Chrysler introduced its all-new mid-size SUV, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, at the New York International Auto Show on March 27.
The all-new Cherokee replaces the outgoing Jeep Liberty, and features up to 45% better fuel economy compared to the outgoing model, a new aerodynamic design, three four-wheel-drive system choices, new advanced safety systems and a range of new technology features.
The SUV is available in four models, including the Jeep Cherokee Sport, Cherokee Latitude, Cherokee Limited, and the Trail Rated Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Chrysler said the all-new vehicle will arrive in dealer showrooms in the third quarter of 2013.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee offers two engine choices, each matched with a nine-speed automatic transmission. They include a 2.4L inline four-cylinder Tigershark MultiAir, the standard engine on the Cherokee, and an optional new 3.2L Pentastar V-6 engine.
The 2.4L engine can get up to an estimated 31 mpg highway, which is a 45% improvement over the outgoing Liberty. It can produce 184 hp and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. According to Chrysler, this 2.4L engine is the third to feature MultiAir technology from Chrysler Group and features the company’s second generation MultiAir 2 system, which further improves fuel-efficiency and reduces emissions.
The 3.2L V-6 is derived from Chrysler’s 3.6L Pentastar V-6 and gets 30% better improvement than that engine. The new V-6 can produce up to 271 hp and 239 lb.-ft. of torque and can tow up to 4,500 lbs.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is also equipped with an electronic power steering system that improves fuel economy, according to Chrysler, and helps the vehicle’s turning radius, making it 36 ft. in the 4x2 models and 38 ft. in the 4x4 models.
Next, the SUV’s 4x4 capabilities include three packages: Jeep Active Drive I, II, and Active Drive Lock. Active Drive I is available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude, and Limited models, and it features a single, fully automatic power transfer unit (PTU) that helps correct yaw and improve understeer and oversteer conditions.
Active Drive II is also available on the models mentioned previously and includes a two-speed PTU with torque management and low range. The 4-Low mode is designed for low-speed power or towing, and the low range provides a 2.92:1 gear reduction for enhanced climbing in tough off-road conditions.
Jeep Active Drive Lock includes all the features of Active Drive II and is standard on the Trailhawk. It adds a rear locking differential for improved low-speed power in severe off-road conditions.
All 4x4 systems feature the Jeep brand’s Selec-Terrain system, which allows the driver to choose the optimal setting for on- and off-road driving. The system gives drivers the choice of five terrain settings, including Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, and Rock.
One of the most noticeable features of the new vehicle is the exterior design of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee and how it departs from earlier Jeep designs. Chrysler said Jeep designers wanted to give the all-new vehicle an exterior that moves the brand into a new era without losing “Jeep DNA.”
One of the first features is a new front end, with a waterfall hood and seven-slot grille. The automaker said it used LED lighting technology throughout the vehicle. The Cherokee features slim daytime running lamps up front and full LED tail lamps in the back, plus a rear backlight graphic.
The Trail Rated Trailhawk version of the Cherokee features red front tow hooks, skid plates underneath, and front and rear fascias with an aggressive look.
For options, the Cherokee offers the CommandView panoramic sunroof or the Sky Slider full-length open canvas roof.
Color-wise, Chrysler offers 11 exterior shades for the Jeep Cherokee.
Inside the all-new Jeep Cherokee the vehicle features premium cloth or optional Nappa leather. The premium cloth features an interlocking graphic design. The door uppers and armrests, the center armrest, and the upper instrument panel feature premium materials, according to Chrysler, and soft-touch interior trim materials. For seat functionality, the 60/40 second-row seats can adjust forward or backward.
Interior options include power adjustable, heated/ventilated seats with memory, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a wireless charging pad, and more, according to Chrysler.
The Cherokee also offers a cargo management system that features a universal module rack that provides hooks and a removable bag. Optional accessories include an off-road accessory kit for Trailhawk models that features a tow rope, gloves and more; cargo bin, cargo mat, foldable cooler and first aid/emergency kit.
Inside, the Cherokee offers a mix of soft-touch materials, a new cargo management system, the automaker's Uconnect infotainment system, and a number of safety systems. Photo courtesy Chrysler.
Technology features in the Cherokee include an LED 3.5-inch grayscale or 7-inch full-color, reconfigurable instrument cluster. The driver can select what information appears on the cluster, including turn-by-turn navigation, speed, real-time fuel economy, safety warnings, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus (if selected), audio information, and Selec-Terrain, a Jeep-specific option.
The available 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia center, or the standard 5-inch multimedia touchscreen center, is located in the center stack. When equipped with Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system, the driver can control audio, climate controls, heated and ventilated seats, and more, via the touchscreen, via additional controls on the center stack, or via voice commands. The Uconnect system features Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM Radio, navigation, music, apps such as Pandora, Aha, and iHeart Radio, voice-to-text messaging, and streaming audio functionality.
The all-new Jeep Cherokee features more than 70 standard and available safety features, according to Chrysler. A total of 65% of the vehicle is constructed from high-strength steel. New safety features include ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus and Lane Departure Warning-Plus.
Other features include 911 assist call, electronic stability control, Electronic Roll Mitigation technology, a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic detection a ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, and 10 standard air bags.
The ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist system is a first in a vehicle from Chrysler Group, according to the company. It uses ultrasonic parking sensors on the bumper to help guide the driver into an available parking space. The driver controls the gear position, brake, and accelerator while the vehicle controls the steering angle.
Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, another first for a Chrysler Group vehicle, can bring the vehicle to a stop and helps maintain a safe distance between the Cherokee and another vehicle up ahead. It uses radar and video sensors to detect whether another vehicle is up ahead and whether a collision with it is imminent.
Next, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, another first, pre-fills the brakes to prepare for a collision and warns the driver with audible and visual warnings, brief braking to alert the driver, and Advanced Brake Assist if the driver isn’t braking aggressively enough to prevent a collision.
Lane Departure Warning-Plus is also a first in a Chrysler Group Vehicle, and it uses a camera-based vision system to detect the vehicle’s position on the road relative to lanes. If the sensors detect the vehicle drifting out of a lane, it will first deliver a visual warning and a physical warning via the steering wheel, and then a secondary visual warning in the driver keeps drifting.
In addition to new safety systems, new 4x4 technologies, and improved fuel efficiency over the outgoing Liberty, the Jeep Cherokee is built in the U.S. at Chrysler’s Toledo, Ohio, Assembly plant.