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    New York Auto Show: 2014 Jeep Cherokee



    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    March 27, 2013

    Last month, Jeep experienced a bit of a problem. Shots of their new vehicle, the 2014 Cherokee were leaked out to the internet. The shots were were not the most flattering and caused an uproar on the webs. To quell as best they could, Jeep released their own photos of the new Cherokee and said that more information would be revealed at New York. Well that time has come.

    The Cherokee’s styling is either you love it or hate it. The front end is the main point of contention with its crimped seven-slot grille and stacked headlights. The back end features a rounded tailgate and unique bumper styling.

    Under the skin, the Cherokee uses the Compact U.S. wide unibody platform that underpins the Dodge Dart. While not as rugged as the body-on-frame Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee will be able to tow up to 4,500 pounds with the available V6 engine and deliver off-road prowess Jeep is known for.

    There will be two different engines available for the Cherokee, both going through a nine-speed automatic transmission.

    • 2.4L TigerShark four-cylinder: 184 horsepower, 171 pound-feet of torque
    • 3.2L V6: 271 horsepower, 239 pound-feet of torque

    Front-wheel drive will be standard on the 2014 Cherokee. There will also be three different four-wheel drive systems available as well.

    • Jeep Active Drive I - single-speed transfer case
    • Jeep Active Drive II - two-speed transfer case with low range
    • Jeep Active Drive Lock - low-range system with a locking rear differential

    All of the systems include Selec-Terrain, which has five selectable modes like Snow and Sand/Mud to help optimize the powertrain cope with the driving conditions.

    Inside, the Cherokee has room for five people, provides ten airbags, and a cargo space of 29.7 cubic feet. Available equipment includes a reconfigurable 7-inch screen in the instrument panel, an 8.4-inch touchscreen housing the infotainment system, and a self-parking system.

    The new Cherokee arrives later this year.

    Source: Jeep

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    All-new 2014 Jeep® Cherokee:

    No-compromise Mid-size SUV Sets a New Standard

    Jeep® raises the bar with legendary benchmark capability, world-class on-road dynamics, fuel economy up to 31 mpg, revolutionary Jeep design with world-class

    craftsmanship inside and out, and an array of advanced safety and technology features:

    * Best-in-class capability

    * Three new four-wheel-drive systems that raise the standard for mid-size SUVs:

    * Jeep® Active Drive I with one-speed power transfer unit (PTU)

    * Jeep Active Drive II with two-speed PTU and low range

    * Jeep Active Drive Lock with two-speed PTU, low range and locking rear differential

    * New Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with up to five customized modes – Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock

    * Best-in-class V-6 towing capability – 4,500 pounds

    * Jeep Trail Rated capability

    * Up to a 56:1 crawl ratio, a 90-percent improvement versus the outgoing model

    * Vastly improved fuel economy – up to 31 mpg

    * First SUV with nine-speed automatic transmission

    * Industry-first rear-axle disconnect resulting in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn't needed; improving fuel efficiency

    * 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir I-4 delivers a more than 45 percent fuel economy improvement versus outgoing model and nearly 500-mile range

    * First use of Chrysler Group's new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine

    * Superior on-road ride and handling

    * First Jeep vehicle to utilize Chrysler Group's Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) platform

    * New independent front and rear suspension

    * Increased torsional stiffness

    * Exceptionally quiet cabin

    * New Jeep design with world-class craftsmanship

    * New aerodynamic design cues combine Jeep heritage with advanced technology

    * Aggressive approach and departure angles contribute to leading capability

    * Advanced LED lighting technology with distinctive daytime running lights

    * Premium, well-crafted interior with extensive use of soft-touch materials

    * Class-exclusive all-new CommandView panoramic sunroof and Sky Slider roof

    * Array of advanced, cutting edge technology features

    * Full-color 7-inch reconfigurable LED instrument cluster

    * Uconnect 8.4-inch color touchscreen media center

    * Uconnect Access Via Mobile

    * More than 70 advanced safety and security features

    * First Chrysler Group use of ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist

    * System aids the driver in parallel/perpendicular parking

    * Clever functionality and versatility

    * Second-row 60/40 split folding seat moves fore and aft for passenger comfort and cargo flexibility

    * Fold-flat front passenger seat with covered in-seat storage

    * Useful, clever storage features throughout the Cherokee cabin

    * Innovative Jeep Cargo Management System

    There is a new king of the hill in the mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment: the all-new 2014 Jeep® Cherokee.

    The renowned Cherokee name returns to the Jeep® vehicle lineup for the 2014 model year. The result – the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee completely redefines the mid-size SUV segment, delivering legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent (versus the outgoing Liberty model), superior on-road ride and handling, a cutting-edge, revolutionary design, world-class craftsmanship, class-exclusive technology and more than 70 advanced safety and security features. The Jeep Cherokee is set to delight consumers both on the road and on the trail. "The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be the benchmark for mid-size SUVs with a new level of on-road driving dynamics and fuel economy, while at the same time improving the 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep," said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Jeep Cherokee boasts a new design, a nine-speed automatic transmission and two advanced engines, class-leading capability from three innovative 4x4 systems, more than 70 safety features, and a host of new technology features."

