back to article Jeep Cherokee 2.2: Capable, comfortable ... but just not very Jeep

Ever since Fiat became FCA – Fiat Chrysler Automotive – there has been something a bit incongruous about the mix of brands. An Italian Jeep takes a bit of getting used to. Refined ride, exceptionally nice leather, a responsive automatic gearbox, multi-link rear suspension. It’s all a bit, well, not-Jeep. And the good things …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm

    Looks more like a Kia to me!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm

      I see what you mean.

      But there will be important, hidden differences that the Jeep/Fiat brands offer: beneath the skin of the Cherokee the traditional values will run deep. So presumably buyers should anticipate abominable reliability, dealers that are somewhere south of abominable, and resale values that sink faster than a depth charge.

      1. Steve Knox

        Re: Hmmm

        So presumably buyers should anticipate abominable reliability, dealers that are somewhere south of abominable, and resale values that sink faster than a depth charge.

        Like a Kia!

        1. Enrico Vanni

          Re: Hmmm

          It's a long, long time since that description could be applied to KIA. 10 year warranties have seen to the reliability and resale jibes. Between them, KIA and Hyundai are taking over the market sector previously owned by Honda.

      2. Kevin 6

        Re:Re: Hmmm

        Well that is pretty true it seems for 99, and up cherokees from what I read. Only read bad things when I was looking for a truck about the 99+'s, but found the pre 99's were generally reliable, and cost more.

        Side note agree with the original poster in that it looks like a Kia :(

        1. 404

          Re: Re:Hmmm

          That thing isn't a Jeep - it's a cookie-cutter SUV.

          For reference, the last of the original Cherokee XJ models was the 2001 model year with the 4.0 HO straight-six. 84-86 models had the anemic GM 2.8l v-6's, 87-90 was the regular 4.0, with the 91's-up taking the HO 4.0 straight 6. I've owned an 84, a 91, and a 99 XJ.

          No personal data on the turbo diesels - never saw one in the wild here in the US. Biggest flaw was the monoque(sic?) chassis, unibody IMO - unless you reinforced the two 'tunnels' under it, they would start to crack. Most noticeably between the doors if 4 door, it would begin to sag. Loved XJ's, still do.

          Be nice if you could still get the farmer version of the CJ2->up, had PTO's from the factory, could use it to power farm machinery. Outfit a V8 CJ-7 with portal axles from a Unimog and you'll have something nice to putt around in muaaaahaaaahaaa!

          <ahem.. 'scuse me ;)>

          1. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: Re:Hmmm

            Biggest flaw was the monoque(sic?) chassis, unibody IMO - unless you reinforced the two 'tunnels' under it, they would start to crack. Most noticeably between the doors if 4 door, it would begin to sag. Loved XJ's, still do.

            Heh. Reminds me of if I ever parked the XJ on too uneven surface (say a rock or bigger branch under one rear wheel) you couldn't shut the tail gate if you opened it as the body flexed too much for the catch to work properly.

            I do miss the XJ. Rock solid 4.0 HO with NP242 transfer case.

      3. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm

        So presumably buyers should anticipate abominable reliability, dealers that are somewhere south of abominable, and resale values that sink faster than a depth charge.

        Having owned several pre-2000 Jeeps (both XJ and WJ) all I can say is that they're very reliable. Never left me stranded anywhere. Can't speak for newer models but the older ones (both I6 4.0 and V8 4.7) have been uttterly reliable.

        Dealers, well they're dealers and them some. Luckily with an old one there is little need for them, apart from some parts or fluids (where original might be preferable to 3rd part ones).

        No argument about the resale value. That's one of the reasons I had few of them. Cheap and very cheerful.

    2. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Re: Hmmm

      "Looks... like a Kia..."

      Ever since they hired the Audi designer, Kias have looked rather pleasantly modern.

      Far better visual appearance than almost anything from Japan, for example.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm

        Far better visual appearance than almost anything from Japan, for example.

