Photos of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee already gave individuals a clear idea of what to expect for the Liberty's replacement. As a new entry to the mid-size Sports Utility Vehicle market, the 2014 Cherokee not only had to stand out from a very crowded field, it also had to live up to its namesake.
The original Cherokee, the much-beloved boxy Jeep preferred by off-road enthusiasts, stopped production in 2001 and after the Jeep Liberty failed to capture an audience, the Cherokee name was revived. As a new mid-size SUV, the 2014 Cherokee follows some of the same design cues as its competitors. The 2014 Cherokee's exterior is much sleeker than its predecessor, rounded edges instead of sharp corners, but, despite the shiny exterior, the performance lives up to the Cherokee legacy.
The 2014 Cherokee is a fuel efficient SUV option, boasting 31 miles per gallon and four-wheel drive. The drive system features three modes, "Active Drive I," "Active Drive II" and "Active Drive Lock," that will let the Cherokee handle any type of hill or incline while the Selec-Train system lets you automatically select how the Cherokee handles including Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock modes.
With the 2014 Cherokee, the engine comes in two options, a 3.2-liter V6 Pentastar or a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir I-4. The V-6 engine means the 2014 Cherokee can tow up to 4,500 pounds. The Cherokee is the first mid-size SUV to feature a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Fears of the 2014 Cherokee not being trail-rated are allayed as Jeep announced the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model of the vehicle. While the photos of the 2014 Cherokee were met with disappointment, the car in-person looks much sleeker and not as round as in the photos. The off-road features, such as the 56:1 crawl ratio is 90 percent better than the Liberty and double the 2001 Cherokee's.
Watch the 2014 Cherokee preview below.