Recall Alert: 2014 Jeep Cherokee and Ram 1500, 2015 Chrysler 200

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 16,000 model-year 2014 Jeep Cherokee crossovers and Ram 1500s, and 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans

The Problem: Due to an insufficient weld, the rear shocks may detach from the vehicle at one end and possibly damage other chassis components or the tire, or result in reduced braking ability, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will inspect the rear shocks and replace any affected ones for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Stakes Claim As Camping Champ

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By Bill Jackson

The Jeep Cherokee has been put through its paces here at Cars.com as one of our long-term cars, but nobody's taken it out camping until now. To test it, I took it on a 530-mile round trip to a campground and triathlon and found it to be a great tool for the job.

Related: More Long-Term Test Car Coverage

For starters, the Jeep drives like a small SUV, but carries stuff like a larger one. I was expecting to have to make some compromises — compressing my sleeping bag, consolidating some of my other luggage — and I found I really didn't have to.

By Joe Bruzek | August 13, 2014 | Comments (4)

Top 10 Urban Cars

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From squeezing between a Dumpster and a wall to holding your breath as a bus hard aports past your bumper, cities can be an automotive minefield. And cars are often the casualties. Need proof? Look no further than auto insurance rates. A 40-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord in Manhattan's West Village would pay 27 percent more for the exact same coverage than if he lived across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of six leading carriers.

Related: Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

Yet scores of Americans still prefer to live in the city. From New York to San Antonio, the country's 25 largest urban centers are home to 31.9 million people within city limits, according to the 2010 Census. That's 10.3 percent of the entire U.S. population in 2010, and given the trend of increasing urbanization, it doesn't look like it will recede anytime soon.

Most city-zens still have to drive. Not to worry: Our latest Top 10 nominates cars best suited for urban driving. Editors considered our candidates' overall size relative to their competitors, as well as visibility, city gas mileage, turning radius, city drivability, utility and more.

Here are our picks, in order of which cars received the most votes. In cases of a tie, we ranked by turning circle and other dimensions.

By Kelsey Mays | August 11, 2014 | Comments (9)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Mileage Update: 9,437 Miles

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Cars.com's 2014 Jeep Cherokee long-term test car continues to improve its overall average mileage after a slow start with somewhat disappointing fuel economy. The four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive Cherokee is steadily climbing toward its 24 mpg combined EPA rating. We've observed an average of 23.67 mpg after 9,437 miles using pump fill-up calculations to monitor long-term mileage, an improvement of 1.07 mpg from our previous update, which was more than 4,200 miles ago.

More on Our Long-Term Test Fleet

By Joe Bruzek | July 28, 2014 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2006-2007 Jeep Commander, 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 650,000 model-year 2006-07 Jeep Commander and 2005-07 Grand Cherokee SUVs

The Problem: Chrysler said an outside force, typically the driver's knee, may move ignition key from the On position. This could cause the engine to stall, reducing braking power and making steering more difficult, as well as possibly disabling frontal airbags and other safety features.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners by mid-September, and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. In the meantime, the automaker advised owners of affected SUVs to ensure there is clearance between their knees and the key, and as a further precaution to remove all items from their key rings, leaving only their ignition key.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 23, 2014 | Comments (1)

Chrysler Launches Its Own Ignition Switch Recall

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GM has been in the news for most of 2014 due to numerous recalls covering millions of vehicles for faulty ignition switches. Now, another major automaker is launching a recall over similar issues.

Related: More Details on GM's Latest — and Largest — Ignition-Related Recall

Late today, Chrysler announced a recall covering approximately 650,000 Jeeps in the U.S. and nearly 800,000 worldwide for an ignition switch that could fail in a similar fashion to what has been detailed in some of GM's recalled vehicles.

The models covered are the 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Chrysler says that the recall is being initiated "out of an abundance of caution." The switch could move out of the on position if something hits the key with enough force. This would usually be a knee during a collision. This could lead the engine to stall, but more significantly the airbags would not deploy.

While there are numerous reports of fatalities and injuries regarding the GM recall, Chrysler said in a statement that it is unaware of any injuries due to the recalled switch with one reported accident. Chrysler said complaints have been "relatively small" and give a percentage of .015 percent, which would be approximately 9,500 complaints just in the U.S.

Chrysler has not developed a fix for its ignition-switch defect and will start alerting owners in September. Until then the company is recommending owners remove any key rings from the ignition key when in use.

By David Thomas | July 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

2014DodgeDurangoRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 651,000 model-year 2011-14 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Jan. 5, 2010, and Dec. 11, 2013

The Problem: Wiring for the vanity lamp in the sun visor could short circuit after a service repair is performed, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners starting in August, and dealers will inspect and repair any damaged wiring and install a new sun visor that properly routes the wire for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Mazda CX-5

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In our latest head-to-head comparison we pit Cars.com's long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee against a formidable competitor: Mazda's 2015 CX-5. The CX-5 came to us in our regular rotation of press cars and was ripe for a duel with our Cherokee, which was looking for redemption after being defeated by the well-rounded 2014 Nissan Rogue.

More on Our Long-Term Test Fleet

We've had good experiences with both SUVs. The Cherokee was purchased because it's unique to an extreme and impressed our editors with its refined ride quality and class-leading technology. The CX-5 scored second place in Cars.com's $25,000 compact SUV comparison of 2012-13 models a few years ago thanks to its space-efficient design and stylish exterior.

By Joe Bruzek | July 9, 2014 | Comments (17)

Confounded by Car Technology? It's Time to Embrace It

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Today's technology-laden cars, SUVs and even trucks can be challenging for older drivers as well as car buyers who have been out of the market for several years. I'm among the many mature drivers who don't replace vehicles until they've been driven into the ground — my husband and I often go a decade or more between car purchases. Our current vehicles are of 2004 and 2006 vintage, and they lack much of the technology that's rapidly becoming common, often standard, on today's new cars.

Related: AAA Recommends Car Features for Older Drivers

As a Cars.com's copy editor, I'm encouraged to drive the test vehicles we receive at our Chicago offices so that I can experience the things I read about when I edit articles. I enjoy this part of the job, but it's proven to be a challenge due to unfamiliar technology. I often find myself communing with the owner's manual before I can leave the parking garage with one of our test cars.

Here are a few things other potentially overwhelmed car shoppers of any vintage should prepare to encounter:

By Jen Burklow | July 7, 2014 | Comments (11)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Ownership Costs: First Quarter

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The miles are turning over pretty fast on our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee — it's the only fast thing about our four-cylinder, all-wheel drive model. The Cherokee has been a favorite for road trips with its SUV versatility compared to our 2014 Chevrolet Impala long-term tester. We've observed a few quirks so far, but none have required any out-of-pocket expense to fix.

More on Cars.com's Long-Term Fleet

The only required ownership cost outside of fuel has been the Cherokee's first oil change and tire rotation — a total of $84.80. During the last couple of months, we also spent some money on extras such as a dog kennel ($142.41) and cooler ($60), which are accessories for the Cherokee's built-in cargo rail system.

By Joe Bruzek | June 27, 2014 | Comments (5)

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