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 (3)

Android Users Could Face Problems in the 2014 Chevy Impala

2014 Chevy Impala Android

When it came time to first plug my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone into Cars.com's 2014 Chevrolet Impala long-term test car's USB port, the dreaded "Device not supported" message showed up. As a non-iPhone user, it's a message I'm accustomed to seeing in the various new cars we test. For this reason I keep an iPhone in tow to get the full USB experience of voice commands and navigating a music library via in-car controls when my phone doesn't play nice.

Related: More Long-Term Test Car Coverage

That may change in the future with the Open Automotive Alliance, including General Motors, bringing Android tech into cars with Android Auto, but for now I popped a few questions over to Chevrolet's customer service to see if it was my phone or if MyLink needed updating.

The answer?

Impala's MyLink USB connectivity only supports Apple iOS devices.

Ouch.

By Joe Bruzek | August 29, 2014 | Comments (7)

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)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Stakes Claim As Camping Champ

IMG_2943

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)

2014 Chevrolet Impala: Five Surprising Features

ScreenFeatures_anim_500px

The 8-inch touch-screen in Cars.com's 2014 Chevrolet Impala long-term test car is a powerful command center. Powered by Chevrolet's MyLink software, you can use its touch-screen to access and control far more features than just the audio system.

More on Our Long-Term Test Fleet 

It may come as no surprise that its list of capabilities fill a 96-page owner's manual — separate from the honkin' primary one. Who has time to read through the owner's manual to find every trick in the book? Well, us, but we'll save you some time. We picked out a collection of the system's interesting, useful and likely surprising features:

By Joe Bruzek | August 5, 2014 | Comments (0)

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)

2014 Chevrolet Impala Ownership Costs: Half Year

Impala_ownership

The first six months and 8,000 miles of owning our Best of 2014 winner, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, have so far been painless. We threw in a set of $99.95 floormats for the horrible winter, but otherwise haven't had to put any money into maintenance thanks to Chevrolet's complimentary two-year maintenance program.

More on Our Long-Term Test Fleet

At around 6,000 miles the Impala's information display lit up with an uncryptic "change oil soon" notification. Chevrolet recommends changing the oil within 600 miles of the indicator illuminating, so we were off to the dealership to take advantage of the no-charge service plan.

By Joe Bruzek | July 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

What Fits in the 2014 Chevy Impala's Hidden Compartment?

Impala-cubby

You don't typically buy a large sedan to get wowed by gimmicks. You buy one for the comfort, room and ride, but the 2014 Chevrolet Impala in our long-term fleet has a gimmick we've actually found to be useful in our nearly six months of real-world testing.

More Long-Term Test Car Updates

A hidden compartment sits behind the 8-inch touch-screen in the middle of the dashboard. You hit a button to raise the center touch-screen, revealing a small, square-shaped hiding spot. Sure, its location is odd, but it's actually a useful bit of real estate that's good for the usual stuff such as smartphones, music players or a tollway pass ... and some more interesting goodies, too.

Here's what the editors have stashed in it so far:

By Jennifer Geiger | July 10, 2014 | Comments (5)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Mazda CX-5

IMG_6845

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

Overwhelmed_technology

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)

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com