By: Melanie Droz Shawcroft
I Wish I Had More Stuff
Saying goodbye to the cool weather and warm beaches of San Diego is very difficult especially when moving back to the summer heat of Phoenix, Arizona. However, the beauty of Arizona is that you can drive an hour and a half north and be in a totally different environment. Merely two weeks after arriving home, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4X4 gave me enough incentive to take a weekend road trip.
I packed up the Jeep with my husband, 3-year-old son, 5-year old English Bulldog
and a picnic lunch and we hit the road. I wish we had more to pack – the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4X4 is definitely enticement to buy some toys, and I am not talking about a new Spiderman figure for my son.
The accent tow hooks had me envision hauling a new boat or camper. The second row seats that fold down almost encouraged me to leave Berrett and Slim with their grandparents for the day and throw in a couple kayaks for the lake, and the fold-flat front passenger seat with in-seat storage almost forced me to leave the husband at home too. I could have used the extra space for a well-deserved nap later that day. But like Jeep says, “No rest for the Restless,” so I decided to bring them all along.
We headed towards Hutch Mountain which is just south of Flagstaff and east of the I-17 freeway. Thankfully we had the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen navigation with Bluetooth to get us there. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4X4 made it an enjoyable ride up. The 2.4L MultiAir2 I4 Engine and 9-speed automatic transmission with electric range select made it smooth and powerful climbing up the hills. I was able to set the adaptive cruise control with stop & go so that I was comfortable, and the dual radar sensors to monitor driver blind spots made it easy to switch lanes. Plus, at 31 highway miles per gallon, we didn’t hurt the bank getting out of the heat. The only thing that hurt was having to say goodbye to the cooler weather when we left later that day.
It was finally time to do some gritty off-roading, and the Trailhawk was the perfect tool for the job. Some people may think I am crazy taking a 3-year-old off roading, but besides the trails at Hutch Mountain be rated as easy, the Jeep has over 70 available safety and security features. Plus, Berrett loves it! We opened up the CommandView dual-pane sunroof with wide open viewing to allow the cool air in and get a nice sight of the tall ponderosa pines.
The 20-mile one way gravel road was no match for the Trailhawk 4X4 even with the intermittent muddy areas. We stuck it in 4-wheel drive and took advantage of the 1-inch lift, skid plates, 17-inch off-road aluminum tires and the Trail rated capability with Jeep Active Drive lock 4X4 system and locking real axel. We even used the Selec-Terrain traction control system since the ground did vary at some points on the trail. With five customized settings (auto, snow, sport, sand/mud and rock), we were able to spin the dial to match the conditions. We took a few side roads and found a great picnic spot.
Taking it all in after lunch, Berrett and I laid down in the back of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4X4 with the seats folded down and the sunroof wide open as Matt threw the ball around the quiet, secluded forest for Slim. Man, was I glad I decided to bring the whole group with me. However, gazing at the space in the Jeep while Berrett fell asleep on my chest made me realize I could fit it all – I could even fit the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4X4 in my budget with an MSRP of $29,595.