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William Maley

New York Auto Show: 2014 Jeep Cherokee: Comments

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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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I think the front end works a lot better on the Trailhawk with its better approach angle (and less lower bumper than the other models).

2014cherokee43-opt-1.jpg

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Yeah, the Trailhawk seems semi-serious.

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

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

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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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An ugly duckling is still an ugly duckling till it proves itself. This one I suspect will not change into a swan.

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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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Very good videos. I'm still for Camp Cherokee. As someone said... interesting dark tint on the headlights.

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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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    • By William Maley
      The 2019 Subaru Forester which debuted yesterday at the New York Auto Show looks very familiar to the current Forester. Despite what the body looks like, there are major changes underneath the Forester's skin.
      It begins with the platform. The 2019 Forester becomes the latest Subaru model to move onto the company's new global platform. This allows for a 1.2-inch increase in overall wheelbase which Subaru has used to improve rear legroom. In fact, Subaru says the new Forester offers more head, shoulder, and legroom than the outgoing model. As for cargo space, the 2019 Forester boasts 76.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded - up 1.9 cubic feet. Subaru has increased the width of the tailgate opening 5.3-inches to make it easier to load items.
      The interior is the same as you'll find in the Impreza and Crosstrek, down to the Starlink infotainment system in a 6.5- or 8-inch touchscreen. Other interior improvements include more comfortable front seats, larger seat pockets, automatic climate control being standard on all trims, and the option of a Wi-Fi hotspot.
      There will only be one engine available for the 2019 Forester - a revamped 2.5L boxer-four producing 182 horsepower (up 12) and 176 pound-feet of torque (up 2). This will only come paired with a CVT and AWD. Touring and Sport models add a a manual mode and paddle shifters to mimic a seven-speed transmission. Subaru's X-Mode with Hill Descent Control allows to Forester to go slightly deeper into great outdoors is standard on every Forester except the base model.
      Being a Subaru, the Forester comes chock full of safety equipment. All Foresters come with the EyeSight suite of active safety features - adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist. The top-line Touring introduces Subaru's DriverFocus fatigue and distraction alert. Using cameras and facial recognition software, it monitors signs of fatigue or distraction on up to five different drivers. The system can also remember a driver's preset on the seat, climate control, and radio.
      The 2019 Subaru Forester arrives at dealers later this year.
      Source: Subaru 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      ALL-NEW 2019 SUBARU FORESTER® DEBUTS AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
      Roomiest, most capable Forester to date Standard EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology Subaru Global Platform: quietness, stability, agility Available new segment-exclusive DriverFocus safety technology Updated 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER® engine New Sport model with unique exterior and interior Standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Panoramic moonroof March 28, 2018 , NEW YORK - Subaru of America Inc., debuted today the all-new 2019 Forester at the New York International Auto Show. The fifth generation of the best-selling SUV introduces the roomiest, most capable and most versatile Forester ever made and also features groundbreaking new safety technology.
      The 2019 Forester is built on the Subaru Global Platform to deliver significantly higher levels of driving pleasure, agility, crash protection, ride comfort and quietness. Arriving at Subaru retailers later this year, the all-new Forester will be available in standard, Premium, Limited, Touring and new Sport trim levels. All are powered by an enhanced direct-injection, 182 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder BOXER engine featuring Auto Stop/Start and paired with a standard Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). Also standard on all trim levels is Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
      For 2019, all Foresters come standard with the award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The top-of-line Touring debuts the segment-exclusive DriverFocus safety technology which offers yet another layer of safety and convenience for the driver. The system can alert the driver of fatigue or distraction while on the road as well as automatically adjust many driver settings at start-up.
      Segment First DriverFocus Safety Technology
      With DriverFocus, Subaru is taking on one of the biggest issues in the automotive industry; distracted driving. Each day in the United States, more than 1,000 people are injured in crashes reported to have involved a distracted driver. * As an industry leader in safety, Subaru has developed DriverFocus, a state-of-the-art system to help address distracted driving for both new and experienced drivers.
      DriverFocus is a driver monitoring system that uses facial recognition software to identify signs of driver fatigue or driver distraction. DriverFocus works with Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology to reduce the chance of an accident. And for added convenience, DriverFocus can also recognize up to five drivers and remember their presets for seat position, climate, multifunction display and more.
      The all-new Forester is the first in its segment, and among the first vehicles in the industry to incorporate technology that can address the important societal issue of distracted driving. The feature will be standard on Touring models.
