By on March 27, 2014

photo (13)

The problem with a “take-no-prisoners” approach to evaluating new cars is that when you’re the only one adopting a particular stance, it can get pretty lonely – even your own readers begin to doubt you. My initial review of the Jeep Cherokee was a great example of this. Most reports are fairly positive – and indeed, there was plenty to like about the car, as my own review mentioned – but many of the car’s flaws were glossed over or simply not mentioned. On the other hand, we at TTAC gave you the unvarnished truth about the Cherokee – and Chrysler was gracious enough to let us review the Cherokee again.

On the launch program in California, there was some confusion over whether the vehicles were pre-production or production units. This time, there was none, and it showed in the overall fit and finish of the Cherokee. The unsightly stitching on the steering wheel? Gone. The wobbly console? Not quite perfect, but less wobbly than before. Like the newly released Chrysler 200, the fit and finish, particularly of the supplied interior components, is very nicely executed. Next to an Escape, CR-V or RAV4, the interior of our Cherokee Limited tester was undoubtedly a cut above the others. If nothing else, Chrysler has managed to carve out a real leader with the UConnect 8.4, offering the best infotainment system along with excellent tactile controls.

Judging from my test example, Jeep has made strides in other areas that previously came up for criticism. After a harsh winter of volatile temperatures, our local roads have been mutilated by potholes and divots, but the Cherokee handled them with aplomb. It would be a stretch to call the ride “plush”, but the little trucklet felt much more sedate than it did on the launch loop, and if FCA plans on selling these in world markets, it’s a good indication of how it will fare on the roads of Europe and developing countries. Similarly, the ZF 9-speed was far less frenetic in its operation, and felt better equipped to handle the more-than-adequate power of the 3.2L Pentastar V6. The major disappointment here was the rather dismal fuel economy.

Driving mostly in heavy stop-and-go traffic, I netted just 15 mpg, despite slow speeds and a rather gentle foot (helped by the much improved throttle calibration – another bone of contention at launch). One can chalk that up to the (literally) freezing temperatures, winter tires, all-wheel drive or my incompetence as a vehicle reviewer. I had assumed that a V6 would be a more economical alternative to a larger turbo 4-cylinder such as the Escape 2.0T, which is known for delivering sub-par fuel economy in the real world. Apparently not. The EPA rates the AWD V6 Cherokee with Active-Drive II (included on my tester) at just 19 mpg around town, so perhaps the results aren’t terribly off base. This is also one heavy CUV, weighing in at over two tons, thanks to the sophisticated AWD, the V6 engine and the hearty CUSW architecture.

Of course, some of my original complaints still remain. The brakes, which I initially compared to a damp dishrag, are still weak, and seem to engage only when the pedal is millimeters away from the floor, as if the whole system was in bad need of bleeding and some new fluid.

The other problem, which is literally impossible to change barring a total redesign, is the rather cramped rear seat area and small cargo compartment. Having driven every vehicle built of CUSW, I realize that this is something that is endemic to this particular architecture, but the Cherokee especially is the kind of “lifestyle” vehicle that should be able to carry people and property with minimal fuss. Nearly everyone who rode around in the back found it cramped, especially if they were above 5’10″. Cargo room is tight, with just 24.8 cubic feet of space in the back – by comparison, a CR-V has 37.2 cubic feet, which makes all the difference when you’re doing a Costco run.

The last major annoyance was something that was not readily apparent on the launch, though it proved to be a real bear around town. The Rear Cross Path detection system would seemingly brake the car for no reason when parallel parking or backing into a stall at just a touch above crawl speed. While I can understand the good intentions and legal rationale behind this programming, it simply turned into annoyance in the real world, where experienced drivers can perform that at more than a snail’s pace. If I were to buy one, I would do whatever I could to opt out.

Having had the chance to experience the car on my home turf, and gain a better understanding of its capabilities, I was able to warm to it more than I did in September. In a segment full of anodyne entrants, the Cherokee is something unique, both aesthetically and mechanically. Unfortunately, it’s missing a few key elements in terms of practicality that would make it a true class leader.

Nonetheless, I’m far more optimistic after having driven the Chrysler 200. It seems that CUSW improves with each iteration: the Dart’s weak point was the powertrain. The Cherokee had a number of initial quality teething issues. The 200 still needs a bit more space for rear passengers. If the pattern of continuous improvement sustains itself, then the next-Cherokee could be a serious player in the market. Not that the Cherokee isn’t competitive, but you better be willing to accept some compromises for the sake of non-conformity.

Chrysler provided the vehicle and a tank of gas for this review.

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221 Comments on “Capsule Review: Jeep Cherokee Take Two...”


  • avatar
    mjz

    I have not yet driven a Cherokee, but have been really impressed with the fit and finish and design/quality of the interior of those I have seen at the dealership. I wish they had integrated the “eyebrow” lights and the headlights together as one unit for a smoother more integrated appearance for the front end, but there is no denying it is a very unique look.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      The front end looks great, until the lights on one side fails.

      I have NEVER seen a car look as sad and the Cherokee I saw yesterday with a failed cluster – it looks SOOO unbalanced.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      +1

      The missus was considering a Cherokee for some time, and while we never drove one, we’ve had the opportunity to sit in several and Chrysler’s interior really is above much of the competition; Chrysler Co. still also offer some of the most nicely grained leather this side of an S class, at least IMHO.

      If anything else, this review restores my previously shaken confidence in buying a Jeep – I’m consdering a JGC Overland in a few years, and the missus about had a heart attack when she saw the Renegade so it’s very likely we’ll be an all-Jeep garage.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The Grand Cherokee and Cherokee are so different as to be easily mistaken as two vehicles that could be produced by two separate manufacturers (because, in many ways, they are, being developed when they were).

        What is the point of the Cherokee?

        It’s less roomy, less capable, less efficient, more fragile, damn near as expensive as the Grand Cherokee, yet the JGC rides way better, has a superior interior, more cargo space, and will likely have superior resale value.

        The Cherokee is FIAT crap, while the JGC is built on a chassis far more advanced and strong than most craptastic CUVs such as the Cherokee.

        The Cherokee has no direct competitors because no other manufacturer produces a CUV that manages to do a combination of things as badly as it.

        Terrible fuel economy, awful build quality, a nose bleed price, and the underpinnings of a Dart are most definitely not the ingredients of a successful recipe.

        Jeep should have just passed on any Fiat platform sharing.

        This vehicle marks the beginning of the destruction of the Jeep brand.

        • 0 avatar
          mjz

          That must be why Jeep had the largest percentage sales increase of any volume brand (47%) last month. Thanks almost entirely to sales of the new Cherokee, which brought in a whole slew of new customers and raised the tide of all other Jeep models. Clearly sir, you know not of what you speak. Destruction of the Jeep brand my a$$.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            For such a stalwart as DW to so despise them makes me for the first time interested in looking at Cherokees.

            Truly, for decades I’ve enjoyed so many bon mots from the movie Little Big Man and there’s one for TTAC silverbacks, too:

            “..a perfect inverse barometer”

          • 0 avatar
            fredtal

            A percentage increase means nothing if you sold so few before. On the other hand I’m seeing them on the street. The dealer told me that folks were coming in to test drive. Initially it looks to be a sales winner, but give it a year or two before we declare it a win or a lost.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            As mentioned, the sales increase is misleading given the hole in Jeep’s product line YoY and MoM (given Fiatsler’s botched launch).

            We will see how the portly, gas sucking, overpriced Dart-on-stilts does over the next couple of years, and then reconvene to discuss the issue of whether this poor product was yet another bad vehicle saved by the current love affair with nearly any CUV.

        • 0 avatar

          Hey Kenmore, the good thing aout Kenmore is that he comes around when proven wrong. The bad thing is he makes many a bold statement, using antagonizing words that rather makes him look like one of the crazies.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Hey, Marcelo :-D

            Thanks, but I’m far too lazy to be one of the crazies.

            Dang… I’m a poet.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Kenmore, I apologize! I was in fact supporting your statement about DW being your inverse barometer! I meant to write, “Hey Kenmore, the good thing about DeadWeight…”!

            Sorry, Kenmore. When it comes to cars, I suspect we have surprisingly similar tastes :)!

        • 0 avatar
          tuffjuff

          It’s nice to see you, too, DW.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Too much negativity on absolutely no first-hand experience. Everything you say is strictly opinion and can’t be taken as fact.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            What portion is “opinion?”

            The dismal fuel economy relative to the class?

            The meager cargo space relative to the class?

            The FIAT front wheel drive, Dart underpinnings?

            The history of poor reliability with FIAT products?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            All of the above.

            * No other CUV resides in its “class”. The Cherokee is more capable in inclement weather than all of them.
            * Other CUVs of its size have less space; you can’t take two specific models and say their representative of the entire “class”.
            * The statement that it is “Fiat Crap”–you don’t know if it’s any good or not because you’ve already locked in your opinion with no first-hand or even second-hand experience. Today’s Fiat is not the Fiat of 40 years ago.
            * As above, Fiat’s poor reliability history is over 40 years old in this country. You simply can’t know what it is today. So far, I’ve heard absolutely nothing negative about any Fiat model here in the US since they took over Chrysler. What I HAVE seen is that they’re patching a lot of Daimler’s screw-ups.

        • 0 avatar
          grandriver

          DW the absolute crap is your opinion. Almost as expensive as a GC? No, my comparison shopping revealed a difference of about $10,000 if I wanted a Limited with the same equipment.

          Why would one want one of these vs a CRV or Escape (which we traded for our Limited II)? Because it has a transfer case with a neutral setting and can very nicely be towed behind a motorhome without worry. A GC Ltd is very marginal for a 5,000 tow rating. Our Escape (2011) yielded transmission fluid temperatures of 220 deg regularly when being towed – and keep in mind no engine running and no torque going through the transmission. Ford replaced hundreds before they killed the towing feature and said no more (Feb 2012).

          Sure, it has new vehicle bugs that are being worked out but DW (that is Dear Wife in RV lingo) is very pleased with it and traveling to Florida and back the best we obtained was a bit over 28 mpg at 70 to 75 mph. We too found that we never see 9th because we rarely drive at 80 unless that is the limit. My 2012 T&C does about the same mpg and it is 2WD.

