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2014 Jeep Cherokee Not Recommended by Consumer Reports

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/12/2014 Jason Udy

While the 2014 Jeep Cherokee has been selling well since it went on sale in October, the new SUV failed to score high enough to make Consumer Reports ’ list of recommended vehicles. After testing a Cherokee Latitude with the 2.4-liter I-4 and Cherokee Limited with the 3.2-liter V-6, the consumer magazine called the SUV an "uneven package" and found it "half-baked."

The Cherokee failed to wow the testers in several areas, including drivetrain performance, fuel economy, and handling. Consumer Reports called the Latitude underpowered and "not very fuel efficient” and found the nine-speed automatic "unrefined" and "unresponsive.”

“Neither the available 3.2-liter V6 nor 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine feels particularly powerful” read a statement on Consumer Reports website. “Worse, they get lousy fuel economy for the class -- 21 and 22 mpg, respectively. The four-cylinder is rough, slow, and overworked; the V6 is mostly better. Shifts from the standard nine-speed automatic feel clunky and uncoordinated.” MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

Consumer Reports found Handling to be “competent but lack[ing] agility," while the ride was described as "jittery.”

Not all comments were negative, though, as praise was given for the Cherokee Limited’s infotainment system and advanced active-safety features. Other positive traits include a solid feel, quiet cabin, and ease of access.

"As a small SUV with serious off-road and towing capability, Jeep's small Cherokee could be a contender if it weren't so underdeveloped and unrefined," Consumer Reports concluded. "It just doesn't get the fundamentals right for everyday use." MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

Overall, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited V-6 was rated higher, earning 70 out of a possible 100 points, while the Cherokee Latitude scored 56 points. In comparison, the Subaru Forester scored highest among compact SUVs with a score of 88, while the Jeep Compass came in last with 49 points total.

“We value feedback from all our customers, including Consumer Reports, and it helps guide the constant improvements we make to our products," Chrysler said in a statement. "We are receiving very encouraging feedback on owner satisfaction and initial quality from the approximately 35,000 customers who bought a Cherokee in its first three months on the market -- and we have received consistently positive third-party (media/journalist) impressions since the vehicle was introduced."

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Consumer Reports

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