    Jeep 4x4 capability

    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee provides a choice of three innovative 4x4 systems for best-inclass 4x4 capability in all weather conditions. The Jeep Cherokee is the first mid-size SUV to feature rear-axle disconnect, resulting in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn't needed, improving fuel efficiency. The rear-axle disconnect seamlessly switches between two- and fourwheel drive for full-time torque management and does not require input from the driver. The Jeep Cherokee offers best-in-class V-6 towing capability of 4,500 pounds.

    Jeep Active Drive I

    Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive I features a single power transfer unit (PTU) which is fully automatic and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive at any speed. The system does not require any driver intervention or feedback, delivers yaw correction during dynamic events and improves both understeer and oversteer conditions.

    Jeep Active Drive II

    Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive II includes a two-speed PTU with torque management and low range. 4-Low mode locks the front and rear drive shafts for low-speed power or towing. Low range provides a 2.92:1 gear reduction. The gear reduction allows for enhanced climbing ability as well outstanding crawl ratios for severe off-road conditions. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee with Jeep Active Drive II gives the off-road adventurer a ride height that is increased by an inch, a crawl ratio of 56:1 when powered by the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine, and 47.8:1 when powered by the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – up to a 90-percent improvement versus the outgoing model.

    Jeep Active Drive Lock

    Jeep Active Drive Lock includes all the features of Jeep Active Drive II and adds a locking rear differential for superior low-speed power for severe off-road conditions. Jeep Active Drive Lock is standard on all Trailhawk models. All 4x4 systems feature the Jeep brand's renowned Selec-Terrain traction control system, which allows the driver to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum performance. Five customized settings are offered: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. Through the use of algorithms that enable unsurpassed control and capability, Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates and optimizes up to 12 systems on any terrain providing enhanced vehicle control including: drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control (ESC), transmission controller, powertrain controller and Selec-Speed Control (Hill-ascent and Hilldescent Control).

    Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk: Trail Rated

    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model exemplifies Jeep 4x4 capability with a distinctive, aggressive look, backed up by Jeep Trail Rated hardware, for the most capable Jeep Cherokee model and the most capable mid-size SUV in the segment. The Trailhawk includes as standard equipment aggressive approach and departure angles, complements of the unique front and rear fascias, one-inch factory lift, Jeep Active Drive Lock with locking rear differential, skid plates and signature red tow hooks. The locking rear differential is selectable in any low range terrain mode, but will lock automatically when in certain modes, such as "Rock," to maximize tractive effort at the tire patch that can support it. The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk boasts an approach angle of 29.8 degrees, a departure angle of 32.1 degrees and breakover angle of 23.3 degrees. Running ground clearance is 8.7 inches.

    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model with the standard off-road package is Trail Rated. The "Trail Rated" badge on the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk indicates that the vehicle is designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording.

    World-class architecture

    FIAT Group architecture is the basis for the underpinnings of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) platform's proven modular architecture means many models can be built using the same basic underpinnings. The result is better quality and reliability, as well as lower costs, less development time and tooling. The architecture Cherokee is built on is comprised of common, modular and interchangeable components and allows for modularity of the wheelbase, front track, rear track, front overhang, length and width across vehicle lines.

    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee's body structure has a high-strength steel content of roughly 65 percent. Hot stamped-, high-strength- and ultra-high-strength steel are used to construct a strong, lightweight, solid vehicle architecture. Superior on-road performance and fuel efficiency

    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee premium on-road manners and fuel efficiency are a result of a number of efforts by Jeep engineers.

    Powered by the choice of two new engines mated to a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, the all-new Cherokee delivers the power drivers appreciate on the road with fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent compared with the outgoing model. With expected highway fuel economy ratings of up to 31 miles per gallon (mpg) and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles, the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee delivers drivers a nocompromise ownership experience. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee features Chrysler Group's 948TE nine-speed automatic transmission, the first time a nine-speed automatic transmission has been used in the segment and is standard equipment in all models of the new Cherokee. The nine-speed transmission delivers numerous benefits customers will appreciate, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission.

    Efficiency and refinement also are hallmarks of Chrysler Group's 16-valve, 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 I-4 engine, which comes standard in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The 2.4-liter Tigershark engine offers up to an estimated 31 mpg highway fuel economy rating, a more than 45-percent improvement versus the outgoing model, and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles. The 2.4-liter MultiAir 2 Tigershark I-4 engine produces 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque.

    The acclaimed electro-hydraulic fully variable valve-lift system uses a column of oil in place of the traditional mechanical link between the camshaft and intake valves. As a result, it delivers precise control of the intake-valve events – beginning and end – delivering reductions in enginepumping losses and increases in volumetric efficiency. In addition to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, MultiAir accounts for a fuel-economy boost of up to 7.5 percent, compared with engines with conventional valve trains. The 2.4-liter is the third engine to feature MultiAir technology from Chrysler Group and features the second generation "MultiAir 2" system that further enhances combustion control, improves fuel efficiency and reduces exhaust emissions. Performance ratings for the 2.4-liter engine are 184 horsepower (137 kW) and 171 lb.-ft. (232 Nm) of torque.

