When you think of Jeep, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely the Wrangler
, and that’s pretty standard. Go a little deeper and ask the second thing that comes to mind and most people will say the Cherokee. With a longevity that’s sure to outlast the Compass and the Liberty, the Cherokee is in a class of its own. One of the first family SUVs that was still a champ off the road as much as it was on, it’s safe to say there’s some history behind that name. Unlike other reincarnations of classic vehicles rarely have the same focus and quality as the original, but the Cherokee seems to have made it out of the years of quantity over quality at Jeep, and is no worse for the wear. SEE ALSO: 3 Reasons Why You Want the Wrangler Mojo Concept
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To start with, the 2014 Cherokee
uses a six-cylinder engine that’s good for 271 HP and 239 lb-ft of torque. You can opt for the smaller engine that puts out 184 HP and 171 lb-ft of torque, but we don’t know why you’d do that.
All that power will get you on the trail fine, but it’s the details that matter. For the Cherokee, that starts with approach, departure, and breakover angles that are 29.8*, 32.1*, and 23.2*, respectively. You also get 7.3 inches of ground clearance on the stock Cherokee with 8.7 on the Trailhawk. All that power is put to the ground with an impressive transmission that’s capable of a 56:1 crawl ratio. That’s pretty huge when you’re trying to get through some rocky or hilly terrain.
Quite A Looker
Just like the Cherokee of your childhood, the 2014 models aren’t too big, and not too small either. With just enough chunk to look new but not so much that it looks boxy like the older models did, it’s an all-around good looking SUV. The 2014 model has a far more swept look than any previous model, with the lights getting the swept treatment, too. While they may seem a little bulbous and out of place, the rear lights actually help with aerodynamics, so we’ll accept a little odd look for some MPG help.
Inside the new Cherokee you won’t find a single fake allen-head bolt, but in their place you’ll find a focus on active video displays including a high-definition one between the tachometer and speedometer that displays everything from engine temperature to fuel level, all with a skeuomorphic design and attention to realistic detail.
Overall, the new Cherokee is a beautiful SUV that’s meant for far more than trips to hockey practice and the grocery store. While these are fine uses for the Cherokee, it’s heart is in the off-road and when parents get tired of taking the road to the soccer field, they can easily take that shortcut through the woods without fear of getting stuck.