        • 0 avatar
          wesleycamelot

          Its Crappity Crap Crap. We bought one of these things in december and now it 18k miles on it and we have already replaced the passenger seat belt which locked up the week we bought it, and the left front axle and now it makes a grinding noise when the steering wheel turns and the transmission is horrible. it jerks forward while you are sitting still at a red light and revs to 5k and just stays there and is constantly shifting hard and chirping the tires. i highly recommend against purchasing one and if i had know fiat had ANYTHING to do with its construction i wouldve dragged my wife out of the dealership. A lifetime warranty doesnt really help when it breaks down every month.

  • avatar
    IndianaDriver

    I’ve seen a number of these on the road now and the more I see it, the more I like the new look. I talked with one of the drivers filling up at a gas pump next to me and he really likes it a lot. I asked him about mpg and he said he was getting about 30 in highway driving, but I didn’t ask him about in town driving mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I wonder if that 30 MPG figure was calculated by hand, or by the car’s computer. My 2012 Focus’ onboard computer was accurate to a fault as far as mileage, never varying more than about 1/3 of a MPG compared to hand-calculating gas mileage, but my 2013 Chevy Equinox’ onboard computer routinely spits out numbers approximately 10% more optomistic than they should be, i.e. it says 25 MPG but it was really 22-23 MPG.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        I also have to mention, as has been proven by TTAC and others years ago, that while my Equinox is rated at “32 MPG highway,” that figure is all be unrealistic unless by “highway” you mean “driving 48 MPH, on cruise control, on a completely flat county highway in the summer with the AC turned off.”

        Of course, I knew this going in and so expected as much, but I’ve yet to see greater than a high 26 (maybe 26.8) MPG figure doing 99% highway, in the summer, at about 68 MPH on cruise. Frustratingly, owner forums pin the 3.6l powered Theta’s at mid to high 20′s on the highway, besting my four banger. This, with my 180-ish horses churning along at a steady 1,800-ish RPM at 68 MPH on cruise, aka “barely working.”

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          The Equinox with the 2.4 seems to vary as far as mileage goes. I have rented at least a half dozen or so, 2 with AWD and the rest FWD. The FWD versions generally gave me about 29-30 on the open road going 65-70 in nice warm weather. Subtract about 2 off those figures in the Winter months. The AWD had a hard time cracking 26-26.5 on the highway. While neither of these figures is bad, they are not quite what the sticker said either. Our most recent 2014 Camry SE 2.5 rental was also shy of the sticker getting a best of 32 on the open road going 70 and also an Optima got 1 less than it’s highway rating at 33. A little investigative work with a scanner revealed a higher than normal amount of ethanol in the fuel. As much as 18% was detected in some cases. This would explain why all of these vehicles are getting lower mileage figures but then there is my 2013 Impala powered by the 3.6 LFX engine. It is rated for 18/30 according to the sticker. I can easily exceed those figures in the warm weather and have often seen as high as 32 on a long stretch of open highway and 21 in all city driving. The is using Hess or Sunoco gas with 87 octane fuels as recommended for each of these vehicles.

          I would bet that any one of these would perform better with no ethanol gas and now that such a thing exists nearby we are planning on re-testing each of these when the time is right.

          • 0 avatar
            tuffjuff

            I beleive it.

            When the 3.6 debuted, the Theta forums went abuzz with delight of how the new engine got folks 27-29 MPG on the highway, routinely. I’ve never gotten that with my 2.4, and I’m in perma-eco mode and often drive like a grandfather, rarely exceeding 68 MPH.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Interesting that you can get the Cherokee with the 2.4 “Tigershark” engine (as well as the V6) with AWD, but Chrysler is only offering the new 200 with AWD with the the Pentastar V6. Since the Cherokee weighs more, I would have thought it would have been the other way around, or at least also offer the 200 with AWD and the 2.4 as an option too.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Complaining about city mpg in stop-and-go traffic is ridiculous. It’s not going to be good. That’s how it works. No regularly propelled car is going to do very well.

    I do agree that lack of cargo space can be a deal breaker. A lot of small SUVs have this problem. It would be nice if the Cherkoee was stretched by a foot or so in the rear end.

    • 0 avatar
      A Caving Ape

      I strongly disagree; stop and go traffic is where it matters most- small variations in fuel economy add up a lot more in the city.

      Over 1000 miles, going from 25 mpg to 35 mpg would save 11.4 gallons. Over those same 1000 miles, going from 14 mpg to 17 mpg would save 12.6 gallons. Only 3 mpg improvement vs. 10, and you’re still saving more gas. Big highway numbers are nice, but performance in traffic is what really makes a difference in your wallet.

      In the cherokee’s case, actually making that 19mpg city figure instead of the observed 15 would save 14 gallons – a full fill-up – every 1000 miles.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Agreed on city mpg mattering. Although cold weather and winter gas (can anyone shed some light on differences in formulations?) definitely have a strong effect. I’d expect competitors’ much lighter, naturally aspirated 4 cyl CUVs to easily crack 20 mpg in the same conditions (CRV, Forester, Rogue). City mpg factors heavily into a typical driver’s ‘mixed’ MPG per tank.

        • 0 avatar
          daver277

          Winter gas has about 2% fewer BTUs, hence 2% worse fuel economy.
          In the winter, there is more time richer to warmup and the air is denser with more drag, all of which conspire to increase fuel consumption.
          ……and then there are the blonde soccer moms who keep it idling practically all day.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Extra drag from cold lubricants in wheel bearings/differentials etc is probably another factor.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            Even the air in your tires is cooler, and hence the PSI is lower, and rolling resistance greater. I drive mostly highway with about 40% stop-and-go traffic; and I have seen mileage vary from 24 MPG in the winter to 28 MPG in 100 degree temperatures in the summer.

          • 0 avatar
            tuffjuff

            I usually notice a 10% dip, in the Green Bay area. Not sure if our “winter blend” has more ethanol (I’m lead to believe that it does) or if the much colder temps hurt us that much.

      • 0 avatar
        jaydez

        Assuming you drive an average of 15,000 miles a year and gas stays at $3.65 like here in CT, that would save you $766 a year or roughly 2 car payments on your Cherokee.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Stop and go traffic only matters if you put a lot of miles on in it which almost nobody does. A 95th percentile miserable, hour long city commute only covers like 12 miles. Do that twice a day, five days a week, fifty weeks a year and you’ve barely broken 6,000 miles.

        Upping your city mileage from 14 to 17 is saving you all of 6.5 gallons a month. I spent more than that on lunch today.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      From many long years of experience, I consider 15mpg city as remarkably good; it wasn’t all that long ago that I felt lucky to get 10 in the city with an ordinary sedan, though I admit my ’02 Saturn Vue kind of spoiled me with nearly 20 city mpg with an I-4 and 3600 pounds curb weight. Still, that was front wheel drive vs a rather dynamic AWD system and 500 pounds more weight. Then again, maybe my in-town circumstances are a little different, because I’m getting just under 17mpg in town with an ’08 Wrangler.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        I’m *really* curious to see how the Jeep Grand Cherokee fares in city driving. The 4×4 is rated at I think 17/24 with the 8 speed and the Pentastar 3.6, but she’s FIVE THOUSAND POUNDS and most/all of those extra 3 gears are on the higher-end of the range, if I’m not mistaken.

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        My SUV is 4700 pounds has a 3.2L I-6 and is 2WD . I get 17 mpg in the city, and I have a lead foot. The EPA rates my car at 15 city and 21 hwy.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    I’ve driven the Latitude-trim with the 2.4L. I was impressed by it’s ride/handling compromise and liked the wide stance. I’ve driven everything in the class (we bought a VW Tiguan after all was said and done – bought BEFORE the Cherokee was on the market). This is a more polished platform for highway cruising than say a CR-V (still has the Honda road and wind noise). It’s far better than the Rogue with it’s cursed CVT. The Mazda CX-5 is definitely sportier but suffers the same road noise and occasional harshness issues as the Honda.

    I can see the Cherokee picking up a lot of buyers based on the Jeep name, the roadability and even the “unique” exterior. Most of the other areas – rear seat room, cargo, etc are on par with the competition in the real world.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I think a 40% smaller cargo space when compared to a CRV will surely be noticed in the ‘real world.’

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        That would be the same issue as the Tiguan has — for some buyers it’s not a problem, as klossfam’s Tiguan purchase bears out.

      • 0 avatar
        sitting@home

        Possibly not until months after the thing has been bought. Taking a few inches off each dimension could result in a 40% smaller cargo volume which won’t look much different in isolation but when you try to load that big box item in you’ll think “hey, this fit no problem into my old CR-V”.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Interesting note on the CX-5: the ride on the Grand Touring model, at least, is definitely on the harsher side because of the asinine modern practice of fitting 19″ wheels on anything north of a Kia Rio. We swapped ours out for 17s for winter driving, and found that the harshness basically went away, without much of a trade-off in handling – this was one place where the lack of steering feel actually helped, in that there wasn’t much to miss. Now that the weather is warming back up, we’re thinking of selling the 19s outright and buying a new set of summer tires for the 17″ rims we’ve come to feel fit the car much better.

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      I drove the same thing, but as a car guy I didn’t think it was all that smooth of a driver. I liked the interior but it’s small cargo capacity was a bummer. I’d buy the Venza and put up with it’s poor interior over this because it rode more like a car.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I like the looks of the car and what I’ve read of the driving dynamics. But I just don’t think a vehicle with that little rear-seat and cargo space would be an adequate replacement for my Forester. We use every bit of the Fozzy’s enormous cabin on a regular basis.

  • avatar
    EX35

    How is it that Ford and Chrysler are building taunt, solid CUVs with tight steering, while Toyota and Honda are giving us tinny, cheap feeling “econotrucks” with nervous road manners?

  • avatar
    Russycle

    The Cherokee weighs 500+ pounds more than a CR-V but has less cargo room and a cramped rear seat? I realize it’s a little bit apples/oranges, but if the Jeep’s packing more weight and more power, it should offer more room, that’s a big deal in this segment. I like how it looks in person, and I wouldn’t fault anyone for buying one, but Chrysler needs to do better.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      Jeeps need to be off-road capable, which requires higher ground clearance; hence less room for rear passenger legs and cargo. If you’re not going off road, Jeeps don’t make a lot of sense. It’s purely an image thing: “hey, I COULD go off road if I wanted to.”

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        How, exactly, does higher ground clearance reduce legroom?