    The available new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is the first derivative of the celebrated 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, named one of Ward's 10 Best Engines three years running. The available new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine benefits from the same innovations that earned its larger displacement predecessor industry–wide acclaim for efficiency, power and refinement. For the driver, that means a refined driving experience with reduced noise, vibration and harshness(NVH) and an exceptional balance of higher specific power output (84.2 horsepower per liter) while delivering fuel economy improvements of 30 percent versus the outgoing V-6 engine. The 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces 271 horsepower, 239 lb.-ft. of torque and delivers bestin-class V-6 towing of 4,500 pounds.

    The all new Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV sports a new front independent suspension with MacPherson struts and a new rear independent multi-link suspension. The front suspension provides 6.7 inches of travel while the rear suspension provides up to 7.8 inches of travel for better articulation. The isolated rear cradle, aluminum front crossmember and superior torsional rigidity all contribute to the quieter, smoother ride and superior handling characteristics drivers will experience in the Cherokee.

    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is equipped with an electronic power steering system (EPS) that improves fuel efficiency and contributes to the Jeep Cherokee's nimbleness with a turn circle radius of approximately 36 feet in 4x2 models, approximately 38 feet in 4x4 models and roughly 39 feet in the Trailhawk off-road model. With EPS all of the power assist is provided via an electric motor system rather than a traditional hydraulic system. Because the system is fully electronic, the driver experiences optimal steering effort at all vehicle speeds, and there is less noise and better fuel efficiency since there is no parasitic loss from a power steering pump.

    Design

    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV debuts a new exterior designed for the future with a global appeal. Jeep designers were inspired to create a vehicle that moves Jeep into the next era with a shape that is efficient without losing Jeep DNA and design heritage. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a vehicle that not only looks efficient and capable, but is efficient and capable - in all on-road, trail and weather conditions.

    Fluid, sleek exterior lines highlight the efficient, wind-splitting upper body of the all-new Cherokee. The rugged, protective lower body conveys the legendary capability that is characteristic of every Jeep. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee has a powerful stance, an aggressive wheel-to-body proportion and a commanding road presence. The aggressive approach and departure angles contribute to the best-in-class capability. The first key feature in the front of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is the waterfall hood with the iconic peaked, seven-slotted grille which includes a crisp, horizontal snap – a feature in many classic Jeep vehicles. The hood is clearly defined and separated from the front fenders in a modern twist of Jeep heritage. The one-piece hood and grille assembly ensures a precise build.

    Advanced LED lighting technology is used throughout the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Forward lighting features a unique daytime running lamp (DRL) shape that plays a dominant role in the fresh front-end proportion, giving the impression of a slim headlamp. Contemporary full LED tail lamps are an integral part of the rear backlight graphic, making the vehicle look stronger yet harmonious. This graphic is the connection between the upper and lower rear and brings a unique presence specific to this all-new Cherokee. The Trail Rated 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model takes rugged design and capability to a whole new level. With exclusive exterior and interior colors, functional differences such as Jeep signature red front tow hooks, skid plates underneath and aggressive front and rear fascias add to the rugged exterior appearance and deliver exemplary approach and departure angles for class-leading 4x4 capability, resulting in the most capable mid-size SUV in the market.

    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee offers customers two industry-exclusive open-air options – the new CommandView panoramic sunroof or the Sky Slider full-length open canvas roof. The interior of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is modern, inviting and comfortable. A sophisticated, refined design, hand-sculpted forms, signature Jeep design cues, high-quality materials, precision craftsmanship and attention-to-detail raise the bar in the mid-size SUV segment. A driver-oriented cockpit loaded with easy-to-use, useful technology, clever, thoughtful storage features and more than 70 available safety and security features including 10 standard air bags give the driver and passengers everything they want for any adventure they undertake.

    Inspiration for the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV interior included countries and terrain around the world that brought beautiful imagery to mind. The Cherokee interior is a sophisticated blend of hand-sculpted fluid shapes, high-quality materials, innovative color and material choices, precision craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology and features that drivers and passengers appreciate.

    Premium materials abound wherever the customer touches the vehicle – the door uppers and armrests, the center armrest, the upper instrument panel. Interior trim that is soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye is found throughout the cabin. Seats in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee are ergonomically designed to support the contour of the body, are trimmed with premium cloth or quality Nappa leather and available as power adjustable, heated/ventilated seats with memory. Premium cloth fabrics include a unique interlocking graphic. The 60/40 split second-row seats adjust fore and aft for increased passenger comfort and cargo flexibility.

    Unique features such as the available heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, an available wireless charging pad and many more will delight both drivers and passengers alike.

    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee was designed with thoughtful, state-of-the-art, high-tech features and amenities that are intuitive, easy-to-use. The world-class thin-film transistor (TFT) LED 3.5-inch grayscale or 7-inch full-color reconfigurable instrument cluster allows the driver to enjoy a customized user experience and receive information and vehicle feedback in the format they prefer while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

    The easy-to-use instrument cluster displays the basic information a driver needs at his or her fingertips but also allows the driver to add information they desire, similar to an iPhone. The driver can select from a multitude of information that can be displayed in the center of the gauge cluster including turn-by-turn navigation, speed, real-time fuel economy, safety warnings, available Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, audio information and Jeep-specific features including Selec-Terrain.