      Added Power and Efficiency
      All Foresters are powered by a new version of the 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER four-cylinder engine, now with direct fuel injection and higher compression, along with active valve control system (AVCS) on the exhaust side. The new engine produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, versus 170 hp and 174 lb-ft in the previous Forester, for a boost in everyday performance and responsiveness.
      The 2019 Forester comes standard with Lineartronic CVT. The new powertrain not only yields quicker acceleration than the previous Forester, but also up to 33 mpg highway fuel economy (manufacturer’s estimate, pending EPA certification). On Sport and Touring variants, the CVT features a manual mode that simulates a seven-speed manual transmission, using steering wheel paddle shift control switches.
      Adding more flexibility for driving conditions, is a standard driver-selectable SI-DRIVE. SI-DRIVE is a powertrain performance management system that allows the driver to tailor the vehicle’s throttle characteristics by choosing between “Intelligent” and “Sport” modes (Sport Sharp on Forester Sport). “Intelligent” mode helps smooth out accelerator inputs for fuel saving, while “Sport” mode tunes the throttle to emphasize performance.
      Signature Subaru Design
      The 2019 Forester debuts a more rugged style that showcases Subaru’s new design language while retaining a strong family resemblance to the rest of the brand’s portfolio. The exterior has shoulder lines that follow around the pillars to emphasize height and strength. Prominent wheel arches emphasize the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system’s functionality. Front, side and rear underguards are standard on all models, with color finish according to trim line. New LED headlights are standard on all models and complement the brand’s signature hexagonal grille. High-gloss black or silver trim highlights the Forester’s premium appearance, accentuated by new colors such as Jasper Green Metallic, Horizon Blue Pearl and Crimson Red Pearl.
      Forester’s new design brings added function. The wheelbase is increased to 105.1 in. from 103.9 in., with the gain benefitting rear seat legroom, which is now 39.4-in., a 1.4-in. increase. Gains in headroom, hip and shoulder room further bolster passenger comfort and a feeling of spaciousness in the cabin. Wider rear door openings and a steep C-pillar angle make ingress/egress and installing a child seat easier. All Forester models feature lower body side cladding, which helps protect against mud, rocks and other road debris.
      The new Forester design maintains outstanding outward visibility, a hallmark of Subaru models. Strategically designed pillars and generous glass area ensure an excellent all-around view from inside, and all models feature a standard rear vision camera.
      The 2019 Forester design increases cargo space to 76.1 cu. ft. with the 60:40 split rear seatbacks lowered, a gain of 1.4 cu. ft. The load floor sits flatter, and the cargo area’s squared-off shape has been further optimized for ease of carrying large objects. Notably, the rear gate opening maximum width is now 51.2-in. wide, a 5.3-in. increase over the previous model and up to 8-in. wider than on some competitive SUVs. For example, with the 2019 Forester, it will be possible to load a full-size golf bag sideways without tilting it. A power rear gate is standard on Limited and Touring trim levels and available as an option for Premium and Sport.
      Roof rails, standard on all but the base model, allow for a number of Subaru Genuine Accessories for carrying items such as bicycles and kayaks. New tie-down hooks integrated into the rails, on Sport and Touring trims, allow ropes to be tied down more easily and securely.
      New Forester Sport
      Inspired by the needs of outdoor enthusiasts, the 2019 Forester Sport joins the line with unique appearance elements and specially enhanced standard equipment. A Sport grille with black gloss finish frame, black-finish 18-in. wheels and rear roof spoiler give Forester Sport a rugged look, while orange accents on the black underguards and roof rail mounts add a modern, youthful touch. The interior is a unique dark gray material with orange stitching and accents throughout that is exclusive to the Sport model.
      The Forester Sport exclusively employs a version of Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) with Intelligent and Sport Sharp modes and the Lineartronic CVT features a seven-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle-shift control switches. Building on the standard equipment of the Forester Premium trim, the Sport also features a high-grade instrument panel combination meter and multi-function display, LED fog lights, High Beam Assist, exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, Keyless Access with Push-Button Start and PIN Code Access and the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer).
      A standard cargo area tray helps protect the interior. For added convenience when loading or unloading equipment at night, the Sport features a cargo area LED light with auto-off and a rear gate LED flood light that illuminates the area around the rear gate when it is opened.
      Family comfort and quiet space
      The roomiest Forester cabin yet is also the quietest, thanks to the Subaru Global Platform’s inherent resistance to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Road noise is significantly reduced and Subaru has worked to tune out certain frequencies to make conversation or listening to music at highway speeds more comfortable.
      Forester’s interior has been designed for both greater passenger comfort and increased durability in everyday and recreational usage. New front seats, are constructed to enhance comfort on long drives. A new Electronic Parking Brake frees up console space by eliminating the traditional parking brake handle.
      All Forester models now feature standard automatic climate control (dual-zone on Limited and Touring models), and the available heated front seats feature three-stage control versus two-stage before. The Touring trim adds new heated rear seats for 2019. Keyless Access with Push Button Start is standard on Sport, Limited and Touring trims and optional for Premium. In conjunction with this feature, SUBARU STARLINK® Connected Services now offers available Remote Engine Start via the MySubaru smartphone app. Climate controls can also be set on the app when Remote Engine Start is activated. Many other connected services such as Wi-Fi and concierge services are newly available on Forester for 2019 model year.
