New 2014 Jeep Cherokee features up to 31 mpg highway, 9-speed transmission; driver assistance firsts
|2014 Jeep Cherokee. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler introduced the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV at the New York International Auto Show. The new Cherokee features a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, developed in partnership with ZF; fuel economy improvements of more than 45% versus the outgoing Liberty model; and more than 70 advanced safety and security features.
Powered by the choice of two new engines mated to the nine-speed, the Cherokee features expected highway fuel economy ratings of up to 31 mpg US (7.6 l/100 km) and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles (805 km).
The Cherokee is based on the Fiat Group’s Compact US Wide (CUS-wide) platform. The architecture comprises common, modular and interchangeable components and allows for modularity of the wheelbase, front track, rear track, front overhang, length and width across vehicle lines.
Nine-speed. The use of the 948TE nine-speed automatic transmission marks the first time a nine-speed automatic transmission has been used in the segment and is standard equipment in all models of the new Cherokee. The new transmission has a compact, modular design and is the first 9-speed automatic transmission developed for passenger vehicles with a front-transverse engine layout.
Its wide gear ratio spread of 9.81 over the nine stages enables smaller gear steps, offering greater ride comfort and ensuring that the engine always runs in the most economical speed range. Consequently, the 9 speed features contribute to reduced fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions versus a six-speed automatic transmission.
Packaging the 9 speed within the limited space of a front-transverse powertrain layout required a groundbreaking solution: four separate gearsets and six shifting elements in a unique nesting arrangement, instead of the conventional longitudinal placement of the gearsets behind one another.
The package size and overall weight of the 9 speed are comparable to conventional six-speed arrangements for transverse layouts. The new design concept is supported by efficient, hydraulically operated constant-mesh elements, designed to ensure performance and refinement within the compact dimensions.
Direct multiple gearshifts are also possible with the 9 speed and contribute to its sporty character. Shifting points and shifting dynamics are highly variable, from greater comfort and optimized fuel economy to aggressive performance. This enables vehicle manufacturers to tailor the “feel” of the transmission.
Engines. The 16-valve, 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 I-4 engine is standard in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The 2.4-liter is the third engine to feature MultiAir technology from Chrysler Group and features the second generation “MultiAir 2” system that further enhances combustion control, improves fuel efficiency and reduces exhaust emissions.
The 2.4-liter Tigershark engine offers up to an estimated 31 mpg highway fuel economy rating, a more than 45% improvement versus the outgoing model, and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles. The 2.4-liter MultiAir 2 Tigershark I-4 engine produces 184 hp (137 kW) and 171 lb-ft (232 N·m) of torque.
The electro-hydraulic fully variable valve-lift system uses a column of oil in place of the traditional mechanical link between the camshaft and intake valves. As a result, it delivers precise control of the intake-valve events—beginning and end—delivering reductions in engine-pumping losses and increases in volumetric efficiency.
In addition to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, MultiAir accounts for a fuel-economy boost of up to 7.5%, compared with engines with conventional valve trains.
The available new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is the first derivative of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines three years running. The available new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine benefits from the same innovations that earned its larger displacement predecessor industry–wide acclaim for efficiency, power and refinement.
For the driver, that means a refined driving experience with reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and higher specific power output (84.2 horsepower per liter) while delivering fuel economy improvements of 30% versus the outgoing V-6 engine. The 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces 271 hp (202 kW), 239 lb-ft (324 N·m) of torque and delivers best-in-class V-6 towing of 4,500 pounds.
4x4 systems. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee provides a choice of three 4x4 systems. The Jeep Cherokee is also the first mid-size SUV to feature rear-axle disconnect, resulting in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn’t needed, improving fuel efficiency. The rear-axle disconnect seamlessly switches between two- and four-wheel drive for full-time torque management and does not require input from the driver. The three 4x4 systems are:
Jeep Active Drive I. Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive I features a single power transfer unit (PTU) which is fully automatic and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive at any speed. The system does not require any driver intervention or feedback, delivers yaw correction during dynamic events and improves both understeer and oversteer conditions.
