2014 Jeep Cherokee: Road-Trip Warrior

Jeep Cherokee Road Trips

Our long-term cars are used just like any car owners would treat their own vehicles. We drive them on the commute to work, runs to the grocery store and picking the kids up from school. They also serve duty on the all-American road trip, and we partook of many during the past few months in our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Related: More Long Term Fleet Coverage

We've detailed a number of issues with the Jeep's nine-speed automatic transmission, but on the long haul there are many important factors that make a road trip a great road trip.

By David Thomas | October 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Toyota RAV4

2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Toyota RAV4

We threw Cars.com's long-term Jeep Cherokee test car in the ring with a segment heavyweight for the latest installment of "Cherokee Versus." The Toyota RAV4 is an originator of car-based SUVs and one of the top-selling vehicles of any kind month after month. The Cherokee returned to the Jeep lineup for 2014 as a front-wheel-drive-based crossover SUV after a 13-year hiatus, while the RAV4 was redesigned for 2013.

Related: We Bought a 2014 Jeep Cherokee

Unlike our multicar Challenges, these head-to-head comparisons take our long-term car and pit it against a competitor from a rotating fleet of test cars supplied by various manufacturers. The RAV4 in question is an XLE four-cylinder with all-wheel drive ($28,772 as tested, with destination) that we're comparing to our Cherokee Limited four-cylinder with all-wheel drive ($33,378).

By Joe Bruzek | October 9, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Chevrolet Impala Ownership Costs: Third Quarter

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Regular maintenance costs remain zip, zilch, nada, zero for Cars.com's long-term 2014 Chevrolet Impala test car. We've gone through two rounds of oil changes and tire rotations after 13,808 miles — once at 6,000 miles and the other at 12,000 miles — and Chevrolet's two years/24,000 miles of complimentary maintenance have kept those services freebies so far. That leaves two remaining services before we reach our maximum service frequency (four) of the service plan.

Related: More on Our Long-Term Fleet

The Impala spent unscheduled time at the dealership after we noticed a dull vibration pulsing through the floorboards and seats above 60 mph. The pulsing was worrisome enough to warrant one editor pulling into a service center during a road trip to have the car inspected.

By Joe Bruzek | October 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Ownership Costs: First Six Months

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The only out-of-pocket ownership costs for Cars.com's long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee test car after six months and 11,413 miles have been fuel and the first scheduled oil change and tire rotation. The oil life indicator currently sits at 48 percent life left after 3,637 miles since the previous oil change, so we've still got a fair amount of time until the next scheduled maintenance.

Related: Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee's Wonky Transmission Gets Updated

Cost free doesn't mean trouble free, however. We're still battling erratic transmission behavior after the most recent transmission software update. Quality representatives from Jeep's parent company Chrysler read our latest transmission woes and put us in touch with a regional service advisor for a more in-depth diagnosis. We'll have more updates on the Cherokee's transmission after that appointment.

By Joe Bruzek | October 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Chevrolet Impala: Road Trip Report

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Long-haul road trips have helped Cars.com's long-term 2014 Chevrolet Impala register nearly 14,000 miles in just nine months of ownership. The Impala is a staff favorite when it's time to hit the road and log miles because its seriously comfortable ride and cavernous interior are perfect for the needs of a traveling small family, carload of adults or a nice solo trip across the state.

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

Comfort and cargo room aren't all the factors that make a good road-trip ride. Fuel economy and keeping passengers occupied contribute to an enjoyable road trip; for some, a bangin' stereo also should be added to the list. The Impala is no doubt a comfy car, but does it have everything it needs to be a successful road-tripper?

By Joe Bruzek | September 24, 2014 | Comments (6)

How Much Can You Stow in the 2014 Chevy Impala's Cubbies?

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The 2014 Chevrolet Impala's 18.8 cubic feet of trunk space is downright massive for a sedan, but it's not the only impressive storage feat inside our long-term test car. The front seats are a compulsive organizer's dream with treasure trove of big and little storage spaces within easy reach. There's a hidden storage compartment behind the retractable touch-screen, dual umbrella holders and numerous other ways to store cellphones, wallets, music players and more.

Related: More Long-Term Test Car Coverage

There are so many cubbies that we wanted to see just how much stuff can seamlessly fit in the Impala's large collection of storage areas.

By Joe Bruzek | September 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee's Wonky Transmission Gets Updated

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"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 (6)

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 (10)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Mileage Update: 10,261 Miles

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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

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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)

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