        I'd agree that too many Japanese cars look bland or odd (with quite a few exceptions), but the Koreans aren't even going to let the Japanese own the "Weird & ugly" niche, to judge by the Ssangyong Rodius. In fact, even the Europeans have had a crack, in the shape of the Porsche Cayenne.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm

        "Looks like a Kia"

        In 2015 that's a fair compliment, in fact it isn't quite as impressive looking as a Kia to my eyes, not many cars are. Thanks to Peter Schreywr.

        I really am not impressed by the emphasis in the article in the alleged lack of power, the car is more than capable of doing what is required for modern driving. And "what'll it do Mr" sounds like something in a bubble caption in 1964 Dandy comic. More likely some chav Peugeot 106 pilot will say "woss its top end then mate". But nobody else will really care.

        The way the vehicle delivers the torque in response to the pedal is far more important.

        1. JeffyPoooh
          Pint

          Re: Hmmm

          "The way the vehicle delivers the torque in response to the pedal is far more important."

          There was an infamous modification to the VWs such as the Mk 2 GTI. If you inserted a paperclip into the throttle linkage at just the right place, it changed the relationship between the pedal and the throttle, making the first inch of throttle movement equal to about 100% throttle opening. This simple modification made the car about "twice as fast".

  2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

    which makes you wonder what an unlimited one would be like

    Never bought broadband have you?

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Hints of trying to muscle into (I use the word loosely) the Chelsea tractor market - comfort with a hint of (never to be used) off roading.

  4. TheProf Silver badge
    Megaphone

    BEEEEEEEP

    "lane departure warning – which is annoying"

    My Skoda gives a very gentle, relaxing almost, 'bing' sound when the outdoor temperature is likely to result in an icy road, and a strident 'BEEEEEPP' when the screen washer bottle is low. And I don't think they can be switched around or off.

    Personally I think anything that helps stop lumbering great lumps of iron from wandering about the lanes on a motorway is a good thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BEEEEEEEP

      Personally I think anything that helps stop lumbering great lumps of iron from wandering about the lanes on a motorway is a good thing.

      .. but making them annoying means they'll not be switched on often enough to matter.

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: BEEEEEEEP

      "Personally I think anything that helps stop lumbering great lumps of iron from wandering about the lanes on a motorway is a good thing."

      But enough about Skoda, let's get back to this Jeep review......

    3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: BEEEEEEEP

      "lane departure warning – which is annoying"

      So what alarm does it raise when you turn off the pavement onto the logging road?

      Sorry. What was I thinking?

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: BEEEEEEEP

        So what alarm does it raise when you turn off the pavement onto the logging road?

        As this is an urban SUV, I think you mean "what alarm does it raise when you turn off the road and mount the kerb to drop off schoolchildren or unload shopping?"

  5. herman Silver badge

    Jeeps feel slow, because the accelerator pedal has a very long travel distance, in order to make rock crawling easier. You just have to 'step on it' when you are driving in town. Eight seconds from zero to sixty is quite respectable.

    1. Dr_N Silver badge

      "because the accelerator pedal has a very long travel distance, in order to make rock crawling easier"

      With an automatic gearbox off-road, you would apply constant revs and left-foot brake to control the car.

      Just saying'.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Automatic gearbox

    Can that automatic gearbox be locked in any of the lower gears and 4 wheel drive? That was the one thing I liked about the Toyota Land Cruiser I had in the early 80s.

  7. Nolveys
    Mushroom

    All Fixed

    European models have a different modem and that it's safe from that sort of knavery.

    I wasn't aware that the modem was where the "infotainment" system connected to the brake/steering/engine control systems. But, hey, they're the experts.

    It's happy to know that everything is safe.

  8. Lostintranslation

    Question

    When Fiat reliability meets Jeep reliabilty, are they more or less reliable than the sum of their two parts?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Question

      "...all organized by the Italians..."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Question

      Could be worse - imagine if Alfa partnered with Land Rover...

