it won't be nowhere near as good on the road, but it will be miles better off road. This can take you places outside the road where the German competitors don't even dream of getting to. So it all depends on what your needs are. If you know you won't go off-road but in extremely rare ocassions, go for the germans, if you know you'll do offroading and would still want a decent on-road vehicle, go for the Jeep. 

  • There hasn't been a Cherokee to compete with those cars till now. That's why u haven't been able to say it. Not cause of quality u idiot.

  • It's funny hearing someone say that it's a different alternative to the Qashqai and Tiguan. Granted I live in the USA and in a very particular place, but you will literally NEVER SEE either of those here. It's either a JEEP, Land Rover, or a Ford.

  • you know those cheap trainers you see in a market, that kinda look like Adidas but with too many stripes? Yeah, Jeep's front grill. It's a not BMW.

  • cherokee has some of the nicest looking fronts amongst suv. now when they go on to produce a really good car like this they screw up that front..sad. that is about the ugliest front end on sale bar maybe ssangyong. go sack whoever gave a green light to this style.

  • The harder plastics, not cheap, on the lower part of the dash are by design.  Jeep expects these vehicles to go off road and these plastics are easier to clean.  Grand Cherokee has the same harder plastics.

  • from a distance the rear could be mistaken for a kia or hyundai i want to like it but i think they have the front end wrong,this does not look american at all!

  • That front design I really do not comprehend. The Renegade is bad too but that at least keeps some Jeep DRG DNA. They both look horrible in still images and a little better when in motion. The stance is quite okay, but not as good as the earlier generation Cherokee. From the rear and side they have managed to keep some Cherokee identity but it is overall an awkward direction – To my eyes it feels like they tried to hard making a new contemporary direction and then landed in the middle of the flight without reaching the end destination. But at least many of even the more expensive cars in the SUV market does not look well resolved either. Many of the German SUV´s actually looks very bad too but they have a stronger brand appeal so they can survive it.

    Jeep should perhaps have taken much closer look at what Range Rover (since their heritage is of similar nature of the true off road credentials) has accomplished in terms of creating a new generation DNA exterior design without losing it´s key visual identity. Wether one like the Evoque or not it is a marvel of compact SUV design for the hyped city customer.

    Though I´m really not a fan of the new Renegade I suspect that it will sell better than the Cherokee if it is priced correctly – That awkwardness will be much more acceptable in it´s segment also on export markets. On the other hand this Cherokee might not loose too much on it´s home market, but as overseas export product I certainly have my doubt´s. The interior is simply not up to par design wise. It´s not bad, but it lacks distinctiveness and quite some bit of refinement for this segment. E.g. That gear leaver! it looks like something from +10 years ago – That is simply such a lame design for a brand new car in 2014. While certain areas like the digital designs are pretty well rounded the lesson of making the interior B and C areas much less visible and reachable, have not been applied well. I do not honestly understand why Jeep in 2014 will make such mistakes, with so many new talented designers around eager to get onboard.   

    Jeep is a good brand with a trustworthy heritage and I´m really happy that their cars remain excellent off road, but in this segment they competition is freaking hard and as stupid as it is, those SUV´s are not gonna go much in the mud. While the exterior is a subjective one, the interior is where the most time is spent behind the wheel. If Jeep make statements to be on par with AUDI in the interior quality and feel, there can be no room for mistakes or lack of dedication in design refinement (Then it´s better to under promise and over deliver). And I do not mean in material only – the good solutions usually is not only about how much can be spent on expensive high quality materials, but how much can be extracted in the shapes to create emotion and conceptual consistency enhancing the things that can bear it and hide those that can not. This interior suffers from lack of an overall conceptual consistency IMO. That is somehow not in line with the price tag.

    Take a lesson from the design approach of the new and also awkward looking BMW i3 – In that car there is no interior A areas, It´s nearly all B or C, but that cabin is contemporary if any. I´m not saying it´s the solution for many cars or to the like of all customers, far from it – but that is not the point – The conceptual approach towards making great interior without the all-out luxury direction is something that should be of interest to any company with a perhaps limited budget. Think it differently to make distinction and create more personality. Jeep certainly thought it differently on the outside so why go so average on the inside?.

    Seriously Jeep has created an ok, but rather awkward new Cherokee – Somehow they did not go far enough and landed blandly somewhere.

    If I was an advertising agency to launch this car outside the US I would ask;
    What is the main POS of this car?

    To that I can not find any answer…

  • Is it just me that actually likes the look of this thing? The only thing i don't like is that you cant get a manual on the more powerful diesel

  • I think the car is nice it is different like that DS3 advert I'm not pretty but I have style and performance wise it is amazing inside it is amazing and outside it has style,difference,good performance and Buaty

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