It appears Jeep has finally nailed it this time. After two decades of assembling its Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle, the American automaker has finally delivered a world-class off-roader capable of taking on everything in its segment. And not only being competitive, there is a high likelihood of them coming out on top. Not only does the 2014 Cherokee Jeep SUV look better in person than it does in photos, but it also delivers performance and tech that exceeded most admittedly moderate expectations.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a five-passenger midsize SUV that comes in four trim levels: Sport, Limited, Latitude, and Tailhawk. Each is available with rear-drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD).
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It also features a class-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission+ and when combined with the new 2.4L MultiAir2 Tigershark I4 engine achieves a Best-in-Class driving range of up to 490 hwy miles on just one tank. Other engine choices include a 5.7-liter V8 rated at 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque and a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 that cranks out 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. The SRT comes exclusively with a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 470 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. While the diesel and high-performance models capture most of the spotlight, the standard gasoline-powered V6 models comprise the bulk of sales, more than justifying this review.
Exterior and Interior
The 2014 Cherokee’s interior looks similar to last year’s, but there are some handy upgrades. While the Jeep Cherokee has no third-row seat option, there’s ample room for a family of four or five, and you can order up a significant amount of luxury ambience, including ventilated front seats and a new dual-screen. The rich interior was finished in dark Grand Canyon Jeep Brown leather, and it has a nice array of leather, French stitching, and modern wood grain throughout. Even the visors and headliner are covered with soft, expensive looking material. There is also a wide panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and 17-18 inch wheels. The exterior refresh is attractive, as it maintains the Jeep’s obligatory aggressive and capable appearance while shedding off some of the shiny chrome in the process. Cosmetically, the front fascia has been redesigned and there are new taillamps, a larger liftgate spoiler and more wheel choices.
Driven on paved roads, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is comfortable, quiet, and stable around turns. The new nine-speed automatic transmission is a great addition, as it’s much smoother and quicker-shifting than the five- and six-speed automatics offered last year. Given its generally smooth and spirited response, most people should be satisfied with the base gasoline V6. The new transmission is also beneficial for off-roading, as it improves refinement and drivability in the dirt. While it likely doesn’t help lower cabin noise, the air suspension automatically lowers the vehicle at highways speeds to improve the vehicle’s overall aerodynamics and aid fuel economy. Overall, it offers the complete SUV experience of a powerful engine that is felt as soon the start button is pressed.
Now while the price of the Jeep Cherokee SUV is not chump change, most people guessed that it would have been considerably higher. Taking into account everything that is on offer, and compared to similar vehicles by other manufacturers, the numbers don’t seem all that unreasonable. At the bottom line, the 2014 Cherokee Sport starts at $22,995, the Cherokee Latitude $24,495, Cherokee Limited $27,995, and at highest base the Cherokee Trailhawk has a starting price of $29,995.