    The available ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist System (first Chrysler Group availability) is displayed in the center of the gauge cluster and operated with buttons on the steering wheel and the shifter. The graphic walks the driver through the steps necessary to utilize the park assist system. Jeep designer's passion for the brand shines through in the park assist screen, which features a 1941 Jeep Willys graphic on each side of the open parking space.

    An available award-winning 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia command center – the largest in the segment – or the standard 5-inch touchscreen multimedia command center are attractive, intuitive and easy-to-use, and located in the center stack. The 2014 Cherokee equipped with the Uconnect system allows the driver to control the audio, climate, heated/ventilated seats and much more from the touchscreen, redundant controls located on the center stack below the touchscreen or with voice commands. The touchscreen buttons are large and easy-to-see at a glance. The 8.4-inch color touchscreen Uconnect Access is user-friendly and includes Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM Radio, navigation, music, apps (Pandora, Aha, iHeart Radio and more), voice-to-text messaging and streaming audio capability.

    The class-exclusive Jeep Cargo Management System makes the most of the cargo space in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. A universal module rack is mounted on the side in the rear cargo area and provides for hooks and a removable grocery bag. Other optional accessories compatible with the system are available through Mopar and 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 are just some of the accessories available that mount securely to the rack for secure storage solutions the adventurous customer desires.10

    Safety and Security

    The new Cherokee was engineered with more than 70 available safety and security features. The Jeep Cherokee starts with a strong foundation constructed with 65 percent high-strength steel. Engineers then added both active and passive safety and security features, including:

    Chrysler Group vehicle firsts ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, and Lane Departure Warning-Plus; 9-1-1 assist call; ESC; Electronic Roll Mitigation; Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines and 10 standard air bags. The ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist feature in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a first in a Chrysler Group vehicle. Using ultrasonic parking sensors on the bumper the system will find and guide customer into an available parking space when the driver initiates parking maneuver. The parking guidance system controls the steering angle automatically, the driver controls the gear position, brake, and accelerator. Parallel parking is possible on either side of the car; during perpendicular parking, the vehicle is backed into the space.

    Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, a first for a Chrysler Group vehicle, is significant for its capacity to bring the vehicle to a complete stop without driver intervention in certain conditions. Radar and video sensors identify the locations of vehicles traveling ahead of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The sensors also help ensure the vehicles are separated by a gap determined by the driver. If the gap is dramatically breached, the ESC system can aggressively deploy the vehicle's brakes to affect a full stop, even if the driver never touches the brake pedal. To resume travel, the driver need only press a button on the steering wheel or tap the accelerator pedal.

    Forward Collision Warning-Plus, another Chrysler Group first, addresses traffic-gap changes when Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus is inactive. When radar and video sensors detect a fastclosing obstacle ahead, the system pre-fills the brakes to prepare for emergency driver intervention. If collision risk remains, Forward Collision Warning-Plus correspondingly ratchets up the response with:

    * Audible and visual warnings

    * A brief brake deployment to alert the driver

    * A 1.5-second brake deployment to quicken the driver's reaction time

    * Deployment of Advanced Brake Assist (ABA) if the driver is not braking aggressively enough

    Lane Departure Warning-Plus, which is offered for the first time in a Chrysler Group vehicle, uses a camera-based vision sensor to establish the Jeep Cherokee's position on the road. If there occurs an unintentional lane drift, determined by trajectory change and the absence of turn-signal activation, the system will deliver a visual warning and a haptic warning – the subtle introduction of torque from the electric power steering (EPS) system. If the driver unintentionally drifts too far, the system provides a secondary visual warning.

    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee boasts numbers that make the difference for the SUV customer that cares about fuel economy and capability in all weather conditions - fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent, more than 70 safety and security features, numerous industry and segment "firsts," a nine-speed automatic transmission, a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 271 horsepower and 239 lb.-ft. of torque, a 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine with 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque, nearly 500 miles driving range on a tank of gasoline and three new, innovative 4x4 systems that deliver legendary Jeep capability including crawl ratios of 56:1 with the 2.4-liter engine and 47.8:1 with the 3.2-liter engine, an improvement of up to 90 percent versus the outgoing model.

    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee competes in the mid-size SUV segment, the largest SUV segment in North America, with roughly 2 million sales in 2012.

    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is available in four different models in the United States and will arrive in volume in dealer showrooms in the third quarter 2013. Customers can choose from the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Sport, Cherokee Latitude, Cherokee Limited and the rugged, Trail Rated Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

    The Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV will offer consumers 11 different exterior colors from which to choose: Bright White Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Eco Green Pearl Coat, Mango Tango Pearl Coat, Auburn Pearl Coat, Cashmere Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, True Blue Pearl Coat, and Anvil Clear Coat.

    The Cherokee is built in the United States at Chrysler Group's Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Plant.

