By on March 29, 2013

Arguably the most important debut of the show – certainly the most polarizing – the Jeep Cherokee has split the opinions of the B&B in a bitter feud not seen since Jack declared the Mazda MX-5 superior to the Scion FR-S. I’m not sure I’d describe the Cherokee as attractive, but I do think its reception in the marketplace will be much warmer than anyone anticipated. After all, the Nissan Juke was criticized endlessly, and it’s gone on to become a sales success throughout the world.

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78 Comments on “Jeep Cherokee Live Photos...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    I hope it drives well – In addition to the rear tail lights, I sure wish that the folks in Turin hadn’t chosen that running light/turn signal arrangement on the upper fender.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    still ugly

  • avatar
    Syke

    And we welcome all the Jeep hard-core to the 21st century. Deal with it. Not that you’d buy a new one (and take all that depreciation), no matter what it looked like.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      Everyone on this site would buy a new one. We are just waiting for one that is brown with a diesel and manual transmission. Well everyone that is except for the Saab owners.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Interestingly, you’ll be able to get those options in Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m not really into actual SUVs let alone faux SUV car based trucklets whose mechanical longevity and repair-ability varies. But I do have to stare at this crap on the road/in traffic and it would be certainly nice to not get a migraine from the swath of cheap looking garbage the major automakers have been peddling as minivan/station wagon replacements.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      No one wanting a hard core offroader buys new…Who wants to thrash a 40k dollar vehicle!

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    The Miata is superior to the FR-S, what is the question? Unless you are over 5’10″ and want to be able to sit up straight in your car. Which is why I will have to buy an FR-S, unless Mazda fixes the headroom in the ND.

    People that want a real offroader four-door Jeep can get a Wrangler Unlimited. The real offroader market is not large enough for Jeep to make a something completely redundant to the Wrangler Unlimited.

    The complaining about unibody is particularly funny since the old Cherokee was unibody.

  • avatar
    Maxseven

    Very effeminate-looking, and its stance appears weakly planted and top-heavy. With a gutsy design change like this, the designers could have at least given the truck (?) some haunch and more appealing wheel fitment. This is a ladies car for sure. The interior looks decent though.

    2014 JC = Another one bites the dust.

  • avatar
    Easton

    I still see Nissan Juke in the front, (first gen) Chevy Traverse in the rear. It looks like they forgot about the rear license plate until the very end. Way, way too much blank sheet metal back there.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I’m impressed that they came so close to managing to make the back as ugly as the front. The sides are completely generic though. Surely, they’ve missed an opportunity to make the sides as hideous as the ends. If this thing sells better than the Aztek did, then it is high time for the apocalypse.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      I will remember your words, however if the ends is nigh then this is most diffidently not he Jeep I would be stealing from the local dealer. Can you say Wrangler or GC.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen a comment yet remarking on how much Dodge Dart interior was transplanted into this Cherokee (especially the dash assembly and gauge cluster).

      I don’t consider the Dart’s interior to be a strong point in that car, which is a compact vehicle, and it’s thus an even bigger weakness in this vehicle, which should preserve some heritage of the rugged Jeep Cherokee legacy, even in an modernized way.

      • 0 avatar
        AFX

        “Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen a comment yet remarking on how much Dodge Dart interior was transplanted into this Cherokee (especially the dash assembly and gauge cluster).”

        That’s probably because no one knows what the interior of a Dart looks like because nobody is interested in buying one.

        I saw my first Dart out on the road yesterday, and I was shocked to finally see one. Then I saw my second one on the same day, and I thought about stocking up on survival supplies because seeing two Darts on the road in the same day is either a portent of the second coming of Christ, or the zombie apocalypse.

        I’ve seen more Fiat 500′s out on the road than Darts. There’s more Smart cars in my town that I’ve seen than Darts.

  • avatar
    MMH

    At the very least it stands out in the segment. I’m good with the styling except for the fenders. Those squared-off openings look out of place against they very fluid rest of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      Yeah, the nose might grow on me, but now that you’ve pointed out the wheel arches, now I know what really bothers me about this thing. No wheels ever look properly fitted inside square wheel wells – have a look at a current Silverado/Sierra, for instance.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxseven

        Clearly they have tried to borrow the styling motifs from the Range Rover Evoque by Land Rover and have failed in every way imaginable.

        The LR gets everything right with the futuristic, stream-lined body type, including the wheel-tire-arch proportion/ratio. Look at the Evoque’s wheel arches – perfect.

