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2014 Jeep Cherokee Preview

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Charles Renny
Keeping with tradition, with a twist
Keeping up with appearances
Chelsea Proving Grounds, Ann Arbor, MI -
After a complete redo for the 2014 model year, the bran new Jeep Cherokee still had a reputation for Jeep off-road ability and comfort resting on its platform. After a talk with the engineering staff, it sounds as if they have met their target.

It is clear to us that Jeep means business with this new Cherokee. While other highly competitive vehicles in the Cherokee’s segment are primed to knock it down, Jeep fully understands the importance of this return.

Knowing how important things like being “trial rated” are to the Jeep brand, competitors may stack up well on pricing and showing well on dealer lots, but by using proven off-road technology, the Jeep continues to have an edge when the pavement quits.

2014 Jeep Cherokee specs
The Jeep Cherokee is an entry-level, All Wheel Drive/4X4, luxury-oriented SUV. The Jeep Cherokee often plays second fiddle to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is similar in name only.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is slated to be in dealer’s hands by the 3rd quarter of this year, which usually means that consumers will get to feel, touch, and drive one by October 2014. Base pricing for the seven models slated for Canada starts at $23,495 for a 2WD Cherokee Sport, and rises up to $32,195 for the Jeep Cherokee Limited 4X4. Naturally, there are both individual and option packages that can send the actual price noticeably higher.

Basic power will come from the new 2.4L Multi-Air, Tigershark inline–4 that produces 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. The other engine available in the Jeep Cherokee is the new 3.2L Pentastar V6 that has a power output of 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque. A class exclusive, 9-speed automatic will be the transmission that backs both these engines up..

Both Active Drive I and Active Drive II 4X4 systems are available depending on the trim level and options chosen. The difference between the two systems is complicated, but centres around single- and two-speed transfer cases.

Preliminary fuel numbers for the I4 are 6.3L/100km on the highway, which is the only number Chrysler as released for the moment.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee at a glance
When you walk up to the 2014 Cherokee, you see what appears to be a smaller Grand Cherokee. Once close enough, you will know that this is a truly distinctive model. The stance is such that the front end has a bit of rake and the design accents this. Overhangs on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee are short to enhance off-road abilities. Ground clearance is good, but you do not need a step ladder to get in.

Once inside, the seats are comfortable and five adults can sit in decent comfort. Instrumentation in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is front-and-centre for the driver, and is easily read. Over in the centre stack sits a large 15.6 cm configurable TFT display screen. On more basic Jeep Cherokee models without nav or entertainment features the display is a basic 8.5 cm greyscale screen.

Upper versions of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee are available with Napa leather, as well as independent rear-seat entertainment systems with complete connectivity to your choice of electronic device. U-Connect, Jeep’s electronic interface program, is available as part of the map/sat/nav system and includes things like upgraded stereo quality, music storage, and Bluetoot connectivity.

Comparing the 2014 Jeep Cherokee
Some would like to say that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee has no competition, but this is the real world and its return to the Jeep lineup puts it in the same market (and price range) with the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Kia Sportage. In many circles, the new Mazda CX-5 and the Honda CR-V are also considered competitors across a large portion of the Jeep Cherokee model line.

2014 Jeep Cherokee
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2014 Jeep Cherokee
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Charles Renny
Charles Renny
Automotive expert