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    If you'll notice, some of the new press shots for the KL Cherokee Limited show heavily tinted healight clusters versus those Chrysler released previously. Consider that a light form of damage control, since the stacked light arrangement has been one of the main sources of negative opinion for the KL. I wouldn't be suprised if the KL becomes a little more conservative for its mid-cycle refresh. For those of you who are quick to point out that it seems there are a fair amount of people who actually approve of the design, consider this for a moment: a majority of people who drank New Coke in the '80s actually liked the taste of the new formula, but it only took a relative minority of traditionalists to get the company to change the formula back to Coke Classic in just a short amount of time. Keep the KL on your radar; it's still a pivotal introduction for Chrysler and it still has yet to prove itself. :AH-HA:

    Changing gears for a moment, since it seems that HMTL embedding of YouTube Videos has been disabled 'round here, here are two links to two YouTube videos showcasing the Trailhawk model off-road:

    ,
    . Like I said previously, the KL's off-road capabilities may prove to possibly match those of the Land Rover LR2/Freelander, but they certainly will pale in comparison to what the old XJ could do. Don't just take my word for it, though. Watch the videos and judge for yourself. Edited by black-knight
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    Overall I think it is a very nice package but I'm still not so sure what that front end will do for sales. My initial impression was shock but now that the pictures have been out there for a while and I have seen them a number of times, I have warmed to it a bit. I still think it looks odd but no longer think it is ugly. I guess that's something. On the plus side, the interior should be really nice and even though the torque numbers are pretty low for the 3.2L, I'm betting the 9 speed more than covers up its deficiency.

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    Everyone has their Aztec, thank God GM has gotten past theirs.

    So they want to sell 250,000 units? Hmm!

    Certainly fugly......however, it seems they did a reasonably nice job on the interior.

    Perhaps if they change the front end and make it nice, it will do alright.

    Cherokee still is a poor choice for this vehicle, raiding the good brand image/equity of something it is clearly not.

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      Dodge brand sales were up 5 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago, as Dodge cars and trucks had a strong sales month. The Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger each posted year-over-year sales gains in August. Charger sales were up 24 percent, while the Challenger turned in a 5 percent sales gain in August. Sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV, the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, the Dodge Journey crossover and the Dodge Viper were all up in August as well. The Dodge brand last month used the famed Woodward Dream Cruise to debut its new 2017 Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona – two performance-upgraded models infused with heritage style. Production for both models will begin this fall with Charger Daytona models available for order in September, followed by Challenger T/A models this October.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram pickup, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City, were up 2 percent in August versus the same month a year ago. Both the ProMaster and ProMaster City vans turned in double-digit percentage sales gains in August, led by the ProMaster City’s 32 percent increase. The ProMaster City – America’s most efficient work van – is the newest addition to the brand’s commercial vehicle lineup and contributes to the expanding, purpose-built van segment with a number of best-in-class, functional elements tied directly to commercial customer demand. Sales of the Ram pickup truck were flat in August.
       
      FIAT Brand
      FIAT brand sales, which include the Fiat 500, Fiat 500L, Fiat 500X and Fiat 124 Spider, were down 21 percent in August. In its second month on sale, the all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider logged 460 sales in August. Last sold in the U.S. in 1985, the 124 Spider brings classic Italian styling and proven performance to a new generation of buyers. The all-new 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic design.
      Chrysler Brand
      Chrysler brand sales were down 22 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan were up 22 percent compared with the same month a year ago. The all-new Chrysler Pacifica logged 7,459 in sales in August. The Pacifica reinvents the minivan segment with its unprecedented level of functionality, versatility and technology. With nearly 40 innovations not offered by any others in its class, the Pacifica is the new benchmark in the segment that Chrysler invented more than 30 years ago.
      FCA US LLC Sales Summary August 2016
      Reflects Restated Sales
                             Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Compass
      8,867
      6,891
      29%
      69,462
      40,418
      72%
      Patriot
      11,789
      10,690
      10%
      86,632
      80,328
      8%
      Wrangler
      15,290
      18,264
      -16%
      135,338
      139,536
      -3%
      Cherokee
      23,932
      17,014
      41%
      142,498
      139,582
      2%
      Grand Cherokee
      18,409
      16,477
      12%
      134,135
      125,653
      7%
      Renegade
      8,181
      7,941
      3%
      71,328
      27,861
      156%
      JEEP BRAND
      86,468
      77,277
      12%
      639,393
      553,378
      16%
      200
      4,210
      12,538
      -66%
      45,983
      128,673
      -64%
      300
      5,275
      4,339
      22%
      39,291
      33,069
      19%
      Town & Country
      1,809
      7,255
      -75%
      56,607
      53,469
      6%
      Pacifica
      7,459
      0
      New
      26,893
      0
      New
      CHRYSLER BRAND
      18,753
      24,132
      -22%
      168,774
      215,211
      -22%
      Dart
      2,898
      6,343
      -54%
      34,540
      61,102
      -43%
      Avenger
      0
      45
      -100%
      0
      1,197
      -100%
      Charger
      8,614
      6,964
      24%
      67,402
      67,802
      -1%
      Challenger
      5,262
      5,014
      5%
      45,489
      47,346
      -4%
      Viper
      58
      37
      57%
      406
      456
      -11%
      Journey
      11,732
      8,351
      40%
      66,415
      70,359
      -6%
      Caravan
      10,572
      10,330
      2%
      93,349
      56,218
      66%
      Durango
      5,204
      5,111
      2%
      49,059
      41,416
      18%
      DODGE  BRAND
      44,340
      42,195
      5%
      356,660
      345,896
      3%
      Ram P/U
      40,202
      40,341
      0%
      308,970
      295,243
      5%
      Cargo Van
      0
      29
      -100%
      21
      2,144
      -99%
      ProMaster Van
      3,234
      2,587
      25%
      23,206
      16,812
      38%
      ProMaster City
      990
      752
      32%
      11,832
      4,434
      167%
      RAM BRAND
      44,426
      43,709
      2%
      344,029
      318,633
      8%
      Alfa 4C 
      37
      97
      -62%
      376
      451
      -17%
      ALFA BRAND
      37
      97
      -62%
      376
      451
      -17%
      500
      1,243
      2,102
      -41%
      10,095
      17,982
      -44%
      500L
      131
      314
      -58%
      2,687
      6,334
      -58%
      500X
      898
      1,061
      -15%
      8,348
      2,279
      266%
      Spider
      460
      0
      New
      885
      0
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,732
      3,477
      -21%
      22,015
      26,595
      -17%
      TOTAL FCA US LLC
      196,756
      190,887
      3%
      1,531,247
      1,460,164
      5%
                        Total Car & MPV
      48,028
      55,378
      -13%
      424,003
      474,099
      -11%
          Total UV's
      104,302
      91,800
      14%
      763,215
      667,432
      14%
          Total Truck & LCV
      44,426
      43,709
      2%
      344,029
      318,633
      8%
                   