        • 0 avatar
          jaydez

          because everyone know that the easiest way to lift a vehicle is a cut the floor pan out and raise it up a few inches. Duh

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Pretty simple… if you raise the ground clearance, the space that was devoted to foot room is now taken up by the floor and mechanicals, and the space that was devoted to floor and mechanicals is now taken up by air which is getting you your ground clearance.

          Compare the interiors of a minivan and a Suburban and you can see this clearly.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            You are assuming that the ground clearance is increased while the roof stays stationary.

            The Escape and Cherokee are almost identical in height. Cherokee has an inch of extra ground clearance but that may or may not match the floor height.

            Anyway, if Fiat cut the interior room to get an inch of extra ground clearance, they compromised 99% of the buyers for the 1% that might actually care about ground clearance.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            CUVs can only get so tall before they stop fitting in city parking garages, so, yes, the roof stays stationary. Everything in the CUV class is around 66 to 68 inches in height. This isn’t an F-350 where buyers don’t care about fitting into a downtown garage.

            And that is the baggage the Jeep brand gets you. They have to engineer for some off-road chops, and the looks to match, or they get slammed for selling “not a real Jeep.”

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            th009,

            Obviously you didn’t get slammed by any snow this year if you think only 1% of owners ever use the ground clearance.

            All the Jeep owners I know go off-road, or use their capabilities in various ways. Is it still considered “going offroad” if you are the one building the road?

            I read about the 99% of Jeep owners who don’t do any of this, but I’ve never met them. I guess I just live in a statistical fluke.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Detroit got slammed by snow this year and my C-Max never got stuck. For the vast majority of people that live in resonably sized metro areas with paved roads, a ton of ground clearance isn’t necessary. I even go up to Northern Michigan (Traverse City, Cadillac, Cheyboygan, Grayling, etc), and never have an issue getting stuck. I have an employee that spends time in the UP every other week and his Prius never failed him this winter. Sometimes I can’t get into my driveway up north if I haven’t been there is 2-3 weeks. However, nothing short of a Ford Raptor is going to get over the snow pile that is the driveway.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Are there really city garages wherein a vehicle taller than 66 to 68 inches won’t fit?

            I would think 72-75″ people desiring to walk to their car would find this much more of a problem than a CR-V with another inch underneath it would.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The garage in the building I work in has 6′ clearance. I know of another one near me that is 5’10″. Walking is not as bad because the clearance isn’t about the entire ceiling — it’s about certain low-hanging pipes, crossmembers, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        daver277

        I’m in the process of purchasing a 10 or 15 YO SUV to do some serious off-roading and 90% of them get eliminated from consideration because they only have 3 pedals.
        In another 10 or 15 years virtually all these wanabees will be eliminated from consideration because they are autos and there is so much silly stuff on them, I wouldn’t trust them deep, deep in the woods.
        I remember several times parking a dead battery vehicle on top of hills to bump start it.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          I like a manual as much as anyone, but if you are in rocks or other “serious” stuff an auto is so much more enjoyable versus lurching and the smell of a hot clutch. If you are really that concerned than nothing short of a manual injection diesel will do.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It seems very heavy for this size class.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The lightest version is weighs more than the heaviest Escape. I thought the Escape was kind of tubby.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Chrysler went to considerable lengths to reinforce the body, taking into consideration the possible uses of a very off road capable vehicle. A good part of the added weight is due to the added reinforcement as well as materials chosen for their sound deadening properties. Many note how quiet the interior is compared to the competition, it wasn’t an accident that it ended up that way.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      Cargo room and Gas mileage is not the forte of jeep,4×4 capability above all else is. You Want unparalleled off road and inclement weather ability and safety? Buy a jeep, you need cargo room? Buy a van. All in the mpg is not that bad my less than two ton 97 grand Cherokee with full time 4×4 and a v8 averages a stellar 12 mpg combined

  • avatar
    KixStart

    At over two tons, 15mpg is what you’re going to get, although this setup might benefit from “Displacement on Demand.”

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I really like that house in the background. It’s well-kept, and a neat old design.

    • 0 avatar

      Lovely house. Probably costs as much as a Veyron Grand Sport.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I can find you one in Detroit that looks kind of like that for less than a used Corolla.

        *Disclaimer – house may be incomplete or missing everything made of copper*

        • 0 avatar

          Well, there are some bargains in the Boston Edison district.

          http://www.historicbostonedison.org/forsale/forsale.shtml

          Of course, in your neighborhood in HW, the house pictured above would be fairly pricey. Heck, a 1,300 sq ft ranch there is as much as an Aventador.

          http://www.zillow.com/huntington-woods-mi/

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            True. If that house was in my neighborhood, I wouldn’t be able to afford it. There are homes designed by Yamasaki, Kahn, and Saarinen in the front of the Woods that will, most likely, forever be out of my price range.

            I would love to live in Boston Edison, but I’m not ready for the sacrific it would take. Sometimes I miss living in the Cass Corridor (or Midtown since its cool now), but I see what my fiends that live in New Center, Indian Village, and Palmer Woods put up with. Its a sad reality.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s very sad to see such grand old houses reduced to ruin.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Good grief, Canada has some high prices! I was thinking it was your house, or your parents.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Everything is expensive in Toronto.

          Two tickets to see the Red Wings beat the flithy Maple Leafs on Saturday is going to cost me almost $500. I had better seats at the game here last week for under $100.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          Those kinds of house prices are a Toronto (and Vancouver, and probably Calgary as well) thing.

          Outside of those cities, it’s more reasonable, but we didn’t actually see a housing collapse.

          For a house in or around the downtown like that, I’m surprised it’s not a Veyron and an couple AMG E-Classes.

          • 0 avatar
            LALoser

            I like Whitehorse. That entire area going towards Kluane Lake is beautiful. Could move there and live, no problem.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            No, Calgary housing, while ridiculous to my Winnipeg upbringing, is no where near on the level of Toronto or Vancouver.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I don’t remember why now, but the Winnipeg Jets was my favorite team to play as in NHL94.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I bet it’s because of a cool logo or uniform coolness. That’s how I picked when I played back on PS1.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Maybe 28 is a Keith Tkachuk or Teppo Numminen fan?

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            I’m planning on buying a Charlotte Hornets hat and I don’t even watch basketball, I just like the colors and the logos…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            I’m not sure NHL94 was available on PS1, we played it on Genesis.

            @bball40dtw

            I can’t believe I forgot Keith Tkachuk, I’m hanging my head in shame the rest of the day. I do remember Numminen now but I’m not sure he had the highest ratings in ’94.

            Omg, NHL94 lives on at NHL94.com!

            Here is the original Jets roster in the game, Teemu Selanne and Alexei Zhamnov were the superstars. I used to always trade for Scott Stevens (D) of NJ and Bill Guerin (F) of NJ in ’95 (evidently he sucked in ’94).

            http://www.nhl94.com/html/teamprofile.php?team=WPG

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh I just meant whatever hockey version I played on PS1, I don’t even remember which one it was.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            NHL96 sounds about right for PS1. if not NHL96, then 97 for sure.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Best thread derailment EVAR!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Lol. Someday I’d like to get up to Winnipeg just for the hell of it. Flights are stupid expensive though from my airport, over a grand.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Let me know when, I’ll get over there and give you the 5 cent tour.

            Where abouts are you based?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dave

            I’m in Pittsburgh. Got up to Toronto in 2012 but haven’t been far outside this region since then.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Or more!

      • 0 avatar
        PRNDLOL

        I would say easily 1.6 mil, so yep.

        • 0 avatar
          BunkerMan

          A house like that on the east coast of Canada would probably run you $200k, depending on the neighbourhood. If it’s in the country, $60k.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Yep, the same house in Windsor, only 3.5 hours from that same house in TO would struggle to fetch 250k.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Is it because Windsor is only 3.5 minutes from Detroit? Or 3.5 hours depending on bridge traffic.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            In many ways, Windsor has the same affliction of Detroit, being a cyclic, auto-centric city.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I like Windsor. I go to Windsor often, and not just for the Windsor Ballet or the Casino. I assume the recent parity of the US and Canadian dollar has hurt businesses is Windsor. I see more Canadians shopping in the US than Americans shopping in Canada. The amount of Canadian nurses and health care workers working in SE Michigan is also significant.

      • 0 avatar
        daver277

        You can buy a house like that in Vancouver BC for about $80,000.
        Unfortunately, the dirt costs about $1.2M and it’s package deal.

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    SERIOUSLY ??? Has everyone on this site gone absolutely stark raving mad ? Or worse yet completely Head in the Sand uninformed as well as having lost all semblance of discernment ?

    Here’s the reality fix … or the TTAJC if you prefer ;

    #1 What it is .. is a now decades old FIAT/Alfa Romeo masquerading as a JEEP [ how in gods name is that in any way good ? ]

    #2 Its pretense of AWD comes direct from the former iron curtain built Suzuki SX4 FIAT builds as the 500L and the new mini JEEP [ ok for a toy car ... but for a JEEP ? ]

    #3 The quality fit and finish is beyond abysmal … reaching well below the depths of H/K standards .. cheap as all ___ sums it up nicely

    #4 Performance wise in comparison to the competition .. its a dog in every respect

    #5 Reliability wise … its a freaking FIAT with a JEEP moniker on its snout . Considering the reliability record of both brands over the last ten years all bets are it’ll be a maintenance nightmare from the get go

    #6 Price wise .. and value for the dollar … the competition wipes the Cherokee off the plate and buries it into the grave it so well deserves

    And this … is in any way shape or form …. good ?

    People actually wonder why the manufactures keep dumping garbage on the consumers year after year .. recall after recall ? This is why . Most having lost all aspects of discernment , good decision making .. or reality …preferring the easier in the short term way of falling for the propaganda dumped on them by the manufactures marketing mavens

    Marchionne’s Madness . Almost … and I do mean …. almost … as good a Propaganda Machine as the folks from VW-Audi … almost

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Stop sugar-coating it and tell us how you really feel.

    • 0 avatar
      Timtoolman

      Objective, are we?

    • 0 avatar

      gtrslngr, Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it seems most of yours are just preconceived notions.
      #1 Could be it’s that old, I don’t know, but Alfa’s/Fiat’s have always driven well so it could help Jeep on road drive-ability.
      #2 Suzuki and Fiat co-developed that system. Suzuki had good off road experience and the Panda’s 4×4 capacity is no that bad either.
      #3 Derek seems to disagree. I’ll take his word for it.
      #4 I can’t say but Derek mentioned the poor mileage, but didn’t talk of performance.
      #5 It’s not your 70s or 80s Fiat anymore. As to Chrysler, I can’t say, but seems can of harsh to judge and condemn a new car right off the gate.
      #6 I can’t say anything as i’m not particularly interested in this segment so I don’t pay attention to its pricing.

