Cherokee May Not Be as Good as Some Claimed


Controversial styling and now a problematic gearbox and ride are its biggest drawbacks.

Many critics have praised the new Jeep Cherokee as being a solid all-around crossover. Yes, it's a crossover that's based off a Fiat car platform. Brand purists will likely never get over that. Anyway, the Cherokee's launch was delayed because engineers were still working to perfect its nine-speed automatic. Chrysler was even praised for its dedication to quality. According to Consumer Reports, however, perhaps more work was needed.

The publication has just released its test results, claiming the Cherokee is only "half-baked." Two versions were tested: the base Latitude trim and the pricier Limited. The former comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder which CR states is underpowered. The new 3.2-liter V6 is the better choice. But the standard nine-speed auto paired to both engines was "unrefined and unresponsive at times." Both trims had quiet cabins and a "solid, substantial feel," but overall handling was described as "jittery." So despite being far better than the old Liberty, CR is not recommending the Cherokee because, well, it's apparently not good enough for its highly competitive segment.

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