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GREEN | 6 out of 10
2014 Jeep Cherokee four-cylinder: 22/31 mpg, 25 mpg combined (FWD); 21/28 mpg, 24 mpg combined (4WD Active Drive I); 21/27 mpg, 23 mpg combined (Active Drive II)
2014 Jeep Cherokee six-cylinder: 19/28 mpg, 22 mpg combined (FWD); 19/27 mpg, 22 mpg combined (Active Drive I); 19/26 mpg, 22 mpg combined (Active Drive II)
The biggest advantage of the four-cylinder engine is that Jeep estimates it will get at least 31 mpg on the highway, but final EPA testing has not been completed.
The most fuel-efficient Jeep Cherokee can get up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway--so agrees the EPA. Most versions earn everyday gas mileage in the low-20-mpg range, with the most rugged editions dipping below 20 miles per gallon on the city cycle.
In spite of its standard nine-speed automatic transmission, the Cherokee doesn't fare so well against some other mid-size and compact crossovers--vehicles like the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Edge, and Chevy Equinox. None of those crossovers has its adventurous talent, though. The beefed-up body structure and heavier running gear its Trail Rating demands accounts for at least some of that fuel-economy penalty.The base front-drive Cherokee has the best numbers, of course. It's rated at 22 miles per gallon city, 31 miles per gallon highway, and 25 mpg combined. In most cases those numbers would push the Cherokee to our next-highest green score--but since we believe most versions will come with at least some form of all-wheel drive and/or the optional six-cylinder engine, we're going by the bulk of its EPA-combined averages, all in the low-20s.
Adding the basic all-wheel-drive system to the four-cylinder Cherokee drops gas mileage to 21/28 mpg, or 24 mpg combined; going with the more advanced Active Drive II setup lowers highway economy by one more mile per gallon, to 27 mpg, and combined numbers to 23 mpg.
On six-cylinder Cherokees, fuel economy starts at 19/28 mpg or 22 mpg combined for front-drive models; Active Drive I all-wheel drive lowers highway economy to 27 mpg; and Active Drive II drops it one more notch, to 26 mpg highway.
Gas mileage hits a 31-mpg highway high, but most Jeep Cherokees will average in the low- to mid-20-mpg range.