        • 0 avatar
          kjb911

          I like it a lot (damn being part of generation y!) if they offered a manual this would probably be my next car…being auto only would knock it into my top 3. I see where people compare it to an Aztek, but as I sit in one as we speak, the Cherokee looks drop dead gorgeous especially with a higher quality interior.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          It is too bad they did not offer a manual, that would give it some street cred even if the take rate was abysmal.

          Still, the enthusiast choice in this segment is a Subaru XV, Outback or Forester.

          I would definitely take an Outback 2.5i 6MT over this.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          “Clearly they have tried to borrow the styling motifs from the Range Rover Evoque by Land Rover…”

          Not even close. And I’m actually starting to like this new Cherokee as I see more photos of it, which is a surprise to me. I’ll probably be queueing up to buy one by the time they get to dealerships…lol.

          “The LR gets everything right with the futuristic, stream-lined body type…”

          It’s a matter of taste. I also like the Evoque…a lot, but some people find it to be hideous. Also, the Evoque’s shape and proportions are impractical for what Jeep is touting as an everyday, usable crossover.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    They somehow made the rear end look like it’s missing something very important, even though it isn’t. Everything’s there, and yet…it looks unfinished.

  • avatar
    Onus

    As someone who wasn’t too keen on the front grill in the previous pictures, it looks much less offensive in person. Actually i like it.

    I can’t wait to try one of these. I’m a sucker for vehicle with locking differentials.

    Plus on top of that they managed to get in low range in a transverse vehicle. Personally having driven vehicles with low range i usually don’t have much need for it. But, the idea of getting in there is wonderful. You can’t go wrong.

    On the plus side this has uconnect which from what i hear is fantastic even though i haven’t tried it in person. It also sports the lcd gauge cluster out of the dart and grand cherokee. Another feature i would love to play around with. Last but not least it has the new Chrysler interiors which are top notch.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxseven

      Maybe so, but you cannot deny that you will appear to be driving around in what looks like a big turd if you decide to buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      I’m confused…you are a sucker for lockers but you don’t have much need for a low range transfer case?

      The rear locker is pure marketing hype. The undercarriage and bumpers will be beat to a pulp long before this turkey can make use of a locker.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The Trailhawk has full skid plating.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        The lockers help at slow speed. Not so much offload use but better winter driveability when needed. It’s still not needed much. But i enjoy the feature.

        To the comment above. Looks are in the eye of the beholder. I also don’t care what others think about what i drive.

        On a side note i wont be buying one since i have no money. But, if i did and had a need for a cuv i know what i would be getting and with what options.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          The only thing I can see good about this thing having lockers is that the suspension probably has all of 3 inches of flex all around so you are likely to lift a tire off the ground on any kind of rough terrain. This is not a limited slip. If you engage a locker it is like a welded diff…the 2 wheels spin the same speed regardless. This can make turning on a slippery surface adventurous.

          I would bet that driving on the street with the lockers engaged (does it have a front one or is it rear only) would void your warranty or something. If traction is good this is very rough on the diff. They likely only engage in low range anyhow which you are not likely to be using on the street.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            If they are anything like the ford lockers on the their trucks. They will disengage over 25mph.

            I know what a locker is. I prefer that over a limited slip as i can drive with it being open 90% of the time, and when i need the two wheels to spin at the same speed regardless of traction the locker comes in handy.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    It’s freakish design language is growing on my rather quickly. Then again, I’ve driven hideous Subaru’s for most of my adult life.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    Is there any new vehicle that debuts without the inevitable thousands of “it’s fugly” opinions posted on the interwebs? This is a very hot market segment and this smaller Jeep SUV manages to look more butch than the redesigned Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, or Toyota RAV-4. I think it will sell very well.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Butterfly

      So the day has come for the public to commend a Jeep for looking 2% more butch than a RAV4 (and 73% more hideous). Great achievement Chrysler, well done.

      And for what it’s worth, I don’t need my cars to look “butch”. I want them to look coherent. This thing surely does not.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    You can sell a woman a masculine SUV, but you can’t sell a man a feminine looking SUV.

    The Jeep Grand Cherokee was one of the few smaller SUVs that a guy didn’t feel like a soccer mom driving. It definitely morphed into something softer, but the current one is a nice blend.

