By on February 22, 2013


Chrysler sure knows how to get the attention of the autoblogosphere. It’s not just that they send out pictures of a new car, along with a titillating come-on embargo. Oh, no: They do it not one, but several better. TTAC is in receipt of a Chrysler-internal email, along with userid and password to a site where secret pictures of the Jeep Cherokee are stored, along with the admonition that “anything you have heard or seen is still embargoed, until the day of the reveal, Wed., March 27 (at 12:01 am EST).” What do we do now?

Of course, we do our journalistic duty. In the name of the first amendment, we assert our constitutional right and publish the darned pictures, especially now that everybody else did. We also would like to take the opportunity to  state that the name Jeep® Cherokee is instantly recognizable as the most capable and versatile mid-size SUV in the world. For 2014, Jeep brings the Cherokee name back to North America with the debut of its all-new mid-size sport-utility vehicle.

 If you think that this sounds like lifted from a press release, then you are darn right. It was part of the confidential email.

You want the userid and password, you say? Bah! We are professionals, and we do not reveal our sources.

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72 Comments on “Jeep® Cherokee Embargo! Cripes! Alright, TTAC Busts It...”


  • avatar
    nickoo

    Huh? I thought Chrysler lifted the embargo? What happened to the previous article?

    This thing is still AZTEK II.

    • 0 avatar

      What article? There was no article. It’s late. Go to bed.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        There was an insider look at what happened in chrysler’s board room when the Aztek 2.0 was launched in the comments field. It was oh so witty, as I remember it at least. ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          Lampredi

          Where can we find this comment? Or has it been deleted?

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            There was no comment. Nothing was deleted. We have always been at war with Eastasia. It was all a dream, like Bobby Ewing in the shower. I’ve already gone through this, so let me give you a hint: Bertel is the EDITOR-In Chief.

          • 0 avatar
            agent534

            Try looking here:
            http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:jgo4d-3i8RAJ:www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/official-2014-jeep-cherokee-first-looks/+thetruthaboutcars+Aztek+2.0&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

            I think this is the comment being searched for:

            MeaCulpa
            February 22nd, 2013 at 9:04 pm

            Inside a crowded boardroom in Detroit, a high level – now former – Chrysler executive presents the future of JEEP.

            -I give you the AZTEK!
            -mumbling
            -Who?
            -mumbling
            -Was that a part of GM?
            -mumbling
            -When?
            -mumbling
            -REALLY
            -mumbling
            -Could we cal it Aztek 2.0, the social media edition, that’s still a thing right? Maybe offer in car Myspace
            -mumbling
            -Gen whatnow? 2.0 works right?
            -mumbling
            -Dam intellectual property laws.
            -mumbling. Whilst holding up a picture.
            -Well I’ll be darn! So ad our grill to it and use more ruler.
            -mumbling
            -What?! Name I don’t care? Call it the Cherokee or something, who cares what Indians we use.
            -mumbling
            -What you talking ’bout? Offensive. Hey, who’s that god damn Guido in the corner? Did somebody order pizza?

            Update: The anonymous executive has been offered a job at Jaguar/Land Rover.

    • 0 avatar
      Good ole dayz

      To me it looks more like Jeep is going for a CHICk look.

      Pretty much the current generic crossover / “cute ute” with the current idiom of largemouth bass front grille opening.

      To not be all negative, at least the belt-line looks relatively low by today’s standards, providing something resembling side windows rather than gun slits, and the better accident-avoidance safety that comes with better visibility.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      A number of other commenters have also mentioned the Aztek as a comparable design. Frankly, I don’t see anything Aztek in this design.

      I still have a (satirical) Powerpoint presentation that describes the Aztek design as the result of “an SUV f*ed a toaster”. It was a truly ugly vehicle.

      All in all, this is probably not my cup of tea, but I’ll wait to see it in the flesh. When it does appear, the only measure that matters will be sales.

  • avatar
    campocaceres

    Wow, that’s almost cringe-worthy. Although, to give them credit, they did get the word out through proxy. I’m sure many TTAC readers are now sold!!

    Also, the new pictures didn’t change my mind. Still think it looks maggot infested.

  • avatar
    bludragon

    Oh my eyes! I’ve tried looking at each of those pics at least 5 times now and I’m still unable to focus on any one of them long enough to make sense of that mess plastered across the front of this thing. I can only imagine it looks better in person. No pics of the rear either, is it possible it is even worse from that angle?

