The Wobble Comes To An End As Consumer Reports Echoes TTACs Criticisms Of The Jeep Cherokee

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

In late 2013, TTAC was invited to review the Jeep Cherokee. As the journalist assigned to cover the launch, I gave what I felt was a nuanced but critical assessment of the vehicle: that it delivered with respect to its off-road prowess, but left a lot to be desired in other areas, namely the on-road driving experience and overall packaging.

TTAC was alone in its criticisms, with other outlets heaping praise on the Cherokee for attributes that I felt were lacking. A backlash from readers, Mopar fans and other entities ensued, and we were left looking like a fringe element of anti-Cherokee cranks, despite what we as an organization felt was a fair and nuanced, if – ahem – slightly colorful review of the car. It turns out that in the end, we weren’t alone.

Consumer Reports recently delivered their verdict on the Cherokee, and their examples (ostensibly one that they purchased) were criticized for many of the same issues that TTAC did, namely, poor dynamics, a choppy ride and an unrefined 9-speed automatic transmission. Only TTAC and CR have called out the Cherokee for these issues, with other media outlets either downplaying, ignoring or outright praising these elements. Since then, the media has been happy to give the car more positive press, spinning its respectable but mid-pack sales figures into some kind of Cinderella story.

When you are the lone outlet taking a controversial stance on a new car, it can be tough to weather the accusations of bias or even outright malice. Everyone wonders why your impressions are so different from the rest of the pack. In addition, you are left even more vulnerable to punitive actions from the auto maker for having strayed off message. But CR’s impressions of the car, even months later, feels like vindication on some level.

Chrysler has graciously offered to let TTAC have another go at the Cherokee, and I’m slated to have my own re-test in April. It’s been my hope that these issues have been ironed out, especially after the costly delays that Chrysler implemented with the objective of improving the Cherokee’s transmission. They deserve immense credit for having the courage to do so. Whatever the outcome, you can be sure that we will refrain from The Wobble. We will continue to bring you The Truth About Cars.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Feb 13, 2014

    I drove one recently, (They are selling like crazy here, partly due to being made here) and I saw nothing to complain about. The 9 speed shifted ok, IMHO, and it drove fine, with decent power, and I saw nothing that screamed "CHEAP". The one I drove was loaded up, so a base one might be different. Not something I would buy, but I liked it whole lot better than the Patriot.

  • Myjeepcherokee Myjeepcherokee on Mar 09, 2014

    I see a lot of hatred of the Cherokee here, not just on the review of both parties TTAC and CR, but also the posts here. I guess that is expected when you are talking about a U.S. icon vehicle now owned by a foreign country. I see a lot of hatred based on the fact that this is not a street laden comfort ride, one to sit fat lazy people with mouths full of McD's and Ho-HO's, or that it is not an off road monster, one to fit the rich able to waste money or don't have any responsibilities in life other then the enjoyment of themselves. NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION! That is just a review of the critiques here right? No it's not a true or fair critique of anyone who wrote anything here, because I do not know you, the same goes for any vehicle review or opinion. If you do not own it and drive it daily for months you don't really have a clue. Well the truth is I own one of these Cherokee jeep's, I have owned Chevy trucks, RAV4's, 4runner's, Explorer's, Ford trucks and this exceeds the capabilities of each of them, meaning they each have certain aspects they are designed for and they do well but for what the Cherokee is designed for it does better in those areas then the other vehicles that I have owned. This Jeep is not meant to be a luxury road vehicle and it’s not meant to be an off road monster. This is a jeep, one for the people that want to drive to work, to the store, tow 6X8 trailers, go camping in remote areas (not rubber-stamp campsites), not worry about 6 inches of snow or none paved driveways when it raining. In the months I have had this jeep it has snowed, iced, rained and flooded never once has this jeep failed or hesitated to get me to where I wanted to go, passing those precious Subaru’s, CRV's and other so called all terrain vehicles. The truth is that the Cherokee must be scaring the people here; or your just lashing out because you bought an inferior vehicle and are stuck with it for several more years and can’t get a Jeep. For if you owned one of these you would see that this Cherokee is a jeep that goes on both road and off road better than anything else that is supposed to be able to do that, and it just may surprise you that for comfort,handling and reliability it has performed extremely well. So you all keep your anti JEEP comments coming and I along with all JEEP owners will just keep smiling as we pass by knowing that while we are sitting in comfort riding on this paved road, we can at anytime leave you in the dust as we go off road.

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