    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports Increase in July 2016 U.S. Sales  Jeep® and Ram Truck brands both up 5 percent year-over-year Sales of Jeep Renegade up 57 percent in July versus same month in 2015 Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City vans drive brand increase in July All-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider posts 480 sales in its first full month in the marketplace Sales of all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica up month-over-month as launch momentum continues to build  August 2, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 180,727 units, up 0.3 percent compared with sales in July 2015 (180,124 units).   FCA US retail sales of 155,885 were down 2 percent in July, while fleet sales of 24,842 were up 22 percent year-over-year.   Both the Jeep® and Ram Truck brands were up 5 percent in July compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep Renegade, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot posted sales gains in July versus July 2015, as did the Ram pickup truck and the Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City vans. Two Dodge brand models – the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Dodge Challenger – also turned in year-over-year sales gains in July. Sales of the Fiat 500X were up year-over-year as well.   Jeep Brand Jeep brand sales were up 5 percent in July versus the same month in 2015. The Jeep Renegade’s 57 percent increase was the largest percentage increase of any Jeep brand model in July. In addition, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Compass and the Jeep Patriot each logged a year-over-year sales gain. Last month, the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever – won AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award for the Mid-Size SUV segment for the sixth consecutive year.   Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram pickup, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City, were up 5 percent in July versus the same month a year ago. The increase was driven in part by double-digit percentage increases by the Ram ProMaster and the Ram ProMaster City vans. In addition, sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 2 percent compared with the same month a year ago. FCA US announced in July that it will invest $1.48 billion in its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (Mich.) to retool it to build the next-generation Ram 1500 and support the future growth of the Ram Truck brand.   Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were down 4 percent in July compared with the same month a year ago. The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica continues to build momentum in the marketplace. Sales of the Pacifica were up 1 percent in July compared with the previous month of June. July was the minivan’s fourth month in the marketplace. The Pacifica earned an Editor’s Choice pick in July from Roadshow by CNET, in part for the “nicest interior and smart, family-minded technology.”   Dodge Brand Dodge brand sales were down 10 percent in July compared with the same month a year ago. The Dodge Grand Caravan and the Dodge Challenger each posted year-over-year increases in July versus the same month a year ago. Sales of the Grand Caravan were up 28 percent, while sales of the Challenger muscle car increased 7 percent in July. For the fourth year, the Challenger won AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award in the Sporty Car segment, having the “Most Ideal Sporty Car” in its segment.    FIAT Brand FIAT brand sales, which include the Fiat 500, Fiat 500L and 500X, were down 14 percent in July. In its first month on sale, the all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider posted 480 in sales in July. The 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider nearly 50 years after its introduction, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic design. In July, sales of the Fiat 500X were up 1 percent compared with the same month a year ago.    FCA US LLC Sales Summary July 2016
      Reflects Restated Sales
                      Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Compass
      7,005
      5,359
      31%
      57,565
      33,527
      72%
      Patriot
      11,288
      10,211
      11%
      71,926
      69,638
      3%
      Wrangler
      18,741
      19,828
      -5%
      119,042
      121,272
      -2%
      Cherokee
      15,451
      17,460
      -12%
      116,424
      122,568
      -5%
      Grand Cherokee
      16,704
      16,191
      3%
      116,850
      109,176
      7%
      Renegade
      10,057
      6,410
      57%
      61,907
      19,920
      211%
        JEEP BRAND
      79,246
      75,459
      5%
      543,714
      476,101
      14%
      200
      5,474
      9,526
      -43%
      41,676
      116,135
      -64%
      300
      2,369
      3,820
      -38%
      33,154
      28,730
      15%
      Town & Country
      3,341
      6,561
      -49%
      54,826
      46,214
      19%
      Pacifica
      7,911
      0
      New
      18,742
      0
      New
        CHRYSLER BRAND
      19,095
      19,907
      -4%
      148,398
      191,079
      -22%
      Dart
      3,341
      5,797
      -42%
      31,602
      54,759
      -42%
      Avenger
      0
      90
      -100%
      0
      1,152
      -100%
      Charger
      4,949
      5,936
      -17%
      57,852
      60,838
      -5%
      Challenger
      5,619
      5,241
      7%
      39,998
      42,332
      -6%
      Viper
      49
      57
      -14%
      350
      419
      -16%
      Journey
      6,376
      9,255
      -31%
      54,051
      62,008
      -13%
      Caravan
      10,055
      7,846
      28%
      84,140
      45,888
      83%
      Durango
      5,131
      5,270
      -3%
      43,665
      36,305
      20%
        DODGE  BRAND
      35,520
      39,492
      -10%
      311,658
      303,701
      3%
      Ram P/U
      39,827
      39,159
      2%
      270,637
      254,902
      6%
      Cargo Van
      0
      59
      -100%
      21
      2,115
      -99%
      ProMaster Van
      3,055
      2,167
      41%
      20,527
      14,225
      44%
      ProMaster City
      1,187
      636
      87%
      10,897
      3,682
      196%
        RAM BRAND
      44,069
      42,021
      5%
      302,082
      274,924
      10%
      Alfa 4C 
      43
      49
      -12%
      338
      354
      -5%
        ALFA BRAND
      43
      49
      -12%
      338
      354
      -5%
      500
      1,097
      1,940
      -43%
      8,857
      15,880
      -44%
      500L
      227
      314
      -28%
      2,527
      6,020
      -58%
      500X
      950
      942
      1%
      7,481
      1,218
      514%
      Spider
      480
      0
      New
      481
      0
      New
        FIAT BRAND
      2,754
      3,196
      -14%
      19,346
      23,118
      -16%
        TOTAL FCA US LLC
      180,727
      180,124
      0%
      1,325,536
      1,269,277
      4%
                          Total Car & MPV
      44,955
      47,177
      -5%
      374,543
      418,721
      -11%
            Total UV's
      91,703
      90,926
      1%
      648,911
      575,632
      13%
            Total Truck & LCV
      44,069
      42,021
      5%
      302,082
      274,924
      10%
       