      Is it good? Yes it is. Fiat taking up Chrysler means that both Chrysler (and Jeep) and Fiat are still around, fighting it out one more time. I for one hopes it works as I’ve always been partial to Fiat’s cars and Chrysler’s, too. More choice, more competition. Better for car buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        gtrslngr

        Marcelo de V.

        #1 It IS that old … look it up . The platform is well over ten years old and been used multiple times by FIAT SpA …as FIAT’s Alfa’s and Lancia’s .. and if you’ve ever read the EU/UK reviews of that platform and the cars built upon it you’d take back your words about it ‘ helping ‘ the JEEP’s handling toot suite
        #2Wrong again … Suzuki developed the SX4′s AWD on their own way before FIAT SpA had anything to do with them .. and then FIAT SpA licensed it in order to build their own version as well as manufacture the EU/UK version in their former Iron Curtain plant … hoping to make a few Euro’s to carry them thru … didn’t work btw
        #3Derek doesn’t know squat about what a JEEP should be … nor what FIAT’s have been for the last ten years .. and on that I’d gladly go toe to toe with the man !
        #4The performance is a joke … drive one and find out for yourself
        #5 FIAT is FIAT and has always been the same POS FIAT SpA … which is precisely why FIAT SpA is in the financial toilet .. has been for the last 20 years and is depending on Chrysler/JEEP’s sales [ here\'s a serious joke in the making ] to bail them out …
        6 Take my word for it …. as with any JEEP … price is its least desirable attribute … go price one sometime … after you’ve optioned it barely reasonable well

        IT IS .. like everything coming out of Chrysler/JEEP and FIAT SpA [ including Ferrari\'s .. take my word on that one ] a genuine bonafide pile of crap waiting to fall apart before your very eyes

        Don’t believe me ? [ about FIAT ] ask anyone overseas … they’re still crap …. as are Alfa Romeo’s .. rebadged Chrysler /Lancias … and yes .. Maserati’s and Ferrari’s … you like weekly expensive repair bills ? Go right ahead …. buy anything from FIAT SpA … guaranteed .. on that they will not let you down

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Since I OWN a Jeep and have seen Fiat’s efforts first hand, I can say so far they’re doing a dam* better job than Daimler with the product.

        • 0 avatar

          Well, I’ve bought 6 so far and all have been very good, no complaints. Though I’m a budget minded and at the moment in Brazil, no one can touch Renault’s line on cost/benefit, there are at least 4 Fiat products I’ll take a long hard look at before buying. Anticipating a possible response from you, our Renault Logan we bought new 5 years ago has been very good and that’s also a big reason why Renault is our favorite.

          Things change. Things that are down go up and vice versa. The Japanese you seem to favor are under attack from various fronts and the cracks are showing.

          Finally calling a recovering company POS is a risk. Your opinion could be qualified the same ina short while.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I can’t comment on most of this but what I can point out is most of the recent Chrysler “success stories” were with product developed when Chrysler was owned by Daimler (RAM, JGC, 300, Charger, Compass etc). Until recently Fiat designed product has been limited to my knowledge with the exception of the niche 500 and Dart, the latter of which essentially was a flop. Now four more Fiat sourced products will be offered (500L, Cherokee, New 200, Renegade). We’ll see how those fare, if there are issues I might look to design over assembly as the other success models seem to have been assembled well.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey 28! What you write is true. However, we cannot forget that both Chrysler and Fiat have been working on and developing these things along the way. The cars improved after Mercedes left due to Chrysler’s own efforts. Then, they improved a bit more due to Fiat’s. People think that Fiat’s only contributions to Chrysler have been a much improved design language and better care for interior materials choice and fit. But its contribution has not been only in design. Don’t forget that while they got Chrysler for “nothing” they have already already and are still putting in huge amounts of money into Chrysler factories, tooling and production technology. Things like paint shop, quality control, worker training. It’s all going on back stage and adds to the different feel you get when you sit in a newer Chrysler compared to one of even a few years ago. They are tangible in the better design, but they’re also there in what you can’t see.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Ah very true. I also have no doubts Auburn Hills folks are involved with developing and tweaking the platforms they are given for the various model requirements. The only issue I can see is in if the constraints they are given themselves have design issues or are too limiting to complete the model requirements. For example you are given platform ABC say a B-class European hatchback sedan. You’re on an engineering team are tasked with building a CUV, a sports coupe/conv, and a traditional sedan with this platform, and it all must offer AWD. If your platform wasn’t designed for this, you might struggle with fitting in the additional differential or transmission and need to alter the platform. If automotive engineering is anything like software engineering, your BA/PM might reject this for business reasons and force to work with the constraints. You as an engineer have to apply critical thinking and come up with a solution, and this solution may introduce technical or quality issues into the system which may not have happened if you were able to use your original design choice/parts choice. These kinds of challenges frequently occur in software development, I can’t speak for auto development but I imagine it can occur.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s where good engineering come in. As a guy who once worked at Fiat told me, “building a Ferrari is easy, building an Uno is the tough one”. What he meant was exactly that. In a Ferrari there is “no” cost constraint. You do what you have to do in order to do what you think is needed. The customer will pay later. In an Uno, there are compromises. If you put too much money there, you have to make up for it elsewhere.

            But it can be done. Makers routinely stretch, shorten, widen platforms as needed. It’s not cheap nor easy but it can be done. They put on and change equipment as needed. An example is the Palio family in Brazil. Originally a hatch, it spawned a sedan (the least changed), a SW (stretched wheelbase), a PU (even more stretched and heavy duty), a commercial van (stretched and heavy duty, too). Some of these vans, SWs and PUs were exported, even to Western Europe. Some had diesel engines (lines, exhaust, engine managing, etc. – changes everything), natural gas engines (ditto), some even had 4×4 systems, which again changes the suspension layout.

            The platforms that underpin the Cherokee are new. I bet that when Fiat built it they knew a CUV would be on it. In Brazil they’re using that platform to develop the new Strada pick-up.

            There are compromises, but most where foreseen when the platform was originally designed.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s a good point on the Ferrari vs Uno conundrum. Most software tends to err on the side of “Uno” in your analogy but some mission critical systems for high margin or lifesaving products tend to give you the resources to do what you think is best.

          • 0 avatar

            28, and that where good management comes in. To make those calls and decide what’s best, because for most companies, their “Unos” bring home the bacon, while their “Ferrari” is just to feel good (a marketing exercise, if you will).

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The difference is that Fiat put in the money to actually refine the Daimler-derived products. The Daimler regime was so cheap that it took fundamentally decent products and cost-cut all the goodness out of them. Fiat’s increased investment in the older products bodes well for the refinement of the newer products, although I’m skeptical about the basic product planning from what I’ve seen so far.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Good point.

        • 0 avatar

          Exactly dal20402, pretty much what I said just above you. As to product planning, they’ll be some bumps along the way, afterall they’re Italians and think of things differently, although from what I hear, the Italo-American integration has been smoother than what many feared. Smoother, mind you, not perfect.

        • 0 avatar
          th009

          They SPENT money, yes, but it was Chrysler money that was spent, not Fiat money — income that was enabled by the bankruptcy. Fiat hasn’t had a dime to spare for product development in the last half a dozen years or so.

          • 0 avatar

            Didn’t they get a bunch of bank credit a while back? It’s under their name even if, and I don’t know really, if Chrysler is the “guarantee”. What I do know is that they have been scraping every penny and sending it Chrysler’s way. The new factory here has been delayed a couple of times, and part of the reason why was the investment in America. A while back they announced a plan to spend here I don’t know how many billion dollars. That has been curtailed by a billion or two (it’ll get here, but not in the original timeframe). So some how or another they have put their own money there too. Fiat operations the world over know and feel the pinch (to put it nicely)every day. And at the end of the day, Chrysler money is now Fiat’s, or even better, there’s no Chrysler or Fiat money, only FCA money.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Marcelo: What too many here don’t seem to realize is that Chrysler itself is being seen in Europe in greater numbers than ever with this Fiat lash-up. Not only as the Chrysler brand, but modified versions are carrying the Maserati brand as well and apparently quite successfully.

            What’s more interesting to me is that American design is starting to influence the European and Asian markets as the Chrysler-designed products are showing improved sales while Ford and GM’s European designs are weakening there.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @28-cars: The Compass wasn’t exactly a success, and while the JK Wrangler is a huge success, Daimler also went the ‘cheap’ route on a few aspects which Fiat is actively working to resolve. I can’t say anything to the Dart at the moment, but my guess is that they simply underpowered it as the newer model is reported as noticeably improved.

        What I have been reading and hearing in the global market is that Fiat’s product lines almost across the board are superior vehicles in their different classes, though not necessarily the top model in any one class. Alfas are highly desirable as are the newer Chrysler-based Maserati, the Ferrari and even the Lancia. True, some of these brands are struggling for sales in their native Europe, but that’s due more to the still-depressed European economy than any weakness in the products. Many of Europe’s oldest brands are struggling just to survive despite significant improvements in their product lines. Meanwhile, the Fiat 500 appears to be remarkably popular in Europe and is gaining a visible foothold here in the States.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’m not up on the numbers but the Compass/Patriot seem to have sold well here in the Northeast as they are a frequent sight. Regarding Dart, a better motor would certainly help but I wonder if the model will ever have a chance to do well. Since they botched the launch and the segment is so competitive, the “Dart” brand may never shine as bright as it could have shone.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Remember the Neon, it wasn’t that much better in its day and yet became almost ubiquitous. For that matter, for how much it was panned the old Chevy Vega was remarkably popular. Let’s give it some time and see what happens. Considering how close the Chrysler 200 is to the current Dart in size, some of the 200′s launch may rub off.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The Compatriot is essentially one model, combined they sell about 150k units a year lately. That ain’t bad.

            They got off to a bad start when they were released due to a collapse in the market and the fact that the pre-refresh versions had crude fit and finish.