      Numerous new details throughout the Forester reflect the Subaru brand’s meticulous study of real-world customer usage. The material used for the cargo area floor, sides and rear gate interior trim offer a textured surface to resist dirt. The robust material also resists scuffing, such as when carrying camping equipment or other outdoor gear, and is easily cleaned. PVC material used on the bottoms of the front seat backs likewise resists scuffing and the material is easily cleaned. Pockets on the front seatbacks are now divided to more easily organize items such as magazines and electronic devices.
      Legendary Subaru Value Gets Even Better
      The 2019 Forester is the best-equipped ever, with the standard model adding features such as EyeSight, LED headlights, Auto Start/Stop, SI-DRIVE Engine Performance management, Active Torque Vectoring, Automatic Climate Control, Electronic Parking Brake, Trailer Stability Assist and Welcome Lighting. A panoramic power moonroof is standard on Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring trims.
      Each trim level adds more features and amenities, while maintaining all the vehicle’s rugged capability. The 2019 Touring is the most luxurious Forester ever, with standard and exclusive features including 10-way power driver’s seat, new 8-way power front passenger seat, new heated rear seats and heated steering wheel. Also new for 2019, the exterior mirrors have a two-position memory function synchronized to the driver’s seat position memory and in addition tilt downward when reverse gear is engaged, to aid in parking maneuvers. A new power rear lock button is available on the rear liftgate that will close and lock the gate and all doors on the vehicle.
      Adventurous Spirit and Function
      The 2019 Forester continues the model’s tradition of offering the optimal blend of SUV capability with car-like ride and handling with legendary Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. This key technology provides stable, secure driving for young families and all-around capability for outdoors enthusiasts. Subaru’s all-wheel drive system actively monitors acceleration, deceleration, cornering and traction to transfer power to the wheels with the best grip.
      Active Torque Vectoring, first introduced on the brand’s iconic WRX ® and WRX STI® performance models, is also standard on all 2019 Foresters. The Forester base model features standard 17-in. steel wheels, while the Premium gets standard 17-in. alloy wheels. Sport, Limited and Touring models ride on 18-in. wheels with each trim featuring its own wheel design.
      Forester offers a generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is more than most competitors and allows for confident off-pavement driving. Yet, the 2019 Forester maintains an easy step-in height.
      For handling difficult driving conditions such as snow or mud, Forester Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring come standard with driver-selectable X-Mode® with Hill Descent Control. When engaged, X-Mode optimizes control of the engine, transmission shift pattern, Active AWD front/rear clutch force, brakes and the Vehicle Dynamics Control system to optimize wheel control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines. New for 2019, the Sport, Limited and Touring models come standard with a dual-mode version of X-Mode that offers Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes for even more capability to go virtually wherever necessary.
      Subaru Safety Throughout
      The Forester’s new platform integrates the latest version of the Subaru ring-shaped reinforcement frame design, proven over nearly two decades to provide excellent occupant collision protection. All versions of the 2019 Forester come standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology that includes Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Lead Vehicle Start Alert.
      Other available driver-assist technologies include Reverse Automatic Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Reverse Automatic Braking can apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing.
      Forester Sport, Limited and Touring include High Beam Assist, and Limited and Touring also add Steering Responsive Headlights. New for the 2019 Forester, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) now displays pressure for individual tires. New standard Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) utilizes yaw sensors to monitor trailer sway and then can brake individual wheels to stabilize the vehicle and trailer.
      A power locking fuel door is integrated into the new automatic power door lock/unlock system as standard. The system locks all doors, the rear gate and fuel door once the vehicle is driven over 13 mph, and the owner can set locking/unlocking preferences.
      Inside, the Forester fills out its safety roster with the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, standard front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.
      SUBARU STARLINK™ In-Vehicle Technology
      The 2019 Forester offers the latest touchscreen SUBARU STARLINK multimedia systems with standard features including Apple CarPlay™, Android™ Auto and SiriusXM® services (subscription required) with Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming. Music, news, podcasts and much more can be enjoyed with standard Aha™, Pandora® and STARLINK app integration. A built-in, voice-activated navigation system powered by TomTom with an 8” high resolution touchscreen is also available. The standard Forester comes with the 6.5” Multimedia system, while higher trim levels feature the 8.0” Multimedia Plus and 8.0” Multimedia Navigation systems.
      SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services now offers remote engine start (on models equipped with Keyless Access and Push-Button Start); concierge service; anti-theft vehicle immobilizer with flashing vehicle security lights; young driver safety functions including geofencing, speed alert and curfew; and firmware updates over the air.
      Also available, the Safety Plus package offers SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, maintenance notifications, monthly vehicle health report, and diagnostic alerts. The Safety Plus & Security Plus upgrade package adds stolen vehicle recovery service, vehicle security alarm notification, remote lock/unlock, remote horn and lights and remote vehicle locator.

