2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee

By Steve Kursar –

The Jeep Cherokee is back! It’s an all new 2014 model that’s awfully sleek and stylish. It also handles likes a car instead of a rough off-roader, and it boasts amazing fuel economy for a mid-size SUV. But don’t let that fool you because it’s still a “Trail Rated” Jeep and will safely take you places that most of its competitors wouldn’t dare think of going.

Jeep introduced the first Cherokee way back in 1984 when the brand was owned by American Motors, and it continued as a successful SUV model even after Chrysler bought the brand in 1987. The original Cherokee was a boxy, rugged SUV that found itself on the cutting block when Daimler-Benz bought Chrysler in 1999. The new German owners brought in the Jeep Liberty as a replacement and the Cherokee name lived on only in foreign markets. Fast forward to 2013, and the Cherokee is back and the Liberty is history.

Showing up in dealerships this autumn, the 2014 Cherokee shares the same platform as the popular new Dodge Dart. This car-based platform gives the new Cherokee the handling and driving comfort of a car as well as excellent fuel economy. The base Sport model, with an MSRP of $22,995, is equipped with the 184 hp, 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a nine-speed transmission delivering an estimated 31 mpg. If you need more power, move up in trim and opt for the 271 hp, 3.2 liter Pentastar V6 engine.

But since this is a Jeep, it must be capable of getting you through tough conditions, and it can. All new Cherokees feature the Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system that promises you better control in difficult conditions. Just select any of the five customized modes: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock, and the Cherokee adjusts itself to get you through safely. If you need a Cherokee that can rock crawl, then the “Trail Rated” Trail Hawk has to be on your shopping list. For less than $7,000 over the base Cherokee, the 4×4 Trail Hawk exemplifies everything that is a rugged, go anywhere Jeep. Standard equipment includes Jeep Active Drive Lock with locking rear differential, skid plates and signature red tow hooks.

Whether you need a Cherokee to get you to the mall or up a mountain, there’s one for you. I just think it’s great to have the Cherokee back on the block and on the rock.

Follow Steve Kursur at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com.