    More angles please.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I dunno about that – I feel like a Soccer mom every time I drive my ’02 GJC. Regardless of its actual off-road capabilities. I also feel an almost overwhelming urge to clutch a cell phone to my ear. And wear pretty pumps. :-)

  • avatar

    I keep evangelizing the simple point that the low gear is much more important for the capability than the archaic frame construction or supposedly articulating live axles. As for the looks, they are not all that avant-guarde if you stop to consider some other vehicles on the road, and not only Juke. Take Kia Soul for example.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      The low gear is probably the least important feature for competing with CRV & Escape. The number of buyers who will actually ever use 4L would probably fit inside it. It’s a suburban soft-roader. Probably would have been better to leave it out of the design completely and cut costs.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        That is why they made the low range and locker options only on one trim. The volume will be made up of the suburban soft roaders like the Limiteds. Because it`s a Jeep, and not a CR-V, they designed it to fulfill the purpose of a Jeep with the capability of a Jeep.

        A perceived loss of capability is what most Jeep enthusiasts are crying about, aside from the weird styling.

      • 0 avatar
        AJ

        Although I agree that a low-gear is not that important for many people, there is a trail I’ve driven several times in Colorado (Imogene Pass) that any four-wheel (or all-wheel) drive could cross, as long as it had that low gear. Its entertaining by locals to watch CRVs and Escapes have to turn around and get to Telluride by paved road.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I will agree that you can get a capable offroad vehicle without live axles and the unibody is moot…plenty of capable unibody 4x4s (to include the original Cherokee). However given that this is based on the Dart I am skeptical that the suspension has enough flex to get me anywhere where I’ll need a low range. The rear locker will help though since I suspect wheels hanging in the air will be a reality should you try to take this anywhere. Probably as capable offroad as those old school Subarus everyone loves to romanticize though and were I to be brutally honest with mysrlf this will probably go 90% of the places I take my Land Cruiser.

      Having said all that, I think it is not at all attractive and I really enjoy those last 10% of places but I’d look at it as a replacement for my wife’s Tucson maybe. It could get to a lot of the places we camp that her car can’t and the lack of 12 MPG my truck gets would be nice.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “I’m not sure I’d describe the Cherokee as attractive, but I do think its reception in the marketplace will be much warmer than anyone anticipated.”

    Derek may well be proven correct, and if he is, it simply demonstrate how bent the world has become.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I’m just wondering when I’ll see a car that doesn’t have a face on the grill.

      I watched that YouTube release video of the Cadillac CTS convertible and CLR accidentally, and decided I really liked the design language because I could see the headlights or a face in that video. It looked more like machine (maybe inspired by an art deco rail locomotive?) and less like freaking Lightning McQueen.

      As a father of a 3 year old boy, I’ve see enough anthropogenic cars on TV and everywhere my son goes. Is it too much for a car to look like a sleek emotionless machine?

      And, yes, the Cherokee looks freakish because it has 6 eyes and is angry, which is pretty much the definition of a monster. The old jeeps used to just look like sturdy machines. Can’t we skip the whole monster-face thing and just make the civilized-jeeps just look like a sturdy practical streamlined machines?

      Even though I’m a Toyota-loving EV hippie, I have a soft spot for Jeep Wranglers (specifically the TJ and JKU) because they look like fun, look like they’re easy to work on, easy to modify, and they don’t pretend to be something they’re not. I keep wondering if one would make a nice weekend tinkertoy. I’m not seeing that with this Cherokee, though it does look like a good upgrade flr the Caliber twins.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Have the best of both worlds and get a Toyota FJ Cruiser (if you can get one at a reasonable price). I’ve always wanted an FJ Cruiser, as well as one of the original FJ40 Land Cruisers…

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Well, these ARE the station wagons of today, for the most part, like it or not.

    Of all the diesel-manual-small-wagon officiandos out there (I believe there’s only ONE), one of these or its similar vehicles from the various OEMs is your car.

    When I actually see one up close, I’ll hold judgment ’til then.

  • avatar
    BourbonBob

    We have an old Cherokee XJ and I couldn’t say it is attractive. But over the years, all the other vehicles got uglier, and we lowered our expectations. People buy Infinity QE2s, Kia Souls, Buick SUVs, Cubes and Nissan Pukes. This is relatively, well, not too bad.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Admittedly the front end of this thing is ugly, but the overall shape of the vehicle is pleasant enough. It shouldn’t be too terribly expensive to remedy this with a mild face-lift in a couple of years. By that time Fiat might have worked out some of the inevitable bugs that are bound to plague this new design.

