Recall Alert: 2011 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

2011DodgeDurangoRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 190,000 model-year 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Jan. 5, 2010, and July 20, 2011, and equipped with either a 3.6-liter or 5.7-liter engine

The Problem: The fuel pump relay inside the Totally Integrated Power Module may fail, causing the vehicle to stall without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners Oct. 24, and dealers will replace the fuel pump with one external to the module for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or 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 | September 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee's Wonky Transmission Gets Updated

Cherokee_transmission

"Any transmission updates available?" is one of the first questions I ask when taking Cars.com's 2014 Jeep Cherokee long-term test car into the dealership for service. The nine-speed automatic transmission's operation has been an annoyance in an otherwise easygoing 12,000 miles. From the start, harsh upshifts have rocked the car from 2nd to 3rd gear, and the transmission sometimes struggles to find the right passing gear in our four-cylinder Cherokee with all-wheel drive.

Related: More on Cars.com's Long-Term Fleet

Last month, we had Jeep technicians plug in the latest transmission control module update, "68241129AB," while we were at the dealership having a second-row power outlet replaced. It had been inadvertently yanked out of place somehow. Chrysler spokeswoman Wendy Orthman said in an email about the transmission update, "It is to enhance throttle responsiveness and shifting smoothness across all nine gears. Some customers may notice the improvements, to others it may be seamless."

Our staff piloted the Cherokee for three weeks with the latest transmission programming. Did it do the trick? Read our staff's impressions below.

By Joe Bruzek | September 12, 2014 | Comments (4)

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee: What's Changed

2015JeepGrandCherokeeSRT

Most significant changes: New appearance packages, noise cancellation for upper-crust trims, slightly more power for SRT
Price change: TBD
On sale: September/October
Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? Vast majority of trims unchanged, so 2014

Jeep's popular Grand Cherokee has sprouted as many special editions as ... uh, most other cars from Fiat Chrysler Automobile. This time, the top-of-the-line Grand Cherokee Summit gets a California Edition appearance package, which adds body-colored — rather than chrome — door handles and mirrors, plus body-colored lower body panels instead of darker trim. The grille, fog-light bezels and a few other areas get unique "platinum chrome" accents, too. Inside, tan leather with black stitching joins the color palette.

Related: Real-Life Test: 3 Car Seats in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Cosmetic updates aside, all Summit models add active noise cancellation and more noise abatement to the windshield and second-row windows.

There's also a tad bit more power for the Grand Cherokee SRT (above), whose 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 now makes 475 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque — up 5 hp and 5 pounds-feet from the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT. The SRT also adds active noise cancellation, and a new Red Vapor edition, which comes in red, white or black. The Red Vapor's other additions (all cosmetic) include unique 20-inch wheels, glossy black exterior trim and red cabin accents with an illuminated SRT steering-wheel logo.

By Kelsey Mays | September 1, 2014 | Comments (5)

2015 Jeep Cherokee: What's Changed

2015JeepCherokee

Most significant changes: Stop-start now standard on V-6-equipped models

Price change: Prices increase $100 on all models except the Sport trim

On sale: Since late July

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2015

Jeep's all-new Cherokee managed to make a big splash in the crowded compact SUV field with a combination of distinctive styling, commendable on-road performance and off-road capability, a choice of three four-wheel-drive systems and a roomy, well-finished interior. That helped its appeal with Jeep loyalists who value off-road prowess as well as those who drive only on smooth pavement but want the versatility of a small SUV.

Related: Cars.com Long-Term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Coverage

Jeep delayed the launch of the 2014 Cherokee for a couple of months while it tried to fix shift quality issues with the also-new nine-speed automatic transmission, and we aren't convinced it is fully sorted out based on our long-term Cherokee test vehicle.

Aside from the transmission, though, there is much to like about the Cherokee, which offers a broad portfolio of safety features, a voice-operated infotainment system, interior furnishings that are a cut above and family-friendly utility. Because it was all-new for 2014, there are few changes to the 2015, which just recently went on sale.

By Rick Popely | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Mileage Update: 10,261 Miles

Cherokee_mileage

It's been a quiet 824-mile month for our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee tester that's otherwise averaged around double that through the first five months of ownership. Putting around the city has slightly dinged the average fuel economy by .12 mpg as the Cherokee takes a breather from the onslaught of road trips encountered in its first few months. Even with that drop, the four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive Cherokee is averaging very close to its 24 mpg combined rating.

By Joe Bruzek | August 28, 2014 | Comments (2)

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

2014JeepCherokeeRecall

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 (10)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Mileage Update: 9,437 Miles

Cherokee

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

2007JeepGrandCherokeeRecall

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)

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