      • 0 avatar
        gtrslngr

        Wrong on this one 28 .. The ‘ new ‘ [ cough hack ] Cherokee is all Marchionne and companies responsibility and was completely done under their watch . What … you really think for a moment anyone other than FIAT SpA would use anything FIAT to base a car on ?

        Nope … anything FIAT based in the new FCA … is FIAT’s bad and no one else’s . The last JEEP that was in the Daimler archives was in fact the new Grand Cherokee [ which is a M-B ML Class underneath ... lost in translation ]

        And that … along with the new Viper [ M-B AMG SLS underneath ] and the last of the Charger/Challengers [ M-B E Class ] is all she wrote from the Daimler Benz days … they is no more … they gets no more … Daimler’s contract is done … and its all on Marchionne’s head from here on in

        Any bets how long it’ll take for Marchionne to drag FCA to its knees ? Better yet …. any bets who goes down first ? FCA… or GM ? Much as I’d like to see it be GM first … I’ll bet its FCA by a good year or more ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree Cherokee is a Fiat sourced product, that’s what I said:

          “Now four more Fiat sourced products will be offered (500L, Cherokee, New 200, Renegade).”

          Regarding Sergio, he’s been using Chrysler as a cash register to prop up Fiat’s European operations from what I understand. If things start to go wrong economically, I imagine he will lean on RAM and Jeep for profits and simply perpetuate the Daimler derived LX platform indefinitely as the new “Panther”. If things turn into a panic, he’ll liquidate Chrysler. I don’t imagine the Agnelli family will allow its European brands to be shuttered.

          Chrysler may be doing many things right at the moment but they don’t have the market cap GM has, and therefore is not “too big to fail”. Worst case scenario RAM is sold to either a Japanese marque for legitimate “‘murican truck cred” or a Chinese brand to be used to slowly introduce Chinese built product (i.e. Volvo). Jeep would be sold to either the Chinese for the same reasons or perhaps one of the two domestics. Dodge/Chrysler brands would simply be shuttered and the factories sold off or shut down.

          GM itself will not be allowed to completely go away, at least in the next fifteen years or so. Democrats will max out the Federal credit card to save their union cashflow and Republicans will look like savages by moderates and conservatives alike if they don’t save the jobs (hence GWB’s initial bailout in the first place). If Chrysler had similar market cap and footprint, I’d argue the same for them.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          The Viper is not based on an MB chassis in any way – in fact the chassis is really not all that different from the first generation models from the 1990′s.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            gtrslngr’s “telling it like it is” is just telling ignorance along with some unsubstantiated opinion.

            He probably read some of these half facts on the internet somewhere and believed every word without checking into it.

            The new Viper was being developped along side the MB SLS AMG, but when Daimler split, they took any chance of sharing between the two with them. Therefore the new Viper shares nothing with the SLS.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Haters gotta hate.

      #1 It’s not a “decades old” platform; that particular platform is only about 5 or 6 years old at the most and that doesn’t even consider the changes to fit the larger, heavier body on it. Subsequently, the suspension and drivetrain are effectively all-new for this platform.

      #2 The transmission itself is all-new, along with the rest of the drivetrain. It may not have the DANA rated axles, but then, it’s not exactly meant to take on the Rubicon Trail either–although it has. This Cherokee is far more capable than the Compass/Patriot twins.

      #3 The fit and finish are quite good. After hearing so many scare stories like yours I went to look at them myself and find them far better than previous vehicles I’ve purchased brand-new–well worth the price tag in my opinion.

      #4 Performance in respect to the competition: Well, I’ll admit I haven’t taken one off road yet, but I’ve found it surprisingly peppy for a V6 automatic; most V6 automatics I’ve driven were pretty weak until recently.

      #5 Reliability? We’ll just have to wait and see. Since Fiat is new again to the American market, we have to start fresh; we simply can’t automatically attach their 40-year-old reputation to an all-new iteration. So far, I’ve not heard any relevant negativity about Fiat products whatsoever.

      #6 I will agree that the Cherokee models seem overpriced, but when compared to their less-expensive competitors, they’re also notably more capable in the places where Jeep has earned its name–handling the kinds of conditions that strand most other cars–even AWD models. A good driver might be able to take one of those cheaper rigs into the woods and get out again, but a Cherokee can take an average driver out and back.

      You are obviously prejudiced against Fiat and apparently it’s for no good reason. You want garbage with recall after recall, look far closer to home than Fiat/Chrysler. It’s those other brands that are taking the shortcuts and it’s really starting to show.

      • 0 avatar
        gtrslngr

        #1 Like to place a $10,000 bet on that ? You’ll lose

        FYI I’m not a ‘ hater’ just simply telling it like it is rather than accepting the Delusions being put forth . You’d be well advised in light of the rest of your misinformation to do the same

        Ot are you presently an FCA employee ?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I don’t have that kind of available spending money.

          However, I’m not being delusional when FIAT/Chrysler took care of a DAIMLER/Chrysler problem on my current Jeep. The issue? Daimler put el-cheapo rubber brake lines on my ’08 Wrangler, which forced the complete replacement of lines, calipers and rotors on all four wheels. Despite being out of warranty, Fiat/Chrysler refunded the cost in my case and replaced the lines with more durable, longer lasting ones.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      The 4WD system on the Cherokee has no relation to the Suzuki SX4/Fiat Sedici. You are probably thinking of the upcoming Jeep Renegade.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Yes, this new Jeep Cherokee is such a disaster that Jeep, as a volume brand, had the biggest percentage increase in sales last month. Clearly your tunnel vision viewpoint is not shared by those who actually count, the people who are out in the marketplace and deciding where to put their hard earned dollar to best use.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      How old is the Wrangler platform?

  • avatar
    LeeK

    Good for you, Derek, having the temerity to revisit your initial review and give Jeep another chance with a production vehicle. It’s encouraging to see that a number of the items have been rectified, and that there is still work to do. But this is what makes TTAC great — a reviewer willing to go back and qualify their initial impressions.

    While there is no question that the CR-V and RAV4 beat the Cherokee in regards to interior space, their off-road capabilities are close to nil. For those people that live on unpaved roads that are infrequently plowed in the winters or those young active couples that like to go camping, mountain biking, or hiking in state and national parks, the Cherokee offers a bit of piece of mind as they barrel down logging trails to their campsites. The trade-off in utility may be worth it. I don’t know if Jeep ever expected to seriously challenge the Cute-Utes in regard to sales volumes as no one ever will need the off-road bits to bring home stuff from Target or Costco. But there is probably enough of the people that do need a bit of off-road prowess that don’t want to step up to the more expensive Grand Cherokee.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed Leek. Derek did a great job, but I wouldn’t expect any less of him. He has shown to be able to hit hard when it’s called for as well as see the good in things.

      I also think this shows some responsiveness from FCA. They probably did read Derek’s article and someone was likely put on top of the problems mentioned. It also seems to show the launch delay was more than compensated due to the improvements made.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “While there is no question that the CR-V and RAV4 beat the Cherokee in regards to interior space, their off-road capabilities are close to nil. For those people that live on unpaved roads that are infrequently plowed in the winters or those young active couples that like to go camping, mountain biking, or hiking in state and national parks, the Cherokee offers a bit of piece of mind as they barrel down logging trails to their campsites. The trade-off in utility may be worth it.”

      Unless you’re talking about the Trailhawk, you can get about the same level of off-road capability with no compromise in utility with a Forester. The difference between Cherokee/Forester and CR-V/RAV4 comes down to better AWD systems and more ground clearance.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        People keep mentioning the Forester as a competitor, and while it absolutely is on paper (and a good deal better at accommodating people and stuff), the people who matter (i.e., younger people, often women, with younger children) often reject the Forester because, even after several redesigns and proportion adjustments, it’s “too wagon-y.” I’m often called upon to help friends with car shopping, and when they specify a CUV-type car, I show them the Forester, and that’s usually the response I get. No amount of logical argument about how it’s objectively a better fit for their needs trumps “too wagon-y.”

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you! It took a lot of convincing to let Chrysler give me another one. I hope to do the same with the MKZ as well.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      You make a good point as far as people perceiving that they need a bit more reassurance in terms of adequate ground clearance and maybe some sturdier and longer travel suspension than a CRV or Rav4 may offer. Another poster below me is correct (IMO) in that the Forester is exactly that. Subarus have always had longer traveling suspensions than the typical cute-utes. Cherokee (non Trailhawk) has no edge here, even its optional low range gives no advantage for this type of driving (slippery/rutted fire roads). Heck I’m as guilty as anyone, I enjoy the capability of my 4runner on forest roads that I see Civics/Corollas on all the time.

      I think the problem is that same couple will want a roomy trunk when they go camping, especially if they have pets or children. Bonus points if the seats fold flat and the area is long enough/wide enough to sleep in.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      The only worthwhile off-road bits on the Cherokee are the tow hooks.

      Even in Trailhawk guise the Cherokee is only marginally more capable than the average CUV and has little to no capacity for modification.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Have you actually tried one off-road to verify your statements, or are you merely expressing an opinion?

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          No and I don’t need to. I’m simply regurgitating what many pro off-road reviewers, who are much more qualified that I am, have already stated.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And what do these same “pro off-road reviewers” say about ANY of the Cherokee’s so-called competition? Dude, you’re talking about guys who specialize in lifting and rock-crawling, not expedition-style off-roading. Compare the Cherokee to the Outback, the Forester, the bloomin’ ROVER, for heaven’s sake! Not to jacked up Road Whales™ of pickup trucks and Hummer H1s or even the Wrangler itself. In fact, I’m willing to bet they’ll pan the next-generation Wrangler for its fully independent suspension when it comes out, but how will that FIS affect its off-road manners?

            Nearly every new Jeep model over the last 40 years has garnered complaints from the ‘older school’ that it’s not a “true Jeep”, then eded up adopted as the new standard instead. Unless you’re a rock-crawler, a swamp runner or a desert racer, you really shouldn’t care what “professional off-road reviewers” have to say.

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        Um, me thinks you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. No other CUV in this class has the same off-road capability as a Cherokee Trailhawk.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          Agreed – what other CUV has an available low range and an axle locker?

          • 0 avatar
            azmtbkr81

            None – and for good reason, a low range and locker write checks that CUV’s bumpers, suspension, transmission, steering, and tires can’t cash.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Based on already-demonstrated capabilities, the Cherokee’s bumpers, suspension, transmission, steering and tires have been cashing in on that check rather well.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            But that’s precisely what makes the Jeep different from its competitors – it has available capability that none of them can match.