  9. Ole Juul

    City car

    This is not the same old Jeep that people use in the woods or for mud bogging. This is an outright city car.

    1. Kevin 6

      Re: City car

      Dunno man with how low that sucker looks I think it would have problems getting over the speed bumps in my city.

  10. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    the last worthy holder of the name Jeep Cherokee was the Cherokee Classic, from the days before that bloody "trail rated" badge.

  11. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Hey! How's your Alfa Romeo?

    In the beginning, there was the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Fiat bought Chrysler. They then selected the Giulietta, clicked Copy, moved the cursor to Chrysler, and clicked Paste. Then they realized that cheeseburgers have had an impact on the bottom line in America, so they resized it a bit bigger before clicking Print. Thus was born the Dodge Dart.

    Then, they jacked it up to become the "Jeep" Cherokee, sans Grand.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's not a real Jeep. But that undoubtedly makes it a better vehicle. What with including some refined engineering and all.

    Not too sure about the front wheel drive aspect of its lineage though. But that's becoming more common of course.

  12. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Limited on US vehicles

    My impression that the letters LTD on the back are now more than the same sort of status symbol a GLS, GTI etc used to be here.

    When I lived in N.H. it was might be a bit more power, a different trim of different wheels and that was about it.

    As for this not being a real Jeep, I totally agree. It is like (IMHO) that any vehicle with a Land Rover badge that is not a Defender type ain't really a Landy.

    1. Charles Manning

      A modern Defender isn't a real Landy either.

      The last real Landy was a series 3, and that's even being a bit generous.

      If it has coil spring suspension it isn't a Landy.

      If you still have your kidneys after a 50 mile trip it wasn't in a Landy.

      It it has an automatic gearbox it isn't a Landy.

      If it has an air conditioner or heater that actually works, it isn't a Landy.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: A modern Defender isn't a real Landy either.

        Hmmmm, by the sound of things a real Landy is no much cop.

        1. 080

          Re: A modern Defender isn't a real Landy either.

          That depends what you want to do with it. If you want to go down to the woods today and not have a big surprise, you need to tow a skip around the yard, you need something to stand on to reach an overhead branch or to get you down to the pub come snow or mud then you need a real Defender.

        2. Jan 0 Silver badge

          Re: A modern Defender isn't a real Landy either.

          > "not much cop."

          ...unless you really want to go off road. In which case a SWB Mk1 with a modern engine is probably what you require.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: A modern Defender isn't a real Landy either.

        It was the kidney issue which pretty much made my employer dump all the landies and replace 'em with landcruisers back in the late 70s.

        That and the landies' annoying habit of conking out on mountaintops. If you're working in a hilltop microwave or landmobile station and there's a blizzard or electrical storm coming down the ridge, you want to be OFF THIS HILL - NOW!

    2. OffBeatMammal

      Re: Limited on US vehicles

      Jeep do use the "Unlimited" designation on the Wrangler... which has four doors instead of the usual two!

      If I remember correctly I'd read somewhere that the new Cherokee was originally going to be an Alfa branded SUV before the FCA merger but when they realised Chrysler couldn't afford to design a new mid range to replace the Liberty they re-tooled it and stuck the prison bar grill on the front.

      As someone who's owned both Afla (155) and Jeep (Cherokee and Liberty) this seems to take the worst of both and try to present it as a good thing. I do very little real off-roading (4wd is mostly for gravel tracks and snow) so don't really care about the "trail rated" badge, but I care about looks, safety and mpg and so we'll probably get a Ford Edge to replace the Liberty when it finally bites the dust (around 100k miles in 5 years so it's not been a bad run)

    3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Limited on US vehicles

      "Limited" or "LTD" seems to have originated with trains, though I've never been able to work out what it was meant to signify. I suppose it's a bit like calling a European car "Express" or "Inter City".

