By Cars.com EditorsMarch 18, 2015
About the video
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee spent a year with our editors, and the staff really liked the SUV's ride, cabin materials and the Uconnect touch-screen multimedia system. However, the Cherokee disappointed in many ways. Check out the video for more.
(car engine starts) About a year ago, cars.com bought this 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
As we do for all of our long-term test cars, we wanted to see how it held up in terms of maintenance, reliability, general drivability, and gas mileage over an entire year with our editors. Here's what we found. We bought a four cylinder Cherokee limited with all wheel drive and a few other options for a total sticker price of $33,375. Now, editors really liked how the car rode, we also liked the cabin materials, especially in a class where a lot of SUV's throw harder cheaper textures, kinda up where your arms and your elbows land. One other feature we like, the Uconnect touchscreen system here. 8.4 inch system in the center of the dashboard, we got ours with navigation. Very easy to use, very intuitive simple menus. We weren't quite as thrilled with the navigation system itself. The interface looks kind of a little bit low tech here, and doesn't allow for a lot of things that other features allow for, a lot of other cars. Certainly every smartphone allows you to kinda zoom in when you pinch and swipe the map, can't do that on here. We weren't big fans of the Cherokee's mushy handling or pokey acceleration. Now, much of the second factor came because of the nine speed automatic transmission. A high-tech unit that unfortunately suffered Rough Upshifts, hesitant downshifts and sort of this tendency to often bang in the third gear. Overall gas mileage. After more than 16,500 miles put the car, our best tank was 31 miles per gallon, our worst tank was 16.8 miles per gallon. And overall we averaged 23.4 miles per gallon so, pretty close to the car's EPA combined mileage. Now, we had to bring our Cherokee into a Jeep dealership multiple times for software updates to the transmission. And that actually turned out to be just the tip of the drive train iceberg. Right around the 13,000 mile mark, we got a check engine light and the engine stalled a couple of times so, we brought it in again. The dealer found that the entire intake manifold, various hoses and an engine management censor were all drenched in oil. So, Jeep eventually decided the yank entire engine, take it back and see what the heck happened to it. So, what you see here is a replacement four cylinder engine for our Cherokee, which Jeep maintains is standard protocol, they didn't just do this because they knew that this car belonged to a media outlet. Couple other maintenance tidbits. We had two oil changes, though one was by way of replacing the entire engine, plus an update to the Uconnect system, which doesn't seem to have changed all that much. So, how much did this all end up costing us? Well, despite the fact that it was undoubtedly thousands of dollars of maintenance, we ended up spending less than a hundred dollars out of pocket, because the only things we had to pay for were; new wiper blades, an oil change and a tire rotation. Everything else was covered under warranty. So, here we are at the end of the year, and the question really becomes. Would we buy one of these cars again? Well, there's a lot to like about the Cherokee, but there's a lot of issues we've had with it too. Couple of those, with the drive train repairs and I gotta say, we think we pass on the Cherokee and buy another small SUV instead, next time. (car trunk bangs)
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