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2014 Jeep Cherokee Reviews Finally Coming In

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There is finally a much awaited review of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Panned by many of the enthusiasts' groups I've followed, the new Jeep Cherokee KL has been judged thus far by looks only, so we've waited patiently for some sort of meat in the way of a review. The full article is right here at Four Wheeler Magazine.

 

And look, their cover photo is right there in Moab on Fins and Things trail!

 

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-Trailhawk-__1_-front-three-quarter.jpg

 

Interesting excerpts:

 

"If they’d called it Liberty or Commander or even Jeepster the KL could shoulder a little mediocrity. But Chrysler slapped on the KL’s fenders one of the most beloved, revered nameplates in the hallowed halls of Jeep’s history. And even though Cherokees of the past weren’t crazy off-road-ready machines out the gate, they did possess an inherent off-road capability, on-road versatility, and general do-all utility that garnered respect from enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. In short, the name Cherokee elicits emotion, not just recognition. Therefore, the new Cherokee KL has to contend with more than meeting stringent EPA numbers, a fickle buyer’s market, and competition from less off-road-capable cute-utes. It has to prove to the Jeep enthusiast it’s not just another pseudo-Jeep-on-car-chassis punch line to a joke…like Patriot or Compass. The name Cherokee? It has to earn it."

 

"4WD Systems The KL sits atop a Fiat chassis which Jeep engineers breathed heavily upon to deliver as much off-road performance as possible. Three different 4x4 systems are available: Active Drive I, Active Drive II, and Active Drive Lock. No matter which you get, there is no transfer case to split power equally to the front and rear differentials. Rather, the Cherokee operates in front-wheel-drive at all times and engages the rear driveshaft and, in turn differential and pop shafts via a clutch system that sends varying degrees of engine torque to the rear. The level of torque split depends on the 4x4 system, the system’s terrain settings, and sensed tire slippage. In other words, there is no true 4x2 or 4x4 selection. The computer determines how much power to send to the rear wheels and when to send it, which can prove frustrating at times."

 

"From the bottom up, there’s the four-cylinder Sport (starting $22,995); Lati-tude (starting at $24,495); Limited (starting $27,995); and Trailhawk (starting $29,494)."

 

"The seats, especially in the upper-end Limited and Trailhawk, are comfortable and supportive, but the tilt steering wheel’s positioning is decidedly Italian. Even when adjusted all the way down towards the driver’s lap it still feels like it’s too way high. It’s a weird angle that we didn’t like and never got used to."

 

"The Trailhawk [model] takes all the standard features found on the Latitude and then chucks a bunch of off-road specific parts at the exterior and drivetrain. For starters, the crawl ratio is a very respectable 56:1 for the four-cylinder and 48:1 for six-cylinder models. The flat-black accent in the middle of the sculpted hood offers a functional element to reduce glare while off-roading and the front and rear fascia are unique to the Trailhawk to increase approach and departure angles. The undercar-riage employs skidplating over all the vital bits and there’s heavy-duty engine cooling and an auxiliary transmission cooler to help maintain temps. The suspension is 1-inch higher than the standard Cherokee and the track is 2 inches wider. Functional red powdercoated tow hooks weren’t easy to engineer with regard to frontal crash regulations while retaining the necessary “twice the rated capacity of the vehicle’s GVW” but there they are, regardless. Suspension travel from the IFS/IRS suspension is 6.5 inches in the front and 7.5 inches in the rear and the tires are chunkier Firestone Destination A/Ts mounted on special 17-inch “spider monkey” Trailhawk-only wheels with styling derived from the SRT Grand Cherokee. Off-Road fender flares, Selec-Terrain drive mode selector, hill descent and ascent control, and Active Drive Lock are all standard on the Trailhawk, but what isn’t is some form of rocker protection. We’d really like some form of lightweight aluminum rock rails to be part of the Trailhawk package, but for now Jeep suggests going through its aftermarket Mopar division for steel rockers when available."