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    • By William Maley
      Acura/Honda tend to push the definition of 'concept' to its limits. Case in point is the 2019 Acura RDX that debuted in production form today in New York. Compared to the concept shown at Detroit, the production model looks mostly the same. There is the large pentagonal grille, floating roof, and character line creases. An A-Spec variant adds gloss black trim and 20-inch wheels.
      Dimension-wise, the 2019 RDX is about 2.6-inches longer over the outgoing model. The wheelbase increases by 2.6-inches. This allows for more space for passengers (104 cubic feet) and cargo (29.5 cubic feet).
      For the interior, Acura's designers want to give off the impression of sport with the RDX. This shown by the dash design that seems envelop driver and passenger in their separate zone and a center stack design that features a knob to change the various drive modes. A 10.2-inch screen houses a new Acura infotainment system. Controlling this is Acura's new True Touchpad Interface which is said to provide a 1:1 correlation between the position you touch on the pad and the input on the screen. We're somewhat skeptical on this and need to spend some time with this system to if this works.
      Under the hood is something that hasn't been seen since the first-generation RDX - a turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2.0L engine is rated at 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Also making a return to the RDX is the SH-AWD system. Optional on the RDX, this version of SH-AWD can route up to 70 percent of the engine's torque to the rear-wheels. But the real trick is the system's ability to send 100 percent of that torque to either rear-wheel.
      For the chassis, the RDX uses struts up front and a multilink setup in the rear. Adaptive dampers will be available as an option.
      The 2019 Acura RDX goes on sale this summer.
      Source: Acura
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2019 Acura RDX Debuts in New York with Turbocharged, Torque Vectoring Powertrain and Onslaught of Premium Features
      Mar 28, 2018 - NEW YORK
      Most extensive overhaul in a decade signals the beginning of a new era for Acura Exclusive platform, VTEC® Turbo engine, 10-speed transmission, and available torque vectoring SH-AWD® yield the quickest, best-handling RDX yet Dramatic A-Spec variant adds distinctive sport appearance detailing inside and out New RDX set to arrive at Acura dealers nationwide mid-year The 2019 Acura RDX debuted today at the New York International Auto Show. As the first in a new generation of Acura products, the re-engineered 2019 RDX delivers top-of-class performance, a more spacious and luxurious cabin, and a host of premium technology and features. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the new turbocharged RDX will launch mid-year as the quickest, best handling and most luxurious RDX yet.
      "The 2019 Acura RDX signals the start of a new era for the Acura brand by delivering design, performance and prestige that will elevate its position in the luxury market's fastest growing segment," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of the Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This RDX is our most extensive redesign in more than a decade, a truly ground up reimagining of the RDX around our Precision Crafted Performance brand direction."
      Acura also debuted the 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec sport appearance variant – distinguished by larger wheels, gloss black accents and unique interior treatment including an available two-tone red and black interior. With the addition of A-Spec to both the RDX and MDX, Acura has fulfilled its commitment to expand A-Spec to all core models.
      Sharp, Low and Wide Design
      The production 2019 RDX carries forward substantially all of the design cues that debuted with the Prototype RDX in January. In creating the new RDX, Acura designers worked from the foundations of the Acura Precision Concept, adapting its low and wide stance, sleek presence and wheels-out proportions to a five-passenger SUV.
      The 2019 RDX showcases Acura's signature Diamond Pentagon Grille flanked by all-new Jewel Eye™ headlights – now boasting seven LED light elements, up from the previous five. Below, wide air intakes include NSX-inspired air curtains feed air efficiently around the front wheels and down the body side. Prominent hood bulges are visible from inside the cabin, signaling the performance character of the third-generation RDX.
      Sharp character lines accentuate the front and rear fenders, with an aggressive "dropping" character line running the length of the RDX. A pen stroke of chrome (gloss-black on A-Spec) highlights the upper greenhouse and lower rocker. At the rear, the design of the 2019 RDX is capped off with a distinctive "dragon tail" LED light signature of the taillights.
      New Acura-Exclusive Body and Chassis Architecture