            If the hypothetical zombie apocalypse were to happen (or perhaps something more mundane like a flood or an earthquake), you won’t care about damaging the bumpers if it means saving your life.

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          Tallest midget scenario if there ever was one.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “and has little to no capacity for modification.”

        Then you aren’t very determined. People said the same thing about the latest Grand Cherokee, but there are plenty of “lift modz” on the market now.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Determined = $$$. The beauty of BOF and/or solid axle vehicles is that a lift can be done very cheaply and easily, even by the DIY guy. Some body lift pucks to get clearance for bigger tires, leaf spring kits or taller coil springs, maybe some extended brake lines or panhard rod.

          With a car such as this, the angle of the CV joint, space constriction by the spring perches on the front struts, and control arm geometry all conspire against bigger tires and lifts. Just ask the small group of Subie guys that do it. You end up dropping the subframe lower in order to keep CV joints at reasonable angles, and all sorts of other unpleasant things.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            No doubt that few if any will make competition rock crawlers or full-on swamp buggies out of KL Cherokees. All but the 0.001% will care. 1-2″ lifts and bigger tires will be possible, and that’s about the maximum extent that the 99.999% of potential buyers would ever want.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    CR ranked Jeep dead last, just ahead of Ford. They found the Cherokee wanting to say the least.

  • avatar
    Timtoolman

    I was at the Atlanta Auto Show yesterday and Jeep had its display/ride along outside the Georgia World Congress Center. We took the ride, in both a Wrangler and the new Cherokee. The ramps were set at 35 degrees, one taken with R/S tires, the other two were straight up and down. Both vehicles handled the ramps with ease. The driver pointed out these inclines were driven up at 1500 RPM, and there was no revving or struggle to get up the ramps. I was fairly impressed.

    On the downside; if I were to consider a CUV/SUV (other than the Wrangler I plan to buy), I would wait until the 200/Avenger/Journey comes out next year. My friend is thrilled with his current Journey, and I have to think the CUSW version with a 9-speed would be a huge improvement, bigger than the Cherokee, and probably a bit cheaper.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Is that house in Toronto north of Queen St. E, south of Gerrard St, east of Woodbine and west of Victoria Pk, am I right?

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I looked at one when they hit the lots, and just recently I went to our local “auto show” at the convention center.

    Seriously, you people really need to take a closer at these things. Get your knees dirty, look under the vehicle some. The interior wheel wells and body panels are so cheap, are so thin. They were about the same as the Dart’s. But surprise, the Fiat 500? A little thicker and more solid. Then I walked over to Toyota’s SUV offerings; solid metal covered in undercoating. I own Jeep’s, I love Jeep’s, this is straight disappointing. My 06′ Liberty is built out of far more substantial materials and construction than this new Cherokee….. still can’t compete with the Toyota’s though; and I hate Toyota’s.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Potholes are also a problem in Baltimore, where one particularly nasty one all but did in the already rickety Saturn belonging to a friend of mine. Now that he has a kid, he wants more cargo space than the tiny tinny sedan. His eye is fixed on Subarus – either the Outback or Forester – due to their higher ground clearance and practicality. Considering the Cherokee has less space than a CR-V, it may be a hard sell, but I’m still bringing it up, along with the CX-5.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Derek, the fact that you don’t gloss over build quality defects and such is what makes your reviews such good reads, that you’re not afraid to tell when the Emporers bare.

    The Cherokees 19 city mpg is what I expect for an SUV, but I’d also expect it to be roomier. How much space is taken up by off roady stuff vs the dreaded Nissan Aztek styling?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’ll admit that my needs are different from most in that I’m not a “family man”. I have a wife and a dog… that’s it. No kids and no need to carry bunches of people around. As such, the back seat of my vehicles are “dog seats” covered in white dog hair as he sheds profusely. For me, I have no complaint about the supposed less room because when the back seats are folded down that ‘limited’ cargo space opens up quite a bit–though obviously not as much as a 3-row SUV would.

      An individual should look at their needs as well as their wants. Maybe, just maybe, the Cherokee will be both too much and not enough vehicle for philadlj’s friend. But one thing it would offer is a much more securely handling vehicle in treacherous road conditions as seen during snowstorms and hurricanes; both a threat in the Baltimore region. At one time I had considered a Subaru myself, but when it came down to actual purchases I now own a Jeep Wrangler as my daily driver and I live only 50 miles out of Baltimore. My next consideration is between a Renegade to replace my pickup truck (and an inexpensive utility trailer I can fit under my back deck) or a true compact pickup truck that can meet my minimal hauling needs. The Wrangler can tow any trailer I ever expect to tow.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I have said this often elsewhere that one of the things I find attractive about the new Cherokee is that it’s less desirable amongst it’s peers to those seeking a more family friendly layout and less likely to be relegated to mommy-car status (CR-V, RAV4, any Lexus…)

  • avatar
    LeeK

    Derek, I just went back in the archives and watched Alex Dykes’ video review of the Cherokee and noted that he found back-seat comfort to be excellent, something he claimed was best in the segment with the exception of the Forester. He sits in the back at the 7:00 minute mark and shows a couple of inches of knee and head room in all three positions. Your findings and the comments of others are different. I wonder what accounts for that?

  • avatar
    slance66

    I was eagerly awaiting this vehicle when shopping to replace my wife’s Lexus RX350 (which we decided to repair and keep). I don’t think it will make the cut when we do replace it. The interior room vs weight/size compromise is just not there. It’s not like this is significantly more off road capable than the competition, or will be much better in snow (what many really look for in AWD). The looks are ok, although the back bothers me some, but I’d be hard pressed to pick it over an Escape.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I question your reasoning, though I acknowledge individual needs vary. If I didn’t already own a Wrangler I’ll admit I’m highly tempted by the Cherokee. However, the Renegade is my more likely next choice as the Wrangler fits my larger SUV needs. If I ever get rid of the Wrangler I *might* consider the Cherokee–though if Jeep comes out with a pickup truck the Wrangler’s a goner.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Shouldn’t you be comparing a Grand Cherokee as an RX350 replacement instead of a Cherokee? Like comparing a CR-V as a replacement for your RX350. Really different classes of vehicles.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    A recent rental of the Cherokee wasn’t at all impressive. I can see the effort Chrysler put into this but to me it’s just a half of mediocre. Even with the top of the line it screamed out cheap. The Mazda, Toyota and Ford models are noticeably higher in quality, craftsmanship and overall driving impression. Just my opinion…

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      As the old saying goes, opinions are like a$$holes, everybody has one.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        It seems that a lot of people have a skewed ides of what “cheap” means, or they haven’t actually done any real comparing. Derek and Alex review more cars than the lot of us, if their opinion is that this vehicle’s interior is nicer than the competition, I believe them. Plus, they make an effort to explain their assertions.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Annnnnd since he’s recently rented 4 similarly sized CUVs and I haven’t, his opinion counts four times as much as mine.

  • avatar
    hifi

    When a vehicle is this ugly, diving into the details of its good or bad-ness are almost pointless. I can see the functional beauty of the Isuzu Vehicross or the Honda Ridgeline. Maybe even the Honda Element or the Pontiac Aztek. But there is no excuse for a car that’s as painfully conventional from the A-pillar to the D-pillar, then a spazzy design mess from the windshield forward with no appreciable functional benefits.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    “Jeep” used to mean “more off road than the competition” a few years back.

    The original Cherokee was cramped and spartan, but it was also a mule off road, and the boxy styling had a simplistic beauty to it. You still see heavily modified examples on serious trails here in Colorado.

    The current Cherokee is a car based POS.

    It sucks off road and on.

    Compared to crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 it looks like it was assembled by monkeys with hammers. I have yet to see one around here that doesn’t have plastic Saturn panel gaps.

    Compared to the remaining body on frame SUVs like the 4Runner, or the Wrangler it sucks off road.

    The Jeep brand is dead. We don’t need some Italian douchebags putting nails in the coffin. The Wrangler is the last real Jeep, if they ruin that, they might as well just rebadge FIATs and sell them exclusively in San Fran.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Long term this strategy will spell disaster for Jeep.

      I’ve had a number of non-enthusiast friends comment on their disappointment that the Cherokee is nothing like the old one followed up with “Gee if I wanted one of THOSE I would just buy a CR-V!”

      One friend in particular ended up with Wrangler, which is probably overkill for the off-road driving he does, he wanted a Jeep and felt like he had no other option. I can’t say I disagree.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        A lot of people said the same thing about previous Jeep models. Doesn’t seem to have slowed them down one bit and some of those models actually worked BETTER than their predecessors.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Yep, enthusiasts cried when the JGC went from solid axles at both ends, to IFS, then fully independent. Yet, they sell more at higher prices than they have in a long long time.

          Why anyone is upset over the Cherokee becoming more car-like is beyond me. Jeep makes the Wrangler Unlimited which exactly does what an XJ Cherokee did.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            Amen. The mountain goats are still available, and the valet fodder is making an entrance. Meanwhile Jeep attracts new customers that never considered them because of their past ride harshness, and Jeep cries all the way to the bank.

            Win-win.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    LOL at anyone who buys a jeep for gas mileage or on road comfort. My 93 cherokee gets a whopping 16 mpg with the HO 4.0 and 8.25 rear, and i feel every single bump on the road. But you know, I absolutely love it for that, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Solid front and rear axle actually get me places offroad, while pulling out stuck explorers and blazers with their independent front suspension. Front wheel drive? That’s just a joke. I told my buddy about this thing and he legitimately thought I was fooling him. FWD? In a jeep cherokee? Yeah ok you can tell me it’s good offroad all day but sorry, it’s apparent you don’t know a SINGLE thing about offroading to begin with. I will keep this until it’s rotted in the ground due to cny salt, and then buy another used one.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It’s nice to finally hear an XJ owner be honest, or at least accurate about their fuel economy claims. I’ve heard XJ faithful claim they average 20mpg in a 4.0L equipped model. I have one too, and their claims are either ignorance or lies.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      Chrysler employees have driven new Cherokees the whole length of the Rubicon trail without winching, scraping panels, or using additional equipment for traction. It may be behind the XJ on “the tale of the tape” but in the ring there’s little difference.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    More small/midsize CUV buyers should cross-shop the Toyota Prius V and the Ford CMax. The C-Max has similar cargo room to the Jeep Cherokee, but a much better back seat. My C-Max’s mpg took a hit during the freezing, snowy winter, all the way down to 36 MPG. That’s still a lot better than the 15 MPG that Derek got with the Jeep. (It’s back in the mid-40s now.) With its 188 horsepower, the C-Max performs like a V-6 CUV. If you want Honda CRV like cargo room, the Prius V is the answer.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    So this is 1mpg less than my last calculated tank which was almost exclusively spent doing stop and go in Louisville in my gas hog of a crew cab v6 Frontier. I don’t think it is terrible and it has been warmer here of late, but I would have expected more given all the tricks employed in the Cherokee. I guess the extra gears don’t do much for you in this type driving and frankly, if I lived somewhere where this was my normal type of driving I’d probably get a Fiesta or something.