    As for the embargo, sounds like a planned bit of viral marketing.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Will they have manual diesel version, because if they don’t there is nothing remotely capable about it… off road speaking, of course.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    It seems that the Italians forgot the Multipla fiasco. Or never learned from it.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    For the record nobody in the late 1980s and 1990s thought the short long tall clearance box was a winning look. It served a severely butch design arch that was the SUV in that era. It’s main rival wasn’t even born yet and when it was it set the stage. That rival? The Ford Explorer. Look at the Explorer today and look at the new Cherokee. It all makes sense when you look at the current market. The last of the semi-butch designs is the honda Pilot and it isn’t exactly flying off the lots.

    Soft crossovers sell. A bad face can be fixed. I personally like the look and would have no problem living with it.

  • avatar
    Bob

    Jeep Juke?

  • avatar
    hadrian762

    The front end looks like a Chinese guy with bad dental work. Too bad, since I think they did a great job with the Grand Cherokee.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Hideous.

    The current Patriot is a much better Cherokee than this steaming pile of juke.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      I would never consider this over a patriot, now that the patriot is going to 6 speed auto for the new model year, and patriots are practically being given away. The patriot is the true modern Cherokee successor.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Ever had a beautiful morning ruined by blindly stepping in some cat puke?
    Visual equivalent.

  • avatar
    rentonben

    Now we know why you get when a VehiCROSS, Hummer H3, and an Aztek have a three way.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    Ewww… it looks like Aztek mated an angry hippo.

    At least it doesn’t have the BMW badge, so I think (I hope) people would have better sense than to seed them in our roadways.

    That previous Car and Driver rendering actually manages to be attractive in comparison… Wow.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Somehow the phrase “You can’t unsee what you have seen” seem to be strangely appropriate here.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Still not as bad as the pre-facelift Compass.

    • 0 avatar
      discoholic

      That’s like saying Gonorrhea still isn’t as bad as HIV.

      Truly hideous – the face looks like an angry koala with Dame Edna spectacles. Somewhere the guy at GM who greenlighted the Aztek must be quietly smiling to himself. And what possessed the Jeep guys to piss seven decades of design heritage away, I’ll never know.

      (And don’t even give me that “retro is so over” crap – Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Mini and other iconic brands all manage to look contemporary and still give a nod to their history.)

      • 0 avatar

        the Jeep guys probably have little say in this. The Italians own it now and they want to take it international. Seven decades is nothing to an international audience that have but a small acquaintance with Jeep. The design is thoroughly modern and will get noticed on a worldstage

        • 0 avatar
          Athos Nobile

          Marcelo, the body of the thing looks beautiful. The bonnet, specially between the grille and the windscreen is great. They did a good job.

          But man, that front end doesn’t scream “international audience” to me. What it screams is “gli Italiani non capiscono un cavolo”.

          I don’t see a Jeep there. It doesn’t happen like when I see a Patriot, Compass, Grand Cherokee or Wrangler.

          As a better example, see the Range Rover Evoque. When you see the thing in the street you know it’s a RR.

          • 0 avatar

            hola Athis. I get what you say but I believe my point still stands. For a non Americans consumers, ask them what’s a Land Rover. Then ask them what’s a Jeep. U see?

            Your evoque example us very good. Imagine what land rover would be today if all their cars were comestically and mechanically similar to a Defender…Jeep can try a new look to go international. I believe it wasn’t really even an option not to.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            The difference between this and the Evoque is that the Evoque is a well executed, striking design, even if it diverges too far from its heritage for traditionalists. The more I look at the front of the Cherokee, the more bizarre it seems. Why does it have three tiers of lights, the smallest of which is the headlights? This Euro-inspired design must be too sophisticated for me.

          • 0 avatar
            Athos Nobile

            Oi Marcelo,

            I used the Evoque example to show how the British were able to bring a radical new design and still have a connection with their previous product, being that a Range Rover, not a Defender.

            From what can be seen in those pictures, I praised the side and even the bonnet, elements which IMO work very well. But those headlamps have to go.

            “the Jeep guys probably have little say in this.”

            You know, maybe this is part of the problem. The Jeep guys are the ones who had to have a BIG say in this, because in the end they know their product better than the newcomers.

            And what I thought Fiat was going to do with Chrysler is already happening here. Dodge will be axed to be replaced by Fiat. It’ll eventually happen even in the US.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Athos!

            Yeah, of course your right. Slow, constant evolution is what the Japanese and Germans usually do. Fiat (and sometimes the French) or don’t believe in that and make radical breaks. The current situation in the market probably means Fiat is wrong, but when you’re pressured by poor sales, a clean break holds the hope that things change fast.

