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’14 Cherokee city mpg beats ’97 highway mpg

by David Zatz on

1997 Jeep Cherokee 2014 Jeep Cherokee
I-4power 125 hp / 150 lb-ft 184 hp / 171 lb-ft
Six-cyl. power 190 / 225 271 / 239
mpg, 4 cyl 4×4 19 / 22 (uncorrected) 23 / 31
mpg, 6 cyl 4×4 17 / 21 (uncorrected) 22 / 29
Weight, lb 3,111 – 3,153 3,811 – 4,106

Allpar members Bran and Mentallica found a “easter egg:” city and highway cycle gas mileage for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, for both four cylinder and V6 cars. The information is still there, in the form of a pop-up when users hit the plus sign.

The Jeep Cherokee four-cylinder, which produces 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque, has city mileage of 23 mpg, using the tougher 2008 EPA standard measurement cycle. In comparison, the old 1997-2001 Cherokee came in at 22 mpg on the highway, measured with looser standards.

In six-cylinder territory, the 271-horsepower Pentastar V6 is rated at 22 city, which compares with 21 highway on the original. Torque is also higher on the V6.

The gas mileage gains come despite a much porkier car: the 2014 Cherokee weighs in at between 3,811 and 4,106 pounds, while the 1997 Cherokee was a svelte 3,111 to 3,153 pounds. Much of the extra weight comes from bigger standard wheels, sound insulation including far heavier acoustic glass, and far more stringent safety rules which now include rollover standards. That weight bogs down the city mileage of the new Cherokee, while the old Cherokee’s highway mileage was hurt by its high drag coefficient of 0.51.  The new Cherokee benefits both from more work and experience in aerodynamics, and by the extremely wide range of the nine-speed automatic; its engines also have variable valve timing (via cam phasing for the V6 and MultiAir for the four). Its lower ground clearance may be a liability on severe trails, but it benefits gas mileage.

Gas mileage estimates for Jeep Cherokee 4×4 models has yet to be released, but is likely to be fairly similar with the base Active Drive I system; highway mileage is likely to be considerably lower on Cherokees with Active Drive II and Lock, since they have one more inch of ground clearance.

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