    It is funny though, everyone always gripes about CUVs and there lack of any off road chops and here is one that is fairly stoutly built with a bit of clearance and a low range and we shred it. You can’t have it all man.

    Im out of the whole rock and trail scene and to be completely honest a Patriot with the dual range cvt deal would probably get me anywhere I am inclined to go nowadays.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I’ve driven three different Cherokees and never have I noticed any brake issues. No pedal almost to the floor, nothing to note at all. I drove it like I wanted to and had zero complaints. The ride quality was ok, fine, IMHO. My only complaints are nit picky stuff and I think the front end is bizarre, but all in all, it’s not nearly as ugly as the present Camaro is.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I drive one of the “platform mates” to the Cherokee (a Dart) and I think the brakes are great – pedal is nice and firm, and brake response is very linear to the amount of effort applied. The brakes themselves are strong, quiet and don’t produce much dust at all. With 22K miles on the car, no sign of any pedal pulsation or other problems that a lot of modern cars seem to suffer from. I read a lot of reviews when the Dart lauched about “grabby” brakes, but I’ve never experienced that at all. The only car I’ve ever owned that had better feeling/performing brakes was my Merkur Scorpio.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Here’s my experience with a lot of “modern” cars: In order to reduce weight, manufacturers tend to put the absolute minimum-spec rotors they can get away with on the assembly line. They work fine for 20-40K miles, then wear down to the point that they have to be replaced. Replacements also tend to be minimum-spec so again you have to replace them relatively quickly. On the other hand, Chrysler–even when it was Daimler/Chrysler–put heavier brakes on their Jeeps (I can’t say to their other models). Where Daimler screwed up on the Jeeps was in the material of their brake lines (I had to have them replaced all the way around on my ’08–along with rotors and pads as they all got burnt from drag when the lines collapsed).

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    15mpg out of a vehicle weighing in at 4 000lbs seems quite high.

    I had a 3.5 V6 4×4 Kia Sorento that I thought had atrocious FE at 18mpg average. It even weighed in at 2 100kg or 4 620lbs.

    I think a 2.7 VM diesel fitted to the Wrangler would be a great engine for this vehicle. I would really expect over 30mpg on the highway and well over 20mpg around town.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      That 15 mpg is one data point. We don’t know how it was calculated. You need to average of several tankfuls to get a realistic number.

      Did the test start with a full tank? How much time was spent warming up? Was traffic gridlocked? Was the car left idling?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Given the current shape of the Wrangler, about the only way to get 30mpg out of it is to drive between 40-50 mph in top gear or take a really long downhill slope at 55. I’ve managed 25mpg on my JKU, but always at lower speed (no more than 60) on the downhill side of a mountain range. Then again, I also have the older V6 out of a Caravan and not the newer Pentastar. (Would love to swap to a Pentastar, but swap is pricy.) At 200 hp, I don’t feel it’s a weak engine as some do, but the higher horsepower does mean I could probably cruise at a lower rpm maintaining my usual speeds.

      Diesel is no longer an option for me. Sure, I love the mileage and the extended range potential, but fuel costs don’t balance the increased mileage where I live as diesel costs a minimum of 40¢/gallon more than regular gas.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Vulpine
        I’m on my third day with a tank of diesel touring around the Top End of the Northern Territory.

        I’ve driven 800km and I still have 3/8 of a tank left.

        Doing a very rough calculation I’m getting over 36mpg (US). But I’ve been driving at around 90kph (55mph) to 100kph (62mph). My pickup weighs 4 700lbs and is a 4×4.

        It’s all open road, actually very open road with a couple of hundred kilometers between stops. I set the cruise and let it go until I need to turn off to enjoy some sight seeing.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          BAF0 never stops or hits traffic. All flatland or downhill at 55 mph and gets refueled ‘copter tanker… Him and norm’s magic Vulvo

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          As I said, Al, I like the mileage but the cost becomes prohibitive here in the States. At 40¢ per gallon more, a fill up which would cost me $70 (from near empty) for regular gas goes up over $80 for diesel and with the boxy shape of my Wrangler I would probably realize only 100 miles more per tank. It sounds great, until you realize you paid 10¢ per mile more than gas for that range. Even with that diesel, the Jeep is a slab nose in the wind. Your Mazda is significantly more aerodynamic.

          As I said, I have achieved 25mpg with my older-model engine and I might achieve 27 with the newer one, but I still don’t expect the diesel to exceed 30mpg with the shape of the Wrangler.

          I’m still not too certain that a diesel–even a small one–can handle the constant acceleration/deceleration of in-town traffic for short runs. Yes, I know delivery trucks do it all the time, but they’re run hard all-day, every day in most cases where the typical consumer’s car gets run a couple times a day and just sits the rest of the time. The block rarely gets a chance to get to operating temperature long enough to ‘soak’ through the metal before it’s cooling down again. They’re still better for long-hours operations than the kinds of low mileage the typical car sees annually. I’m willing to be taught differently–but not on my own dollar.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        The bigger problem with diesel here in the US is the cost of acquisition with all of the emissions equipment required to meet our standards. The DOC/DPF and SCR systems add thousands of dollars to the price of the vehicle above and beyond the engine itself.

        As nice at the new 3.0L diesel Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 vehicles are, the diesel option adds around $4,500 all in. Long term, the DOC/DPF has a defined lifespan and will need to be replaced at some point to the tune of several thousand dollars. Fuel filters also require frequent replacement, adding to the cost of ownership. And lord help you if one or more of the fuel injectors or the high-pressure fuel pump needs to be replaced – I hope you have a line of credit open or a high-limit credit card in your wallet.

        I like diesels and the low-end torque they provide, but I’ve been dealing with them professionally since high-pressure common-rail came on the scene and they just don’t make fiscal sense here in the US right now.

  • avatar
    AutoPro

    Wait at Least a year to see how that 9 speed automatic transmission pans out. Having worked for Chrysler/Jeep for 8 years, I know they will Not get it right in the first year. There will be many software updates, and quite possibly some upgrades in the internal components. Like the 300, it could take a couple of years for it to really be reliable enough to purchase. Rule of thumb; if you can’t recommend it to your mother, don’t buy it!

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      While in general that’s a good rule to follow, I also have to point out that many a good car was ‘abandoned’ because people waited. The Saturn Vue was a remarkable vehicle for GM for over 5 years–before they decided to import an Opel and give it the Saturn name. In that case, waiting would have cost a lot of drivers one sweet little SUV–even if it wasn’t a Jeep.

      While you may have worked for Chrysler/Jeep for 8 years, they weren’t all, if any, during the Fiat ownership. Marccione appears to have the right mindset with his leadership, letting no car on the road until he’s satisfied it’s ready. Sure, the Dart may be weak right now, but it’s not due to any mechanical breakdowns, just a bit underpowered. The Cherokee doesn’t really seem to have that issue based on the most recent reviews.

      I would recommend the Cherokee to my mother–if she were young enough to appreciate it.

  • avatar
    Krusty

    What a thread…whatever else Chrysler may have done with this vehicle, they certainly lit up the internet. I was This Close to buying a Trailhawk, but I went for a used Ridgeline instead. So, obviously, styling is not a deal breaker for me. I drove the Cherokee several times, as well as the Forester and the CX-5 and others. Among those CUV’s, the Cherokee was much smoother, had more power (V6) and the interior had a better finish and more tech by a long shot. What stopped me, ultimately, was what Autopro pointed out. The 9-speed transmission has had serious issues in the roll-out. Many Cherokees with early build dates have had to have the transmission software re-flashed or else the trans has been replaced outright and I am not convinced that they are out of the woods with this yet. Chrysler, as far as I can tell, has done the right thing with warranty support, but when I drop $30K plus on a ride, it better have solid reliability first of all. All that said, I’m really happy with the Ridgeline. It’s a Honda, so the reliability is there. It holds way more than the Jeep, has the same ground clearance, more interior room, a pickup bed (of sorts), and, based on the above, it might get better or equal gas mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Ummm… What?

      “The 9-speed transmission has had serious issues in the roll-out.”
      By NO means! Yes, Jeep chose to hold back all their production models until they could fine-tune and update the software, but that was all. They didn’t replace ANY transmissions I am aware of and all reviews since that update have been positive. They were never “in the woods” in the first place.

      The Ridgeline? Hideous! Sure, I see a few on the roads, but they are by no means capable as an off-road vehicle, much less an on-road hauler.

      What I see here is your April Fool’s joke, because nobody is going to believe you.

      • 0 avatar
        Krusty

        Vulpine,

        I’ll just refer you to this link, and you can read all about it if you wish:

        http://jeepcherokeeclub.com/33-engine-technical-discussion/

        with titles such as…
        “Well! It happened to me… (Transmission)”
        “Post TSB transmission issues – Chrysler no longer willing to resolve the problem”
        “Post Trans Flash update – please discuss results after the TSB’s have been performed”

        and finally…” Am I the only one with a smooth transmission?”

        It also includes the TSB meant to resolve problems such as the transmission getting stuck in 4th, hard shifting, OBD faults, etc. which seem to happen at very low mileage.

        and this Mar. 30 link to the Automotive News…

        http://www.autonews.com/article/20140330/OEM06/303319976/0?cciid=internal-anhome-mostright#

        Wherein FCS CEO Marchionne states: “”The nine-speed is the shortest, most complex transmission you can buy in the marketplace,” Marchionne told reporters in March. “It has a number of wonderful attributes; one of the things that is not a wonderful attribute is the fact that it’s new. All things that are new go through an evolution stage that makes them better over time.”

        Shorter version: It ain’t right yet.