 

Lots more at the link above.

 

What do you think? Who wants to go drive one?

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I would be interested to see some operational reviews from average wheelers. I think we can all agree that the design engineers did not bother to poll/sample the Jeep crowd with any design renderings. That front end looks horrible.

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Well, my wife recently became the proud owner of a 70th Anniversary Liberty which has every conceivable trail rated option available (my XJ is jealous) but is way too pretty to take off road. This would not be that big of a streatch from there.

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What do you think? Who wants to go drive one?

 

I would be interested in seeing one up close and driving it. I would not have any interest in anything less than the Trailhawk though. Is $30K+ worth it or would I be more happy with a JK Rubicon starting in that price range? The odd front end is starting to appeal to me but seeing it in person will satisfy that. I would wait to the second or third year of production before I would consider buying just to let others work the bugs out and prove the concept that this is really an off road Jeep. By then if it has any staying power in the market place the aftermarket crowd will have started to offer upgrades and add to the appeal of having one with various beyond MOPAR offerings. Until then, I hope they will have it at the Jeep test track at the next Phoenix car show in late November so we can at least ride in it.

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I'm interested in the price, MPG, and interior. If I ever decide to part with my lil truck and get a daily driver SUV, this may be it. I was looking at new Grand Cheokees, but a 2WD one for ~$35k is hard for me to spend to drive it 75 miles a day. I'm not a huge fan of the front look, but to be honest it's growing on me and I'm kind of starting to like it.

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I gotta be honest, the front end reminds me of a Pontiac Aztec, which is on par with the Ford Edsel as far as ugliest vehicle ever made. However, I was pleasantly surprised to watch some of the videos online from their trip to Moab. While not a hardcore wheeler by any stretch of the phrase, it's much more capable than I ever imagined it would be.

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I gotta be honest, the front end reminds me of a Pontiac Aztec, which is on par with the Ford Edsel as far as ugliest vehicle ever made. However, I was pleasantly surprised to watch some of the videos online from their trip to Moab. While not a hardcore wheeler by any stretch of the phrase, it's much more capable than I ever imagined it would be.

 

That's because every new Cherokee built comes standard with it's own team of rock stackers.

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That's because every new Cherokee built comes standard with it's own team of rock stackers.

 

Touche. I almost said something along those lines about only posting videos of successful runs up a trail. But then again, the fact that that.... thing made it up those trails is a little heartening. It's not a hardcore wheeler, but it's not a Camry either. Don't get me wrong, I'm still pretty pissed that they used the name Cherokee for that monstrosity. All I'm saying is it has done better than I ever thought it would.

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check out at 7:13 in... we almost get to see the flex limitations, then they cut the video!

 

 

 

i missed the part about it being independant-rear-suspension and that it's front wheel drive till i this drivetrain pic recently.

 

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-Trailhawk-_4_-drivetrain.jpg

Churning behind the nine-speed ZF transmission is a PTU (power transfer unit) and a set of very unique differentials. Since the Cherokee is a front-wheel-drive-based vehicle, it uses the PTU to send power to the rear differential. With no transfer case onboard, the low range gear reduction is handled by planetary gears affixed alongside each of the differential assemblies.

 

from this article: http://www.fourwheeler.com/vehicle-reviews/1308-four-wheeler-first-drive-2014-jeep-cherokee-/

 

 

someone on another forum summarized it best - "it's better than a Subaru offroad". good point actually... it has a similar cost, MPG, comfort, etc. but more clearance, a low range, and lots of whizz bang electronics to make it go up and down small mountains that a Suby couldn't. you'd never buy this in place of a Wrangler or an old XJ, but that's just not what it competes with. does anyone actually want a tall Subaru? i guess we'll find out after a year or two of sales. i kinda see it more as the poor man's LR3/LR4.

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Here's a quick screencap I got from the video on Jeep.com. I think it pretty much sums up what Jeep is trying to sell us.

 

ZMxF6Or.jpg

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