    And there’s always the aftermarket. It should be a simple matter for someone from SEMA to come up with a better-looking replacement front-end clip.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Bet Jeep bosses were embarrassed as Land Rover unveiled yet anther stunning SUV

  • avatar
    slance66

    My wife really likes it. I’m torn, although I think the Trailhawk version looks much less feminine. The headlight/turn signal/fender arrangement is the only truly odd aspect, and it may be growing on me. Profile is nice, and the read is similar to the new Escape.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Everyone who disses it now please come back to comment when: a) you’ve seen it in person b) you’ve driven it. Thank you.

  • avatar
    YellowDuck

    I don’t hate it, but I wish they could have made it more jeep-ish. From some angles (especially the side) it could be a Kia. The only really Jeepy styling cue is the 7-slot grill, and even that they kinda morphed. I would have been way keener for a more traditional jeep grill flanked by big round headlights. Do anything you want around that and everyone will still know it is a jeep.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    That’s bad. The whole lighting arrangement up front is just – wrong. The plastic cladding comes up too far, the front fender plunges into the plastic too low, the lights are just – wrong.

    This appears fixable in a mid-year refresh. I like the overall lines, but for those commenting the resemblance between the loathed Aztek and this, for the front lighting arrangement and high cladding – they are spot on.

  • avatar

    I wonder if Jeep’s planning on introducing an optional rear tire carrier– I don’t see any other reason for the vast expanse of nothingness that makes up the hatch.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    No, it is not a 79 CJ, an FJ40, or an old school Cherokee. If you want that jeep will sell you a Wrangler outfitted however you like or you do what 99% of people who wheel their rigs do and buy a used truck and build it.

    It is likely to be the most offroad capable CUV out there however. Think modern AMC Eagle. This fills a need for a lot of folks who need a 4×4 but don’t plan on running the Rubicon. I for one am curious how capable it will be with some good rubber underneath. Someone building a fairly capable 4×4 that is likely to get decent mileage is OK in my book. I just wish it looked a little more traditional though but this rig isn’t targeted at me and I would buy one for my wife. Call me open minded on this one.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    What about the DLO?

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Hideous unmitigated pile of panda sht.

    I just glued seven dominoes onto the grille of my Corolla. Is it a Jeep now?

  • avatar
    cargogh

    Taking a sharpie to those middle lights was some strokes of genius. It looks SO much better.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’m not a big fan of the looks of this Cherokee.

    But, it will be a standout vehicle and draw attention.

    I also think the Camry looks quite poor as well, yet they are one of the world’s largest selling platforms.

    When they do come out I will want to go and see one in ‘real life’, it has that quality about it.

    I think you can’t be sure until you see for yourself.

    To the guy complaining about the tailights. UNECE regulations are different from the US. When in the States some of your taillights on the same vehicles we have look terrible. To much red.

  • avatar
    AFX

    “the Jeep Cherokee has split the opinions of the B&B in a bitter feud not seen since Jack declared the Mazda MX-5 superior to the Scion FR-S.”

    The Miata IS a better car, just google Monster Miata and LS1 Miata. Nuff said.

    I personally think the front end of this Jeep looks like it was designed by Mitsubishi, and it looks Japanese. Even if you painted it olive drab, it would STILL look like it was Japanese. Gotta love the irony of a Japanese Jeep with Jeep’s history.

    FWIW, the low-range and locking diff will come in handy as women have to get over those horrible speed bumps at the outlet mall when it’s winter and icy out. Her North Face parka will make sure she doesn’t get frostbite or hypothermia as she runs from the Jeep to Bed Bath & Beyond too.

    IMHO FWD is better on a truck like this, and is safer than 4WD with low range and locking diffs:

    FWD- Stuck in the parking lot of the outlet mall, call the tow truck.

    4WD- Stuck in the mud, get the winch out.

    4WD with low range and locking diffs- Stuck in the mud up to the rocker panels out in the middle of BFE. Hit the SOS button on your Spot Satellite GPS Messenger and hope the rescue party shows up before you have to eat your belt, or your passengers start drawing straws for a remake of the Donner Party. Do I hear banjo music ?.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      There is a lot of middle ground here.

      The computer controlled AWD+TCS in my Ford Escape was a technologically excellent all-weather drivetrain. I didn’t get any benefit from it personally despite living in a snowy climate because FWD+TCD is 80% as good, which is more than enough to keep me personally in the envelope. But computer controlled AWD+TCS takes the best of the two extremes you cite – and it works well for the appliance crowd because very little driver training is required.

      Of course, the counter balancing risk is that untrained appliance-drivers with computer-controlled AWD and several hundred horses under the hood end up with a lot of confidence in the snow and go flying off the next turn…… But saying “the computer will take care of everything, and all you need to know is to avoid driving too fast” is easy to communicate and remember when you hand the keys over to a normal person. So, making the computers do the finicky stuff is probably a big win in the situation that you’re thinking about.