       
    • By William Maley
      Subcompact crossovers are the hot thing at the moment and automakers are trying to make their models stand out. Whether it is using sleek styling, sporty driving dynamics, or value for money, every automaker is trying their best to get their vehicle noticed. For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, they’re going for a two-prong attack in the class with models from Fiat and Jeep. The Jeep Renegade is aimed at those who want a subcompact that can tackle a trail, and the Fiat 500X provides some chicness for the class. We spent some time in both models to see if they can make some end roads in this growing class.
       




      While the 500X and Renegade may share a fair amount of mechanicals, the design of the two is worlds apart. The Renegade is classic Jeep with a square body, seven-slot grille, and a set of large headlights. The Renegade also features a fair number of Easter eggs throughout the exterior. The head and taillights feature little Jeep grille-and-headlights logos, and a small Willys MB on the bottom of the windshield. This is basically the vehicle equivalent of a hidden object puzzle you might have done back in school. 
      Remember the first commercial for the Fiat 500X where a blue pill falls into the fuel filler of a standard 500. The owner turns around and somehow his vehicle has engorged into something bigger. That’s how you can summarize the design of the 500X. Compared to your standard 500, the 500X is 28.6 inches longer and 15.6 inches wider. A lot of the design traits from the 500 such as the round headlights, long chrome bar holding the emblem, and rectangular taillights are present on this crossover.
       
      Moving inside, the Renegade takes some inspiration from the Wrangler with a rugged dash design and a grab bar for the passenger. Higher trims such as our Limited tester feature a decent amount of soft-touch materials. Like the exterior, the Renegade’s interior has Easter eggs strewn about. The tachometer with has a splash of mud to illustrate the redline, a seven-slot grille design for the speaker grilles, and the frame around the radio having ‘Since 1941’ stamped. The only complaint we have with the Renegade’s dash is the placement of the climate controls. They are mounted a bit too low to reach easily.
       




       
      The 500X’s interior is Fiat’s best effort to date. The overall look has some traits of the standard 500 such as a retro design for the dash. But where the 500X stands out is in the material choices. Fiat went all out with adding soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels to help make the model feel very premium. Our Trekking Plus tester came upholstered in brown leather that added a touch of class that’s nonexistent in other competitors.
       
      Both models offer plenty of head and legroom for passengers sitting up front. In the back, headroom is decent for most passengers even with the optional sunroof fitted. Legroom ranges from decent for most folks to almost nonexistent depending on how tall the person sitting up front is. The seats themselves are lacking sufficient support for long trips. If cargo capacity is a priority, then consider the Renegade as it offers 18.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up. The 500X is towards the bottom of the class with only 12.2 cubic feet mostly due to the design of the vehicle.
       
