The new Jeep Cherokee has big shoes to fill, not only due to its namesake, but also in terms of sales for the mid-size crossover segment.
Love or hate its funky front-end design, Jeep has big plans for its new 2014 Cherokee. Based off the same Alfa Romeo-derived platform as the Dodge Dart, the new Cherokee not only revives a classic nameplate but also steps out of the Liberty's shadow as the first potentially competitive and compelling mid-size Jeep in years. Jeep has now released official specs for the Cherokee's New York debut, along with more angles inside and out than we'd seen before. And so far it looks like a solid winner.
Power comes from a standard 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir inline-four that produces 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque and delivers an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. The optional engine is a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 that's good for 271 hp and 239 lb-ft and has a best-in-class towing capacity of 4,500 lbs. Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic, the first time such a gearbox comes standard and a real departure for a company that was among the last still producing three-speed transmissions not that long ago. Buyers will also have a choice between four trim packages: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk.
Only the Trailhawk trim has earned the coveted Jeep "Trail Rated" badge. Buyers can also choose between front- and all-wheel drive, including three different 4x4 systems. The interior features Nappa leather seats and 10 standard airbags and more than 70 available safety features. An 8.4-inch touchscreen is optional while a 5-inch unit is standard. There's even a pair of sunroof options: a panoramic glass panel and a Sky Slider full-length open canvas. Assembly will take place in Toledo, Ohio, with dealership deliveries set to begin later this year.