FYI: If you look up the members of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards committee, you will not find the following names:
- Tom Mutchler
- Jake Fisher
- Gabe Shenhar
- Jon Linkov
That makes sense. Whereas the NACTOY board nominated the Jeep Cherokee to be one of three finalists for its famous truck prize, the above four gentleman recently gathered to give it a verbal blanket party.
The guys aren’t having any of it. Shenhar says, “The nine-speed automatic doesn’t work well, it doesn’t give the fuel economy benefit that they [Jeep] were hoping for.” And it doesn’t even go into ninth gear, according to Fisher. Whatever cogs the tranny ends up using, it gets confused along the way to them.
Jeep’s 2.4-liter MultiAir I4 and 3.2-liter V6 engines are not spared, either. Fisher thinks “[...] none of them are really that quick or quiet. None are really very fuel-efficient.” The four-banger gets knocked by Mutchler for being underpowered. Shenhar says it’s slow.
Perhaps a vehicle with this many flaws in the eyes of Consumer Reports wins some points for being a considered a good value.
Cherokees can get expensive if loaded with options, Linkov says. Mutchler complains about the tester four-cylinder Latitude not having a backup camera or a sunroof for $27,490. Shenhar chimes in that it also has lousy seats and a simple radio.
If only the Cherokee’s parts were as united and cohesive as the fellows are in their disdain for it. Shenhar feels as if it’s not finished.
Wow! That is rough. Some of the Cherokee’s only defenses in this thrashing are its ease of access, roomy rear seat, attractive styling and impressive equipment.
Ultimately, it might be a Jeep, but according to Mutchler, “This ain’t no Grand Cherokee.”