            Anyway, I read somewhere that Fiat’s strategy is to have or the Fiat Freemont or Dodge Journey as the only entry into a given market (Brazil would be the exception). Extrapolating this, it could be seen that Dogge will not survive where Fiat thinks its brand will do better.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Italian design is dead. That’s why Fiat’s only decent looking car is a replica of one they did fifty years ago. The Compass was problematic, but they’re better off leaving design to the folks in Wisconsin than letting the Italians have a crack at it. The current crop are a pathetic affront to all who came before them.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    “We also would like to take the opportunity to state that the name Jeep® Cherokee is instantly recognizable as the most capable and versatile mid-size SUV in the world.”

    That’s a big statement.

    I bought a new 95 Cherokee Sport with the 4.0 litre 6. That was very good off road……when it wasn’t having warranty work.

    I wonder if it will have hi-lo range and what engine choices, or are they going to build an AWD with a transverse engine.

  • avatar

    if by world they mean america, then they have a point. Anyways, for those crying on the use of the name, well cherokee is probably the only name they have with any international resonance. What you guys know as Liberty kept the name Cherokee in brazil.

    As to the lights, seems the pendulum has swung back, which is good. See Juke, EcoSport to name two. I like it enough and am guessing it has a good chance for sales internationally and even in America. As another poster said, the square butch look wasn’t going anywhete. Even in America.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Still looks better than the Compass and Patriot.

    • 0 avatar

      it’s pretty amazing how some people fail to realize the growing success of the Chrysler Fiat merger. Little things like the Journey’s improved ride and internal design, improved design of 200, etc. These people fail to see how limited is the appeal of even successful chrysler cars like charger. One can only hope that the Americans influence on the Italians will be as fruitful

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I like the looks of the Compass and Patriot.

      I initially liked the looks of this Cherokee, but now I don’t, and time is only making it worse.

  • avatar
    Gravy

    Well. That’s one way to do it.

  • avatar
    JD23

    An oversized grille that continues onto the hood, combined with comically undersized, squinting headlights? This beats anything Acura has foisted upon the world in the past few years and is in Aztek territory.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    According to a facebook post by Allpar yesterday Chrysler said in their twitter feed that the pics posted by jalopnik were early iterations, and that the cherokee that is scheduled to be shown in April will not look exactly like this one.

  • avatar
    shaker

    As long as it swills gasoline like its predecessors, it will maintain at least part of its “heritage”.

    Yeah, not very “jeepy”.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The blogosphere immediately bringing up the Aztek in reference to your new product can’t be a good sign.

    Sounds like they’re very nervous about the new Cherokee over at Chrysler.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Is this designed by Ssangyong in South Korea??? Which ones are the headlights? I am confused…
    Please clean up that front grille!

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    OK, this morning Allpar posted that chrysler released the actual pics, and they are showing the same pics as above. Man those headlights do look like s–t. I was never a huge fan of the Cherokee anyway, I like the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee, but still not enough to buy one. My wife drives a 2011 Grand Cherokee though. I like it real well, but I like my trucks better.

  • avatar

    Wow.

  • avatar

    I kinda like it.

    Really.

    It’ll sell, too. Watch.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    You know, this design could have worked had they NOT had to conform to Jeep’s 7-slat grille. Any other grille would have made it look worlds better.

    Until then, it still looks like a Chinese knock-off.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Butterfly

      Agreed. Without this out-of-shape GC grille it would probably look kind of like the new Ford Escape. Which is by no means a beauty queen, but is at least more appropriate.

      Still, those headlights couldn’t be fixed by anything really.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Curious how many things look so bad to the commenters here. Don’t know for sure how many cars you guys have designed and, just like you, I don’t like many of the new offerings. Since I can’t buy a new 40 ford or 57 chevy any more I stand prepared to maintain that status quo.

    However, based on the advice of the experts here I am determined to like this if I can. I’m with you Marcelo.

    • 0 avatar
      Moparman426W

      I certainly don’t claim to be an expert regarding styling, I only stated my humble opinion, I don’t like it. If someone else likes it that’s fine. When someone sets out to purchase a vehicle I’m certain that the last concern they have is what people post on the internet about it.

  • avatar
    th009

    The grille treatment on the facelifted Compass works much better; the chrome surrounds combined with the wrap onto the hood is just weird. In any case, the headlights are out of proportion.

    And isn’t that the Kia tiger nose below the bumper?