Jeep Active Drive II. Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive II includes a two-speed PTU with torque management and low range. 4-Low mode locks the front and rear drive shafts for low-speed power or towing. Low range provides a 2.92:1 gear reduction. The gear reduction allows for enhanced climbing ability as well outstanding crawl ratios for severe off-road conditions. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee with Jeep Active Drive II gives the off-road adventurer a ride height that is increased by an inch, a crawl ratio of 56:1 when powered by the 2.4-liter MultiAir Tigershark I-4 engine, and 47.8:1 when powered by the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine—up to a 90% improvement versus the outgoing model.
Jeep Active Drive Lock. Jeep Active Drive Lock includes all the features of Jeep Active Drive II and adds a locking rear differential for superior low-speed power for severe off-road conditions. Jeep Active Drive Lock is standard on all Trailhawk models.
All 4x4 systems feature the Jeep brand’s Selec-Terrain traction control system, which allows the driver to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum performance. Five customized settings are offered: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates and optimizes up to 12 systems on any terrain providing enhanced vehicle control including: drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control (ESC), transmission controller, powertrain controller and Selec-Speed Control (Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control).
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is equipped with an electronic power steering system (EPS) that improves fuel efficiency and contributes to the Jeep Cherokee’s nimbleness with a turn circle radius of approximately 36 feet in 4x2 models, approximately 38 feet in 4x4 models and roughly 39 feet in the Trailhawk off-road model. With EPS all of the power assist is provided via an electric motor system rather than a traditional hydraulic system. Because the system is fully electronic, the driver experiences optimal steering effort at all vehicle speeds, and there is less noise and better fuel efficiency since there is no parasitic loss from a power steering pump.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee’s body structure has a high-strength steel content of roughly 65 percent. Hot stamped-, high-strength- and ultra-high-strength steel are used to construct a strong, lightweight, solid vehicle architecture.
Safety and Security. The new Cherokee was engineered with more than 70 available safety and security features. The Jeep Cherokee starts with a strong foundation constructed with 65% high-strength steel. Engineers then added both active and passive safety and security features, including: Chrysler Group vehicle firsts ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist; Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus; Forward Collision Warning-Plus; and Lane Departure Warning-Plus; 9-1-1 assist call; ESC; Electronic Roll Mitigation; Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines and 10 standard air bags.
The ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist feature in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a first in a Chrysler Group vehicle. Using ultrasonic parking sensors on the bumper the system will find and guide customer into an available parking space when the driver initiates parking maneuver. The parking guidance system controls the steering angle automatically, the driver controls the gear position, brake, and accelerator. Parallel parking is possible on either side of the car; during perpendicular parking, the vehicle is backed into the space.
Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, also a first for a Chrysler Group vehicle, is significant for its capacity to bring the vehicle to a complete stop without driver intervention in certain conditions. Radar and video sensors identify the locations of vehicles traveling ahead of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The sensors also help ensure the vehicles are separated by a gap determined by the driver. If the gap is dramatically breached, the ESC system can aggressively deploy the vehicle’s brakes to affect a full stop, even if the driver never touches the brake pedal. To resume travel, the driver need only press a button on the steering wheel or tap the accelerator pedal.
Forward Collision Warning-Plus, another Chrysler Group first, addresses traffic-gap changes when Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus is inactive. When radar and video sensors detect a fast-closing obstacle ahead, the system pre-fills the brakes to prepare for emergency driver intervention. If collision risk remains, Forward Collision Warning-Plus correspondingly ratchets up the response with:
- audible and visual warnings;
- a brief brake deployment to alert the driver;
- a 1.5-second brake deployment to quicken the driver’s reaction time; and
- ultimately, deployment of Advanced Brake Assist (ABA) if the driver is not braking aggressively enough.
Lane Departure Warning-Plus, which is offered for the first time in a Chrysler Group vehicle, uses a camera-based vision sensor to establish the Jeep Cherokee’s position on the road. If there occurs an unintentional lane drift, determined by trajectory change and the absence of turn-signal activation, the system will deliver a visual warning and a haptic warning—the subtle introduction of torque from the electric power steering (EPS) system. If the driver unintentionally drifts too far, the system provides a secondary visual warning.