Consumer Reports Does Not Like the Jeep Cherokee

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Off Road

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.

Nope.

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.”

Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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