      (My educated liberal wife (most of a PHD) would tan my hide for saying it the way you did, and most of the guys I know are similarly uninterested in the fundamentals of driving physics. But Jeep sells a lot of mall crawlers and cubicle-taxis, and that is what it is…)

      • 0 avatar
        AFX

        “(My educated liberal wife (most of a PHD) would tan my hide for saying it the way you did”.

        The Jeep has it’s own niche amongst educated Liberal women:

        Educated Liberal female, doesn’t shave legs, attended Womyns Studies classes in college, likes trips to Tibet or Peru, hates men= Subaru owner.

        Educated Liberal female, shaves legs, likes camping and using the Jeep to tow their boat with her husband, also likes doing beer bongs and keg stands= Jeep owner.

        Educated Liberal female, shaves pretty much everything, wouldn’t be caught dead outdoors except for skiing trips to Aspen, bought SUV because it’ll hold lots of stuff from the outlet mall and she can see over those people in their little Civics and Corollas in traffic, hates other women= Audi or Mercedes SUV owner.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          LOL, good luck convincing my wife to buy a car on THAT basis.

          The crunchy outdoorsy people I’ve met who drive jeeps drove them for the same reason that other outdoorsy people like jeeps – the vehicle.gives them courage to go places they wouldn’t otherwise go. The crunchy people do tend to emphasize lightweight camping more and hunting less, though.

          My wife is not outdoorsy, though, so the outdoorsy aspects of the jeep are of zero interest to her. Matching your fantasies of what educated liberal women are like is even lower on the list than that. In real life, she’s working day and night to be a successful academic and a good mom.

          If you want to validate your fantastic stereotype, or sell a jeep, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

  • avatar
    AFX

    This new Jeep release reminds me of the Honda Civic, and has generated about as much excitement in me as doing plumbing work. You get all the pipes cut and glued or soldered together, and the moment of truth arrives with the unveiling as you turn on the water. When you finally turn on the water you start seeing it spraying or dripping out from all the bad joints, then you say to yourself “WTF, I’VE GOT TO REDO THIS OVER AGAIN !”.

    Yep, that was the release of the new Civic.

    Actually, the Civic restyling is probably just a scam they learned from all the 70′s music groups. First you buy the album, then a few years later they release it on CD so you have to buy the CD version. Then after you’ve bought the CD version they come out with a remastered version of the CD so you have to buy that. Then after you’ve bought the remastered version they come out with the Mobile Fidelity gold remastered disc so you have to buy that one. Then after you’ve bought the Mobile Fidelity gold CD they come out with the DTS or DVD audio surround sound version on DVD so you have to buy that one too. Then after you’ve bought the album, the CD, the remastered CD, the gold remastered CD, and the surround sound DVD, they release it as a High Definition download over the internet, so now you have to buy that one, AND upgrade your computer too.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Oooooh I get it now. Integrate the fog lights into a black bumper, and then the design makes perfect sense. I have a feeling the models with color matching bumpers will sit on the lot.

  • avatar
    AJ

    The biggest regret I have in my new car buying history is that I passed on buying a 2000 Cherokee Classic back in the day… I will not say that someday about this ugly Jeep badged Fiat.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      You can buy a 2000 Jeep Cherokee today! It might just have a few miles on the clock, and be built to 15 year old standards. I can see the appeal, though!

    • 0 avatar
      MK

      Maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t, the 2000 was the first year of the 0331 aluminum heads on the otherwise rock simple and reliable 4L six.

      On the other hand cast iron heads are cheap and plentiful and there are still a lot of decent older XJs still running around. I picked my 99 up cheap a few months before c4c and in all likelihood saved it from the crusher. It’s been a fun off road project the last couple of years.

      I don’t see this new version having the same longevity but who knows…its probably more than capable for its intended duties. It doesnt even look that bad except they need to do something about the rear end though, it looks unfinished and incomplete.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Hang in there, I have a feeling that the next iteration of the Cherokee will more closely resemble the old XJ in appearance and capability.

      Once the CUV craze passes SUVs will return to being the rugged, purpose built vehicles they once were. The demand hasn’t evaporated but has been overlooked and ignored by manufacturers in recent years. Some forward looking auto exec is bound to figure this out…hopefully sooner rather than later.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Can it go off road like the older ones could? Or is this basically a car with a high center of gravity?


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