  13. Charles Manning

    Nobody make offroaders any more

    When cowboy boots get made out of Italian leather they're no longer cowboy boots - they're just sexy shoes for wearing in gay bars.

    The same is happening with 4WD and other "tough" vehicles. They're no longer designed around practicality, they're now being designed for fashion.

    One of the more modern trends (I guess this year's car fashion) is to have deep body panels topped with visor-like slits of glass. Maybe OK on a roadster, but the last thing you want in an offroader - where you need plenty of visibility to see where the wheels are going etc.

    Today I saw one of the new Mazda BT50 pickup (what we in NZ call a ute). BT50 was once a hard working ute, but now no more! This has the skinny glass, but IMHO the worst offence are the rear lights. They're split - half on the body and half on the tailgate. In real usage, tailgates get a thrashing. They get dented and bashed. Those lights are going to get broken really, really quickly.

    But no doubt they'll sell in droves to Italian leather cowboy boot wearers to go clubbing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody make offroaders any more

      Hear. Hear!

      The only way to get a real working 4x4 is to buy one made pre 1990.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @ Ivan 4 (was:Re: Nobody make offroaders any more)

        Here in California, I'd say pre-1970. Post smog-control vehicles have absolutely zero low-end torque, and you're not really allowed to futz with it if you want to keep it street legal. On the bright side, I just bought a 1964 CJ5 that should match well with a Ford 300ci inline 6, T-10 transmission, a couple of Dana 60 axles, and a NP-205 that I have been hording "just in case".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody make offroaders any more

      Yes, they do still make 'real' offroaders. Toyota still does the 70 (but unfortunately they don't bring it to Europe oficially), Foers Ibex will make you one based on LR running gear, Jeep has the Rubicon, and the US manufacturers make some fine pick-ups that will do nicely with a bit of tweaking.

      I know, I drive them, own and have owned several different ones, and am currently researching the next one.

      It takes a bit more effort than walking into the nearest showroom, but you CAN have a 'real' offroader if you really want one and are prepared to pay for the privilege.

  14. Robert Helpmann??
    Childcatcher

    RE: Question

    If one is 30% reliable and the other is 40% reliable, you find their combined reliability by multiplying the two giving 12% (oh my!) overall reliability... for example.

  15. Scubaman66

    Or for the same money you could buy a two year old Range Rover which would not only be more comfortable but would be significantly better of the rough stuff than most, if not all, street level 4 x 4's out there. Plus it would have the added kudos of being a Range Rover.

    1. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Range Rover??

      How can something with close to zero ground clearance be useful off road?

  16. jake Silver badge

    It ain't a Jeep ...

    ... if it can't make the Rubicon run.

    Corporate braggadocio not withstanding.

    EOF

  17. 101

    Jeep now a gurly-euro-crapo-kia?

    Grrrrrrrrrr!

  18. FutureShock999

    So the author picks the "Limited" edition, and then bitches about how it isn't really a Jeep, and lacks power. And then goes on to say that the Trailhawk edition does exist - and btw cures BOTH of those problems (and more) as every Jeep enthusiast knows - but some Jeep manager said it was "specialist", so you ignored it.

    WTF Simon - the answer to your criticism is right in front of you and you engineer a way to ignore it so you can write a hatchet piece?

    And no, I'm not a Jeep owner - I drive an FJ Cruiser, their arch enemy - but I DO give proper off-roading respect any Jeep that says Trailhawk or Rubicon...basically any Jeep that has locking diffs.

  19. Tim Ryan

    Yes Well the TrailHawk is my third Jeep!

    And for those of us who did our homework before plonking down $40K. It has been a really worthy replacement for my 4.7L '02 GC and the 4L '93 Cherokee Sport before it.

    What's more it goes like a banshee on the highway at 10L per 100K handles like a Mini Cooper and crawls the back country where I live in Canada with total aplomb. This review is a prime example of technological masturbation.

  20. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Pwnage

    "FCA tells us that European models have a different modem and that it's safe from that sort of knavery."