        As for the Ridgeline, I am happy to join that limited group of folks who do like it, composed of people who actually own and drive them.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Let’s see…: “Shifter problems?” It’s normal. Not a problem.
          “Post TSB transmission issues” Sorry, he complains too much. Responses to the posting demonstrate that he’s the exception, not the rule.
          “Well, it happened to me”: Appears that one was not updated in time. Biggest commentary there is about a new software update that went live on Dec 13th.
          “Post Trans Flash update”: Looks like the update on the 13th of December worked.
          “Am I the only one?” Seems he’s NOT the only one–whose transmission is working correctly.

          Sorry, but I learned a long time ago that forums like that represent typically about 1% of users and that they are almost ALWAYS filled with sob stories. It’s much more common to hear gripes than kudos because the typical driver doesn’t comment UNLESS there’s a gripe.

          As far as the second article you link is concerned, even Marccione points out that the technology is still getting tweaked. So far, it’s all software, which is an easy fix, given time. The fact that with each car the system is trying to learn the driver’s habits makes it some of the most advanced software on the market. Meanwhile, I’m still not seeing all that many complaints overall. After all, some of those ‘complaints’ are normal even for older transmissions. Or are you going to tell me you never had an automatic ‘clunk’ into gear even when they were purely mechanical?

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        What do you mean “much less an on-road hauler”? The Ridgeline is perfectly designed as a weekend warrior truck. Fits 5 comfortably, rides great (compared to solid axle “real” trucks), has a 1550lb payload capacity (you’ll find that most full size trucks with 4WD, crew cab have the same or lower number), and has a clever dual opening tailgate with underbed storage. It is a very capable truck if you aren’t planning on towing a large camper. Most full size trucks are terrible offroad, btw. Long wheelbases, terrible departure angles, physically huge bodies.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “The Ridgeline is perfectly designed as a weekend warrior truck.”
          Hardly. It’s a one-or-the-other truck that simply can’t do both. That 1550# payload also grossly overloads it according to a recent PUTC mid-size shootout.

          “you’ll find that most full size trucks with 4WD, crew cab have the same or lower number.”
          Actually, no. A few models do–typically the high-end luxury models loaded up with options, but MOST exceed that capacity by quite a bit.

          “… has a clever dual opening tailgate with underbed storage.”
          In other words, it’s an SUV with an open bed. As I remember, along with that “underbed storage” you’ve got your spare tire–forcing you to unload the bed if you get a flat.

          “Most full size trucks are terrible offroad, btw. Long wheelbases, terrible departure angles, physically huge bodies.”
          That part of the statement I’ll agree with whole-heartedly; but to imply that the Ridgeline is any better is laughable. It performed WORSE off-road than all of its mid-sized competitors which are its true competition.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Why is it no good for a weekend warrior? It CAN carry 1500lbs, when needed, which is pretty much what most weekend warriors will see (a couple motorcycles, materials for yard work, etc). It also has excellent road manners. The fact it is unit body, FWD biased means that is isn’t trying to be an offroader, and a tow vehicle, and an “SUV with a bed”. I’d argue that the Ridgeline is good because it has a single focus; it is just trying to be an SUV with a bed. Isn’t an SUV with an open bed what most truck owners need? The other trucks compromise being a simple truck with lots of “normal folk” utility by chasing 10k towing capacities or super high payloads (1900lbs). Going after those near 3/4ton capacities means that those trucks ride poorly, are very heavy, or have poor space utilization.

            For someone that just needs a truck bed on occasion but they also need to use it as a commuter vehicle, the Ridgeline is quite good. A good friend of mine traded his ’04 STI for one when he got married and bought a house. He’s an engineer so he uses it to commute and drop his kid off at daycare in the city and on the weekends to remodel his basement, build his deck, transport his ridiculous Grasshopper mower, etc. It is way easier to maneuver in the city than a full size truck and easier on gas in the city traffic. It is as capable as he needs for his home projects while comfortably fitting his wife and kid. For that buyer, he’d be crazy to go with anything else.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok, Quentin, I’ll give you most of that. However, the Ridgeline is hardly a popular truck, which is why Honda is changing it for next year (well, maybe ’16). Having looked at and sat in a ’14 model, simply put I wouldn’t own one unless it was given to me for free. It was too big where it needed to be smaller and too small where it needed to be bigger. My wife is 6 feet tall with LONG legs, and she couldn’t sit comfortably in that truck with the driver’s seat all the way back while carrying much of the size of my 1990 F-150 full-sized truck. I’ve driven much smaller cars that had more driver’s legroom than that Ridgeline and I certainly don’t NEED 5-passenger seating.

            Yes, I own a 4-door Jeep Wrangler and not a 2-door version. Why? Because my dog can’t jump into the back seat of a 2-door without help. I also typically keep the back seats folded down to use the load floor when I’m not carrying my dog. What I WANT is a true compact truck with an extended cab and 6-foot bed. I don’t need any more than that. As I said earlier, if Jeep came out with a Wrangler-based truck (I’m thinking the Gladiator concept) or somebody came out with a true compact truck, I’d either swap my Wrangler for it (Gladiator) or my F-150 (compact). The only reason I wouldn’t swap both at the same time is that mine IS a two-car family.

  • avatar
    Krusty

    Small World Dept. My wife just called to tell me a friend of hers bought a 2014 Cherokee to tow behind their RV. “There were so many things wrong with it, they are giving her a new one.”

    Now, I actually LIKE the Cherokee and, somewhere in the distant future, I might buy one, but, I’m glad that I am not part of what Sergio calls, “the evolution stage”. If I were, the phone calls from my wife would be entirely different.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Lucky for Sergio, there’s a Vulpine born every minute.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Unluckily for Sergio, this fox only buys once every 8 years or so. And my next purchase will likely be the Renegade–unless a truck compact truck comes back to the market. I already have a Wrangler so I really don’t need a Cherokee. On the other hand, the little Renegade will offer a significant fuel mileage improvement–letting me use the Wrangler more as a toy.

        • 0 avatar
          Krusty

          Well, Vulpine, we do agree about a thing or two. I keep my cars a long time, and I am interested in seeing the Renegade when it gets here (though I’m pretty sure I won’t buy the first year model of THAT either). I owned a 1999 Cherokee, which was, for what it was, a decent SUV that would get me onto the beach at OBX and back off again, just like the Ridgeline certainly will.

          BTW…
          Maximum Payloads
          Honda Ridgeline 1550 lb.
          Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab Long Bed 1370 lb.
          Nissan Frontier 1464 lb.
          Ford Explorer Sportrac 1390 lb.
          Ford F-150 1650 lb.
          Chevy Silverado 1008 lb.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The last Ram that Car and Driver had in a comparison test, which was a Quad-cab Hemi, had a payload of 801 lbs. That’s passengers, anything in the bed and tongue weight for the trailer combined. That’s less payload capacity than many a small sedan.

            http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/final-scoring-performance-data-and-complete-specs-page-5-1

  • avatar
    Krusty

    As for whether the Ridgeline, (or, for that matter, the Cherokee) and other such front-wheel drive bias chassis can go “off-roading”, here’s another link…

    “Honda Ridgeline Wins Again at Baja”

    http://www.honda.com/newsandviews/article.aspx?id=5761-en

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I believe you are talking about this class?

      “NAPA Chassis 7S Challenge Series:
      Pure stock, stock production mini or mid-size truck; limited, mini or mid size trucks. Must have frame & meet all safety requirements.”

      Note one requirement: “Must have frame”. Now note another response from above: “The fact it is unit body, FWD biased means that is isn’t trying to be an offroader.”
      That means it doesn’t have a frame. In order to qualify, it has to be given a frame because a unit body simply can’t handle that kind of punishment in a race; especially a Baja-style race. Sure, it ran and won–but it was quite far from stock as noted by the fact it ran on the same basic tires my Wrangler carries stock–which are significantly larger than the Ridgeline carries “stock”.

      • 0 avatar
        Krusty

        From the article:
        “To be eligible as a Stock Mini Truck, the CaRR Honda must maintain the stock Ridgeline platform, with only limited modifications provided to the suspension and drivetrain, in addition to safety-related items such as a roll cage H.I.D. auxiliary lighting and a fire suppression system. Developed by CaRR with additional input from Honda engineers, the Ridgeline ran on 33-inch B.F. Goodrich tires developed specifically for the demands of off-road racing.”

        Also, from an article from back in 2005 by Fourwheeler:
        http://www.fourwheeler.com/project-vehicles/131-0508-honda-ridgeline-pickup-review/

        “We’d agree that, thanks to its fully independent suspension and a full ladder frame incorporated into the unibody, the Ridgeline rides and handles on washboard dirt roads better than any other pickup we’ve driven. No rattles, axlehop, or bumpsteer, just smooth tracking and sure-footed handling.”

        So there is a ladder frame incorporated into the unibody stock, and, though Fourwheeler was as skeptical about the Ridgeline as you are about it’s ability to off-road, they found some good things to say about it as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Very well, I will acknowledge that the Ridgeline is more rugged than other sites have made it out, but that doesn’t mean I will ever buy one of the current generation; as I said earlier, I don’t like the looks, the size or the compromises. The interior was dated to my eye (though not as bad as Nissan’s Frontier) and it’s just ‘disproportionate’ to American drivers on average. It’s just not a popular vehicle on average and it’s not attractive to me. The Cherokee is attractive, but unnecessary for my purposes as I already own something more capable across the board–though I’m tempted to swap out the old 200-horse V6 for the newer Pentastar.

          What I really need is a compact truck with a 4-foot wide bed for carrying outsized loads that simply won’t fit in my Jeep. Not just things like plywood and lumber and bricks, but also larger appliances and entertainment system components like a big-screen TV. I’m sure the Ridgeline could do it perfectly well, but neither I nor my wife like anything about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Krusty

            Well, I wasn’t trying to sell you one.;-) Every vehicle is a compromise of some kind. Even “uncompromising” designs like the Jeep Wrangler. Actually, the first test drive I took in my recent car search was the Wrangler Unlimited, which I found to be “limited” in cargo space, gas mileage, ride comfort, handling, but still cool as a moose. Ironically, the Ridgeline checked all the other boxes I was looking for, except for moose-like coolness (and probably gas mileage). It will do for now, but when I finish my house restoration, I might be seduced by one of these Italian by way of Toledo, OH designs.


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