Consumer Reports will not recommend the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, after conducting tests on a Latitude version powered by a 2.4-liter inline-four engine and a Limited variant with a 3.2-liter V-6 powerplant. Consumer Reports described the Cherokee as an "uneven package" and deeming it "half-baked." Consumer Reports said the Latitude was underpowered and "not very fuel efficient."
The influential magazine preferred the Limited than the Latitude because of its advanced active-safety features and infotainment system. The magazine's automotive testing staff found the SUV’s handling an issue, saying that neither vehicle was very agile and the ride was choppy.
Consumer Reports also criticized the SUV’s nine-speed automatic transmission, referring to it as "unrefined" and "unresponsive." The magazine remarked that Cherokee Limited V-6 scored 70 out of 100 points while the Cherokee Latitude scored 56.
So far, the Subaru Forester is the highest rated compact SUV in the magazine's testing with a score of 88, while the Jeep Compass is the lowest scoring small SUV at 49.
The Cherokee had a problematic rollout in 2013 when Chrysler Group had to contain over 25,000 of them for two months to allow engineers recalibrate software on the new transmission. The Cherokee features a new nine-speed transmission, two new engine variants and a new disconnecting rear driveshaft and differential. Consumer Reports, however, gave points to the Cherokee for its solid feel, quiet cabin and ease of access.