For the past couple weeks I had the use of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, and it was Future Shock on wheels. Bear in mind, this is not some kind of ultra luxo mobile; it's intended to compete with little crossover utes of the RAV4 and Forester class, and base models start only a few Gs over the twenty long mark.
|Not boxy at all.|
It may say "Cherokee" on the nameplate, but this reboot of the iconic label isn't a ladder-framed, leaf-sprung rock crawler made civilized for pavement, but rather a transverse-engined FWD floorpan with optional 4WD. Handling had some inevitable wallow from putting over two and a half tons up on stilts (it's surprisingly heavy for its size) but like most crossovers, it's more sedan than pickup truck when it comes to steering responsiveness and ability to change directions or velocities abruptly without winding up backwards or upside down. The winter-tortured asphalt of rural New Hamphire was absorbed with aplomb by the suspension, as were the washboards and bumps of the dirt roads.
In the future, one does not bother with anything so plebeian as a key, apparently. You just wander up to the car with the RFID fob in your pocket, it lets you in, you punch the start button and drive off. Meanwhile, the Bluetooth-enhanced entertainment system starts playing the music on your iPad, all without you having to do a thing.
|Clouseau could run a slalom in reverse with this baby.|