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  1. #1
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    Default Six ways the 2014 Cherokee is better than the early Cherokee

    Car enthusiasts love the Jeep Cherokee XJ for roughly the same reason rebel armies love the AK-47: It's reliable, cheap, effective, and absolutely classic. Therefore, the reveal of the crossovery 2014 Jeep Cherokee led many Jeep faithful to reach for their nearest available rifle and point it directly at their computer or themselves. They were wrong. The new Cherokee is an improvement in many ways.

    I love an XJ just like everyone else. It's the Miata of offroaders. Or maybe the E30 of offroaders. It's the only car you'd ever need or ever want. Go to a forum and ask people what you should buy and they'll tell you an XJ (even if your parameters are: convertible, V8, sports car).

    It's styling is classic, which is to say minimalist, which is to say simple, which is to say unrecreatable for the modern world. The hatred of certain Jeep fans towards the new Juke-fighting nose is strong, but those people are probably wrong. I haven't driven the new Jeep, so it's possible it's actually terrible, but there are some simple reasons why this new Cherokee is better.

    1. The Original XJ Wasn't A Truck

    Six Ways The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Is Better Than The XJ
    SEXPAND
    You know that ladder-and-frame XJ you miss? It doesn't exist. When AMC owned Jeep they invested 250 million Reagan-bucks into the XJ and its shorter, narrower, and lower unibody platform. That sound familiar? I'm sure if the Internet existed then everyone would be hearing about how the XJ was going to ruin everything pure about the SJ.

    2. It's More Powerful

    Six Ways The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Is Better Than The XJ
    SEXPAND
    The best version of the XJ was the 4.0-liter inline-six. That's a bulletproof engine. Yet, at best, it produced 190 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Now you're getting 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque out of the six-cylinder engine. Want the smaller version? You're still getting 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque.

    3. It's Dimensionally Better

    Six Ways The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Is Better Than The XJ
    SEXPAND
    Comparing a stock XJ to a stock 2014 Cherokee on off-road ability will be fun. Someone will do it. Maybe it will be us. The approach angle, departure angle, and break-over angle are going to be an important part of that.

    Here's how they stack up:

    Approach Angle: 38 (XJ) versus 29.8 (2014)
    Departure Angle: 31 (XJ) versus 32.1 (2014)
    Breakover Angle: 21 (XJ) versus 23.2 (2014)
    That's fairly similar and, approach angle aside (welcome to the cruel modern world) it's better.P

    4. It's Taller

    Six Ways The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Is Better Than The XJ
    SEXPAND
    The stock ground clearance on an XJ was 7.3 inches for a stock Cherokee and 8.3 inches for the Upcountry versions. The running ground clearance of the new Trailhawk Cherokee? 8.7 inches. Booyah.

    5. Its Crawl Ratio Is Nearly Double

    Six Ways The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Is Better Than The XJ
    SEXPAND
    The crawl ratio is a measure of the lowest gear a vehicle is capable of getting into, which is important if you're going to try and crawl over something (thus the name). The stock crawl ratio in the Trailhawk is 56:1, nearly double that of the XJ.

    6. It's More Fuel Efficient

    The best mileage any Jeep XJ with AWD could produce was 20 mpg. The best the Jeep can produce is 31 MPG. We'll see what the Trailhawk ultimately gets, but a disconnectable rear-locker plus the nine-speed transmission means it'll almost certainly be a massive improvement. The big drawback, of course, is no manual transmission. Sad.

    http://jalopnik.com/six-ways-the-2014-j ... -461239031
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Six ways the 2014 Cherokee is better than the early Cherokee

    Soooooooooooooo .......................................

    I drove one last Sunday, and even got paid for it. So styling issues aside, here is my honest take on it. There were two on the lot, both with the 2.6l 4 cyl. and 9 speed trans.

