We gays love our Jeeps. Whether it be a classy Grand Cherokee or a door-less, ragtop Wrangler, there’s something masculine and cool and eminently Gay-chic about owning a Jeep. That said, there’s a lot of space between those two vehicles, which Jeep is filling with its new Cherokee compact crossover.

First, it looks, um, different, with a controversial constellation of front-end lights (that I love, but not everyone else does). It also checks all the boxes in terms of space, interior ergonomics and available features, including a ton of safety equipment like drift prevention, collision mitigation, radar cruise control and more that’s found primarily on luxury cars. But Jeep may have overshot the mark on the equipment parade in the case of my Limited grade test vehicle, which came loaded with pretty much everything but a sunroof, bringing the sticker price to at an eye-watering $37K!

At that price, the Cherokee needs to feel less like a RAV4 inside and more like a Mercedes, and alas, it doesn’t. Not helping matters is its nine-speed automatic, which is indecisive, and the optional 3.2-liter V-6 is a tad gruff. As a luxury-inclined crossover, the Cherokee is unconvincing; me thinks the sweet spots for the Cherokee are in its less-pricey mid-grade trims, or the more macho-looking, off-roadworthy Trailhawk edition.

2014 Jeep Cherokee
Base Price (including destination): $23,990 (FWD); $25,990 (AWD)
Power: 3.2-liter V-6 (271 hp, 239 lb-ft of torque)
Tranny: 9-speed automatic with manual shift control
Fuel Economy, city/hwy: 19/27 mpg

Or you could buy:
Ford Escape
Nissan Rogue
Mazda CX-5

Renowned automotive journalist and gay car geek Steve Siler has turned his life-long love of cars into a fruitful and enthusiastic career traveling the world to test thousands of new vehicles as they are introduced. Siler is s regular contributor to Car and Driver Magazine, Edmunds.com,AutoTrader.com, AOL Autos and Yahoo! Autos, and also pioneered automotive writing for the LGBT community more than a decade ago.