    Sajeev, we need some vellum venom!

  • avatar
    bobman

    I like it!
    One man’s ugly horse is another man’s beautiful stallion. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    I hope they sell millions.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I like this a lot. This is the Juke done right. Funky modern styling that stands out but still flows smoothly and makes me say “That’s a Jeep”. We’ll see how well it crawls around on rocks. Hopefully it will be like a Freelander, with decent offroad capability but still unibody and efficient.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Jeep has always been known as bold and strong. This design is just plain wimpy! I predict Fiat will be the downfall of Chrysler/Jeep in the long run.

  • avatar
    mshenzi

    Hmmm… I like the idea of taking bold design chances, but I want to like the face better.

    I like the center parts of this front end, personally, but I think the provocative slash-over-chunk stack of headlights distracts from the effect of the the grill and the lower opening. The elements compete instead of working together. The chrome in the center says “look at me”, but then the lights say “no, look at wild and crazy ME!”

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    Damn i wanted to like this. The sad thing is i think it’s very close to looking quite attractive. Just a little tweaking with larger headlights, slightly smaller foglights, and all that chrome trim being made thinner would have done it IMO.

    Edit. I take that back, on closer inspection what i thought were the headlights are not. Now i just think it’s a mess

  • avatar
    Acubra

    Ah, just another Fail-rated Heep…

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Grandson of Jeepster.

  • avatar
    Oelmotor

    Fiasco! If I am ever in the market for a wierd looking SUV, I´ll take the Juke.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    This deleting reposting and reshuffling of articles is getting just silly over this one ugly-a.. cuv. Guess in the interests of 1st amendment the comments have to be reposted. Hello no, it’s so ugly, we can come up with new comments, such as, this thing looks like a love child of Sergio Marchione and that fat kid from the superbowl’s godaddy commercial.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I get the vibe one team was trying to design a replacement for the Liberty, and one team was trying to design a sub-Durango crossover for Dodge, and both designs got mixed together inexplicably.

    I can’t imagine it would’ve been hard to take the blueprints for a Grand Cherokee and scale it back ten percent. Scaling it back 20% worked just fine for the Compass.

  • avatar
    KindaFondaHonda

    I really really like it.

    This same sort of criticism was foisted upon the original Nissan Murano (complaints about the “toothy” grille and first-to-be-implemented Gremlin-style upswept rear quarter windows). It was widely panned by internet forum “experts”. Guess what? Now a lot of SUVs have totally copied the Murano upswept rear look. And the Murano has since sold just fine, thank-you very much. So much for internet “experts”.

    These are the same soothsayers that stated the Juke would sell in “single digits” when it came out, the Bangle-Butt was a one-off disaster(now often copied to this day), and bland Jetta/Passat redesigns would result in sales disaster.

    All wrong.

    Not seeing the rest of the Cherokee makes it impossible to discern if it’s really wholly cohesive and good-looking in person, but I genuinely love the front. It’s different. How many millions of times do we hear: “That new front/rear/profile looks just like the ________. Boring!”. This new design at least looks like something new. The Compass and Patriot seem just timid and boring at every angle.

    Better get used to this look… it’s gonna sell like mad… mark my words.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      It’s different, I’ll grant you that. But being different doesn’t make bad design good.

      I’d love to hear Sajeev’s take on this — he has more design credentials than the rest of us put together.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree th009, but I’ll tell you a little bit of my history car gazing and thus building some sort of sense of style.

        Usually, if a car comes out and I immediately like it, it turns out to be something that does not stand the test of time (most recent Hyundais, some Fiats).

        If it comes out and I don’t like it immediately, well it’s usually because it’s very bland or really ugly (most VWs, Chevies, lots of Fords, BMWs of late etc).

        If however a car comes out, and at first I reject it, but then can’t stop looking cause somehow it intrigues me, usually these cars are labelled as good design, though sometimes not good design because of beauty, but rather cause it breaks some ground, and or becomes influential (Twingo, Ka, Uno are some examples).

        This Cherokee intrigues me. Would love to see it in person. But, if it follows the pattern above, it could be considered good design in a matter of time.

        In reality, I don’t know if what I just wrote makes any sense. It’s just my experience. Anyways, great to see you opine here. I believe you know your stuff and I respect your opinion. If you say it’s bad design, that certainly makes me more wary of it. Let’

  • avatar
    AJ

    Looks like Fiat had it’s way with a Jeep, and what resulted was a car, not a Jeep. Yuck…


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