    They might have a little more hp, but the vehicle itself is heavy and accelerates slower than my 2.8l carburated XJ did when I bought it. They did fix the constant shifting and hunting issue of the transmission, but sacrificed some acceleration potential to do so.

    I like the headlights. Someday I will source the projector headlights and put in the XJ with HIDs. One lamp has both high and low beam. I have been waiting for that to show up

    The brakes look great. Large discs and four piston calipers front and rear. Same bolt pattern as the XJ I think. My mind was spinning around converting mine to these great looking brakes

    The seats are not as comfortable. Too hard for long distance driving

    Tires are shorter and fender wells smaller than the stock XJ. So modifying tire size is pretty much out.

    It has an air suspension. Great idea on the highway. I had one in a Subaru XT that worked pretty much identical to the one in the Trail Hawk version. I cold lift it 2.5 inches with a push of a button. The rig stayed level with loads and stayed level with hard braking. Also compensates for cornering forces. If you run a tire up on a curb it and three tires on the level ground it will keep the vehicle level. However there are drawbacks. If you corner hard enough, the outside will stay where it is supposed to, but the inside will pick up. When that happens, slow it down or you will have some top milage on it. It happens quickly, so if you are not aware, you can get into trouble. The trail hawk version has the suspension pumped up so firm, it will not articulate at all. Not good in my book.

    The transfer case and differentials have all that electronic control stuff for different terrain etc. Good for soccer moms if they have enough sense to not push it to the limits. But once that happens, the vehicle looses traction and cannot be corrected to regain traction on snow or ice. You are headed for a crash and there is nothing you can do about it. Watched a You tube vid where that happened and it was fatal and messy. I have also seen that happen many times in my own driving over Donner Summit.

    The 4 cyl is not a quiet engine. It is louder than my turbocharged subaru engine that makes 265 hp and was as loud inside as the 3.0 diesel Grand Cherokee I drove. But if you have to have one of these, then get the 3.0 diesel. It pushed the 5,000 pound grand pretty well and was quiet once it got warmed up. In fact it out performed the Hemi in the same rig which was only rated at 4 mpg less than the 4 cyl grand. But I have to add, my 4.3l Chevy in my XJ will leave the Hemi in the dust. But not the diesel.

    Lots of electronic bells and whistles, but you can upgrade the XJ to that for a lot less than 46K

    But as far as modifying this rig to use as I do my XJ, forget it. All IFS with air suspension. A complete gut and redo with disabling the electronics in the tcase if you can get away with that.

    And remember, these vehicles are very heavy. They are loaded with plastic and insulation. Fine on the highway, but on anything soft, you find the bottom.

    _________________
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Six ways the 2014 Cherokee is better than the early Cherokee

    The pretty well complete inability to modify it (without big bucks and great skill) makes a big difference to me, and take it out of the enthusiast vehicle category for me.

    And truly, who would get this for wheeling over the jk?!?! In my book, its like it doesn't have a purpose. Its more expensive than most in its category, worse fuel economy, and is only maybe a little more capable due to the low range and locker (if equipped). But no matter what you cram in the diffs and trans its still a car... and without EXTENSIVE modifications will always be.

    Sent via messenger pigeon - i talk, he types.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Six ways the 2014 Cherokee is better than the early Cherokee

    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Wheeler View Post
    The pretty well complete inability to modify it (without big bucks and great skill) makes a big difference to me, and take it out of the enthusiast vehicle category for me.

    And truly, who would get this for wheeling over the jk?!?! In my book, its like it doesn't have a purpose. Its more expensive than most in its category, worse fuel economy, and is only maybe a little more capable due to the low range and locker (if equipped). But no matter what you cram in the diffs and trans its still a car... and without EXTENSIVE modifications will always be.

    Sent via messenger pigeon - i talk, he types.
    The salesman was pretty up front with me about it. He said it was made to compete with the Rav 4, another mid size soccer mom car. But it looks like its big brother, the grand and has most of the same features
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

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