The 2104 Jeep Cherokee is loaded with enough tech to make a nerd’s head spin. That tech isn’t just the kind that involves gadgets and gizmos, but also features that let the thing climb up and down a mountain and tuck itself into a parking space on a city street.
Cars these days are so much more than cars. They’re extensions of our very tech infused lives and the completely redesigned 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a perfect example of how automakers are merging the two. Let’s start with the gadgety stuff.
There’s an 8.4″ touchscreen that feature Chrysler’s Uconnect system which I’ve found to be one of the most intuitive infotainment systems available. The screen is larger than what you’ll find in many vehicles and it makes it easy to read when following a planned route. It’s well-placed so your eyes travel just to the side, rather than down and way off the road and the buttons are large enough that they’re easy to press and you won’t be accidentally tapping the wrong one.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee has an impressive number of digital-audio options so no matter how you want to listen to your favorite songs, you’re covered. There’s Bluetooth, USB, and aux-in or you can just plug an SD card right into the dash. The Uconnect has also gotten an upgrade for 2014 that includes apps like Yelp, Pandora, and Slacker and will even let you turn your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Despite having incredible off-road capability, most people won’t likely take their Jeep truly off-road, but there’s some impressive tech that will make it easier if you should choose to give it a try. I drove the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk up a rutted, rocky, dirt road that was so tight in places that I was convinced I’d be taking the paint off their shiny new car.
I managed to not destroy the car (phew) thanks in part to the Jeep Jamboree instructors who were along the route telling me exactly how to turn the wheel and to the tech that helped keep the car moving in the right direction. Engaging the Selec-Speed feature keeps it evenly crawling forward between 1-5 MPH without having to touch the brake or gas so you can just focus on steering, much the way hill-descent controls you when you’re coming back down.
It’s also got a feature that is a first for a Chrysler vehicle in its ability to park itself. I tried out the parallel parking feature and not only does it find a spot where it knows you’ll fit, but you just sit back, take your hands off the wheel, and control only the brakes as the car slides into place. It will also neatly back you into a perpendicular spot with the same ease.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is that interesting mix of vehicle that will cart you around town as easily as it’ll trek up a mountain, and it has all the tech you’d expect in a tricked out sedan. If you’re looking for some off-road fun in between weekday drives, give it a drive and see for yourself what Jeep has to offer.
Chrysler provided transportation and lodging to attend this event.