For the next few days, we'll be torturing a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4 on the hairpin roads of LA county and dusty desert tracks to the east. It's not the lifted Trailhawk variant and it's riding on Continental all-season tires, but you know we've gotta test that "SAND" setting on the dash somehow.
Like many of you, I consider myself extremely skeptical of this snake-shaped crossover daring to share a nameplate with the legend that is the XJ Cherokee. But I must admit... I'm warming up to it.
As for California, I don't think we're going to have any trouble finding good terrain to test on.
So far I've driven it from San Diego to Malibu, and I can tell you:
- It's much, much prettier in person.
- Seats are comfortable
- Cargo space is on the small side
- Acceleration is surprisingly good
- Steering is extremely sensitive
- Visibility is not great: massive A-pillars block your peripheral view, rear window is tiny
- Interior materials are very nice
- Brakes are excellent
- Fuel economy claim of high 20's on the highway is accurate
Here's the cargo bay, which is small but features lots of pockets and nets. Always good:
The cabin is compact as well, but there's plenty of space for four adults to stretch out. Dash is a lot more "90's Star Trek space shuttle," in a good way, than XJ Cherokee:
So what else do you want to know? What do you want to see me try? What should I keep an eye open for?
Images: Andrew P Collins