      The 2019 RDX sits atop an all-new body and chassis architecture designed to deliver a sophisticated and engaging driving experience. It starts with a 2.6 inch longer wheelbase, which aids both ride comfort and cabin space. The cargo area behind the rear seats has expanded 3.4-cubic feet with an additional 1.7 cubic-feet of compartmented underfloor storage. The new platform provides for a fully-flat rear floor, enabling first-class seating comfort in all three rear seating positions.
      The RDX's body structure is composed of over 50 percent high strength steel. It utilizes a new double-ring rear frame design and new two-piece ultra-high-strength steel front door rings, which significantly increase body rigidity, handling precision and cabin quietness.
      The body structure is mated to an all-new chassis design with variable ratio dual-pinion electric power steering, a sport-tuned Macpherson strut front suspension, an all-new five-link independent rear suspension and available adaptive dampers.
      VTEC Turbo Engine with Higher Performance and Efficiency
      The new RDX takes power from a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter, 16-valve powerplant with DOHC VTEC® valvetrain and Dual Variable Timing Cam (Dual VTC). Peak output is 272 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. Compared to the previous model's V6, peak torque is up 28 lb.-ft. and available across a wider section of the power band, from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm (previously 252 lb.-ft. at 4,900 rpm) with low-RPM torque boosted by as much as 40 percent for quicker acceleration and sharper throttle response.
      Segment-first 10-Speed Transmission
      The RDX's turbocharged engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission (10AT) – the first and only 10AT in the class. With more closely spaced ratios and a 62 percent wider ratio range, Acura's 10AT takes full advantage of the turbo engine's bountiful low-end torque. Gear changes are quick and seamless, in both automatic mode and using steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
      Return of Torque Vectoring SH-AWD
      The third generation redesign also marks the return of torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) to RDX, in its most powerful and sophisticated form ever. In addition to improving all-wheel-drive performance, Acura's SH-AWD utilizes dynamic torque vectoring to sharpen handling response and deliver vivid, exhilarating and confidence-inspiring driving performance in virtually all weather and road conditions.
      With Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, up to 70% of torque can be distributed to the rear wheels. And up to 100% of that torque can be distributed to either the right-rear or left-rear wheel, creating incredible control and agility. The 2019 RDX is the first model to utilize this new generation of Acura SH-AWD.
      Spacious, Luxurious and Tech-forward Cabin
      The 2019 RDX's sumptuously appointed, tech-forward and spacious new cabin features Acura's latest thinking for a more premium, personal and connected driving experience.
      Exceptional seating comfort is provided by next-generation Acura sport seats, designed exclusively for RDX and future Acura products. The new, more intricately sculpted sport seats feature a lightweight ultra-high-strength steel frame, with improved lateral support for spirited driving and up to 16-way power adjustability. In all grades, the RDX provides both the driver and front-seat passenger the same levels of seating adjustability and comfort.
      The RDX's new ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, standard on all grades, has power slide and tilt functions and a power sliding sunshade. It is among the largest and widest in the class providing an open and airy feeling throughout the cabin.
      Available authentic high-grade materials are featured throughout the cabin, including brushed aluminum, stainless steel, open pore Olive Ash wood trim, Ultrasuede® and rich Milano leather.
      Inspired by the NSX, a high-deck floating center console and prominent Integrated Dynamics System control knob allows drivers to quickly switch between four distinct drive modes (Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+).
      Intuitive True Touchpad Interface™
      Designed from a clean sheet and deployed for the first time in the automotive world in the third generation RDX, Acura's True Touchpad Interface is a holistic, system-level approach to in-car user interface that is optimized for the driver and the driving experience.
      The system is designed to combine the advantages of both conventional touchscreen and remote-based approaches. The True Touchpad Interface features a 10.2-inch full-HD center display mounted high atop the center console, close to the driver's natural line of sight, a center console-mounted touchpad and an all-new, Android-based operating system. 
      Unlike conventional touchpad designs, Acura's True Touchpad Interface does not require the user to locate a cursor on the screen while navigating the touchpad. To support intuitive and easy control, the touchpad is precisely mapped, one-to-one, with the action on the center display – the world's first application of absolute positioning in the driving environment.  Simply, a touch on any location of the touchpad corresponds directly with that same location on the display.