      For your infotainment needs, Fiat and Jeep offer a lineup of Uconnect systems from three to 6.5 inches. Our test vehicles featured the optional 6.5-inch system. Uconnect is still one of the easiest systems to use thanks to a simple interface and very fast performance. We hope FCA considers adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in the future.
       




      In terms of engines, both the 500X and Renegade come standard with a turbocharged 1.4L with 160 horsepower. The downside to this engine is that it is only available with a six-speed manual. If you want an automatic, then you’ll need to get the engine found under the hood of our test models; a 2.4L four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. We’re not fans of the 2.4L in the any of the FCA vehicles we have driven and this trend continues with the 500X and Renegade. Leaving a stop, there is plenty of oomph to get up to speed in urban environments. Out on the rural roads and highways, the 2.4L struggles to get up to speed at a decent clip. Not helping matters is the engine sounding unrefined. The engine noise during hard acceleration could actually drown out the radio. 
      The one bright spot for the powertrain is the nine-speed automatic. This transmission has been a sore point in a number of FCA vehicles for sluggish shifting and not feeling refined. With the 500X and Renegade, it seems FCA has been able to fix many of the wrongs of the nine-speed. Gear changes are much faster and smoother than in previous models.
       
      Both models can be equipped with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Both models came equipped with all-wheel drive. This system primarily works in front-wheel drive to help improve fuel economy. But if the system detects slip, it will hook up the rear axle and start sending power for better traction. The Renegade has the more advanced all-wheel drive system known as Jeep Active Drive. This system gives the driver the choice of various drive modes (Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud) that adjusts the all-wheel drive, steering, and transmission to provide the best settings for the conditions at hand. There’s also a 4WD lock that splits power 50:50 to provide added traction. Thanks to a freak snow storm in April, I was able to put the system to the test. Driving on some snowy roads, the system was able to keep the Renegade moving without the tires spinning.
       
      The Renegade Trailhawk takes the system a step further with Active Drive Low. As the name suggests, this system features low range via a two-speed transfer case. This allows the Trailhawk to tackle more difficult obstacles such as rocks.
       
      Fuel economy is terrible for the class. The Fiat 500X is rated at 21 City/30 Highway/24 Combined. The Renegade matches the 500X in city and combined fuel figures but is only rated at 29 for the highway. Our average for the week was a very disappointing 22.1 MPG in both vehicles. This is a figure you would expect in a larger crossover, not a subcompact.
       




       
      The ride in both vehicles is on the firm and harsh side. You’ll be able to tell how bad the roads around you are as bumps and road imperfections are transmitted to the seats. Interestingly, both the 500X and Renegade are quite fun around corners. The vehicles feel agile and the steering has some decent weight. But as the Mazda CX-3 has shown, you can have excellent handling characteristics and a decent ride in a crossover. On the highway, the Renegade is the noisier of the two with a large amount of wind noise coming inside.
       
      As for pricing, the 500X and Renegade get off to a good start. The Renegade starts at $17,995 and the 500X comes in at $20,000. Where it falls apart comes in the higher trims. Our two testers had price tags of just under $32,000 - $31,695 for the Renegade Limited and $31,800 for the 500X Trekking Plus. For that same amount of money, you can get into a well-equipped or even a loaded compact crossover. Neither one of these models is worth their high price tags.
       
      The subcompact crossover class has become a hotly contested class in only a couple of years and you have to show up with your a-game if you want to make an impact. In the case the 500X and Renegade, FCA dropped the ball. The larger four-cylinder engine should be shown the door for its issues in terms of refinement and fuel economy. The ride characteristics need a rethink and the value for money argument is tough when dealing with the higher trim models. This is very disappointing as the two models have some characteristics that should put them a bit higher in the class. The Fiat 500X’s interior looks and feels like something you would find in a luxury model. The Jeep Renegade can go into places that other subcompact crossovers not even dare try thanks to a clever all-wheel drive system and Jeep’s off-road know-how.
       
      But these positive points cannot overcome the numerous issues both of the vehicles have. It would be best to avoid them.
       
      Cheers: Off-Road Ability (Renegade), Interior Styling and Features (500X), Nine-Speed Automatic Is Much Better
      Jeers: 2.4L Is Terrible, Rough Ride, Pricing for Higher Trims
       

      Album: Review: 2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus AWD
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      Album: Review: 2016 Jeep Renegade Limited 4X4
      10 images 0 comments

      Disclaimer: FCA Provided the 500X and Renegade; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 
      Year: 2016
      Make: Fiat
      Model: 500X
      Trim: Trekking Plus AWD
      Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/30/24
      Curb Weight: 3,278 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy
      Base Price: $29,000
      As Tested Price: $31,800 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      Trekking Plus Collection 1 - $1,900
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Renegade
      Trim: Limited 4X4
      Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/29/24
      Curb Weight: 3,348 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $31,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      6.5-inch Navigation Group with Uconnect - $1,245
      Advanced Technology Group - $995
      Beats Premium Audio System - $695
      Safety and Security Group - $645
      Passive Entry Keyless Enter n' Go Package - $125


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