    They would say that, wouldn't they?

    Who's going to let some hackers test it out to ensure that they're not telling porkies?

  21. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    Fiat Chrysler "incongruous"?

    no more so than was Daimler Chrysler

    most amusing quote from the linked story: "But it wasn't long before Chrysler executives complained the bullheaded Germans wouldn't listen to the Americans."

    All that verdammt insistence upon things like "quality" and "craftsmanship." SHEESH!

    1. Justin Clements

      Re: Fiat Chrysler "incongruous"?

      Err, don't think you'll find that Mercedes was making a quality product when they merged. As a Mercedes owner of a 2000 E class, its reliability is horrific. The Mercedes you think of, making something of quality and reliable, was taken out back of a Mercedes factory in the mid 90s and shot in the forehead.

  22. Maty

    If you think a Jeep should be about crossing the Rockies, forget it.

    Take the transCanada on Highway One past Banff, and you could do it in a Trabant ...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fiat + Jeep = Headache

    I shudder to think what the reliability will be like. If you fancy one of these, wait a couple of years and you'll probably be able to pick one up for about £5k.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeep Cherokee

    Ah - it just gets sadder to see.

    I still have my 2001 XJ 4.0L 60th Anniversary edition and in 120,000 miles and 15 years it has 'broken down' exactly once - needing the replacement of a £40 sensor (which I did myself)

    Yes at 17mpg it isn't going to win any green awards but i've never owned a vehicle that can do 100mph down the motorway and then climb a 40 degree muddy incline without so much as a gear change.

    I wouldn't even look at these new, so-called Jeeps, they are not related in anyway to Jeep.

    My Cherokee rocks!

  25. tekHedd

    Expecting the entire article to cut me off without a signal

    Jeep Cherokee, the car of choice of the agressive douche for more than 20 years!

    Well, maybe that's not true where the cars are right-hand-drive, but here in Colorado... About 15 years ago, I heard a singer/songwriter perform a song with a chorus that started "it's just another asshole in a Jeep Cherokee,.."

    Pretty decent song actually.

  26. CrosscutSaw

    Fugly

    Ugliest Jeep ever. That rear end is just a mess. Shudder.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Fugly

      Ugliest Jeep ever. That rear end is just a mess. Shudder.

      Dunno...the new "Renegade" is something that should've never been made. Or called a Jeep.

      How they could taint the Renegade moniker with that contraption is beyond me.

      1. CrosscutSaw

        Re: Fugly

        "Dunno...the new "Renegade" is something that should've never been made. Or called a Jeep."

        Agreed! Oh man it looks like a Nissan Cube! Atrocious.

  27. Me3

    Trailhawk

    I would agree that the Limited is a 4WD street vehicle. That's why I got the Trailhawk. Active Drive II, every conceivable option from the Limited (except the glass roof). It's "Trail Rated" in Jeep vernacular, which means it CAN do the Rubicon (which mine has done).

    So far it's been a great vehicle. 4 months and 10,000 miles. I guess we'll see in another few years but so far it's all thumbs up.

    3.2 L V6 get about 23mpg combined. Though to use 9th gear the computer is programmed that you need to be doing at least 80 mph. I haven't used sport mode yet - I'll have to go try that... But I can attest that both Sand and Rock modes work just fine.

    1. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: Trailhawk

      No one on here wants to hear about your real-world experience.

      They just want to shout about their need for a full-fat 4x4 to drive the 2 hours on a highway to work in heavy traffic each morning.

      And how Fiat have ruined Chrysler by saving their ass from oblivion.

  28. Mike Lewis

    Hot stuffed?

    Is that the one which catches fire when the automatic transmission fluid boils over onto the engine?

  29. Belardi

    Its the same ugly Jeep Grand Cherokee they have been selling in the states for a year or two.

  30. Omgwtfbbqtime
    Trollface

    The real question here is

    How fast does it go in reverse?

    After all it is Italian.

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