      Further supporting ease of use, the touchpad's surface is slightly concave, allowing the user to quickly identify the center of the touchpad without looking down. A padded wrist rest, integrated within the RDX's high-deck floating center console, provides a comfortable and stable platform for operating the touchpad.
      The operating system features simple, clean graphics and menu structures designed in concert with the touchpad. It features two zones, a larger primary zone, and smaller secondary zone, allowing for easy viewing and one-tap swapping of primary and secondary functions – navigation and music, for example.
      Click here for a brief video primer on the new True Touchpad Interface.
      Acura ELS Studio 3D™ Audio
      The new RDX also marks the debut of Acura ELS Studio 3D premium audio, a 16-channel, 710-watt system featuring four ultra-slim Highline™ ceiling-mounted speakers – available on high grades. Developed by Acura and Panasonic and tuned by Grammy-winning music producer, Elliot Schiener, Acura ELS Studio 3D audio delivers incredible fidelity and dynamic range while adding a new dimension of sound to the listening experience.
      Head-Up Display and Natural Language Voice Recognition
      Another Acura first is a new natural language voice recognition system, which allows for more intuitive voice control of major features and functions, including commands for the available embedded Acura Navigation System. Also new is an available 10.5-inch full-color interactive Head-Up Display, which puts customizable information displays, including audio, phone, AcuraWatch alerts, turn-by-turn navigation and more directly in the driver's line of sight.
      A-Spec Variant Boosts Sport Appearance
      The new RDX A-Spec, the first-ever Acura SUV with A-Spec treatment, adds distinctive sport appearance upgrades inside and out. Shark Gray 20-inch alloy wheels shod with low-profile 255/45R20 tires create a more athletic stance and are complemented by a unique lower front fascia and gloss-black accents for the front grille, Jewel Eye™ headlights, side sills, upper window sash and taillights. LED fog lights, large-diameter dual exhaust finishers and A-Spec badging on the front quarter panels and tailgate complete the exterior package. 
      Inside, the RDX A-Spec features exclusive sports seats wrapped in either black or red leather with black premium Ultrasuede® inserts and contrasting stitching. Real aluminum decorates the center-console, doors and instrument panel, with additional soft-touch Ultrasuede on the dash. The A-Spec's stitched leather sport steering wheel features gloss black trim, metal-plated paddle shifters and A-Spec badging. A unique driver's gauge cluster gets an A-Spec exclusive satin silver finish with red-illuminated nighttime readouts.
      Unparalleled Standard Features, Value
      The 2019 RDX boasts an extensive and class-leading array of premium features and technologies as standard equipment, including 19-inch alloy wheels, next-generation Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, an ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, a power operated and height adjustable tailgate, Acura True Touchpad Interface™ with 10.2-inch HD Display, Apple CarPlay™ compatibility, Smart Entry and Smart Start, AcuraLink™ Connected Services with 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi1, 12-way heated driver and passenger sport seats,  four-mode Integrated Dynamics System and AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technology.
      Top Active and Passive Safety Tech
      The 2019 RDX is designed to provide high levels of both active and passive safety. All models and grades come standard with the full suite of AcuraWatch safety and driver assist technologies, including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS).
      Utilizing the latest generation of Acura's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure along with advanced supplemental restraint systems, including front and front side airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags, pretensioning seatbelts and Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child-seat anchors, the 2019 RDX targets top NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating.
      Designed, Developed and Manufactured in America
      The third-generation RDX is the first RDX to be designed and developed in America. Styling design of the RDX was conducted by the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, with development undertaken by the company's North American R&D team, based in Raymond, Ohio. The new RDX will be manufactured in East Liberty, Ohio, with its 2.0-liter turbo engine produced in the company's Anna, Ohio engine plant and its 10-speed automatic transmission manufactured at the company's Tallapoosa, Georgia plant2.

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