Official: 2014 Jeep Cherokee musters 22 MPG city, 31 highway

Filed under: Car Buying, Government/Legal, Crossover, Jeep

2014 Jeep Cherokee

Production and media drive delays included, there has been no lack of press surrounding the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. With the most recent delay reportedly due to powertrain calibrations, we’ve been waiting to see how the Cherokee’s fuel economy looks against the highly competitive compact CUV segment. Thanks to the EPA, we now know the fuel economy figures for the newest member of the Jeep family.

Arguably, the Cherokee has the most modern powertrain in its class with an updated base engine, all-new V6 and all-new nine-speed automatic transmission, but its fuel economy figures are simply on par for the segment. Still nothing to scoff at, though. According to fueleconomy.gov, front-wheel-drive Cherokee models with the base four-cylinder mill will top out the lineup with 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway; opting for four-wheel drive with this engine drops the figures to 21 city and 28 highway. Get even crazier with the option list, and the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 will get you 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway in two-wheel-drive form or 19 city and 27 highway for 4WD.

If you’re wondering how that stacks up among compact CUVs, head on over to Automobile Magazine for a full fuel economy breakdown for the segment. The controversially styled crossover hits dealers this month, and we’ll be driving it in just a couple of weeks.

2014 Jeep Cherokee musters 22 MPG city, 31 highway originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Jeep Cherokee musters 22 MPG city, 31 highway

Filed under: Car Buying, Government/Legal, Crossover, Jeep

2014 Jeep Cherokee

Production and media drive delays included, there has been no lack of press surrounding the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. With the most recent delay reportedly due to powertrain calibrations, we’ve been waiting to see how the Cherokee’s fuel economy looks against the highly competitive compact CUV segment. Thanks to the EPA, we now know the fuel economy figures for the newest member of the Jeep family.

Arguably, the Cherokee has the most modern powertrain in its class with an updated base engine, all-new V6 and all-new nine-speed automatic transmission, but its fuel economy figures are simply on par for the segment. Still nothing to scoff at, though. According to fueleconomy.gov, front-wheel-drive Cherokee models with the base four-cylinder mill will top out the lineup with 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway; opting for four-wheel drive with this engine drops the figures to 21 city and 28 highway. Get even crazier with the option list, and the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 will get you 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway in two-wheel-drive form or 19 city and 27 highway for 4WD.

If you’re wondering how that stacks up among compact CUVs, head on over to Automobile Magazine for a full fuel economy breakdown for the segment. The controversially styled crossover hits dealers this month, and we’ll be driving it in just a couple of weeks.

2014 Jeep Cherokee musters 22 MPG city, 31 highway originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Jeep Grand Cherokee in headliner fire probe

Filed under: SUV, Safety, Jeep

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching an investigation into 146,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs from the 2012 model year, The Detroit News reports. This comes as the result of the government safety agency receiving three complaints from owners who cited fires inside the Jeep’s cabin.

According to the report, NHTSA says:

The customers reported a burning odor and visible smoke coming from the headliner while the vehicle was being driven. This was followed by flames from the headliner itself. Customers lowered the windows in an effort to clear the smoke but this increased the fire’s intensity. All three vehicles had to be extinguished with a fire extinguisher or by the fire department as they continued to burn after the vehicle was turned off.”

And it gets worse. In one incident, the fire apparently caused the sunroof to shatter, and in another, the fire spread to the passenger seat because the burning sun visor fell from the headliner. A Chrysler spokesperson tells The Detroit News that the automaker will be fully cooperating with NHTSA’s investigation of these Grand Cherokee models. Chrysler is reportedly investigating this problem itself, as well.

Depending on the results of the investigation, a recall may be issued to prevent future fires from occurring in other Grand Cherokees. If that happens, hopefully it won’t create as much controversy as the last time NHTSA requested that Jeep vehicles be recalled.

Jeep Grand Cherokee in headliner fire probe originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chinese Jeep production confirmed with Fiat, Guangzhou agreement

Filed under: SUV, China, Plants/Manufacturing, Crossover, Jeep

Jeep Badge

Fiat has just finalized a deal originally set up in January between it and China’s Guangzhou Automotive Group to bring Jeep production to China. It remains unclear which models will be built, although we’re wagering that it’ll be the 2014 Cherokee. What we do know, now, is where production will take place.

According to Automotive News, Guangzhou originally wanted production to take place in its home assembly plant in its namesake city. Fiat has battled to send production to a joint venture facility established between Guangzhou and Fiat in the town of Changsha. The joint facility won out, and now the factory, originally built in 2010 with a 140,000-unit capacity, will see Jeeps rolling out of it.

Currently, the GAC-Fiat factory produces the Fiat Viaggio, a jointly developed product that is closely related to America’s Dodge Dart. And while it remains unclear as to which model will join the Viaggio on the assembly line, that model is understood to ride on Fiat’s Compact platform. The only Jeep to share those underpinnings is the new Cherokee, so there’s not much connecting of dots needed to see why this scenario would make sense.

Chinese Jeep production confirmed with Fiat, Guangzhou agreement originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Jeep Cherokee configurator up and running

Filed under: Car Buying, SUV, Crossover, Jeep, Off-Road

2014 Jeep Cherokee configurator screencap

Production delays aside, Jeep is steaming towards its September on-sale date for the 2014 Cherokee. The reborn midsizer’s configurator has just gone live, meaning you can fiddle with different options, colors and trim levels to your heart’s content.

The cheapest model available is the 4X2 Sport, which starts at a reasonable $22,995. On the high end, the Cherokee’s builder allowed us to indulge our passion for ludicrously priced vehicles by outfitting the top-end Trailhawk, which already starts at $29,495, with $8,610 in options. The resulting car, which you can see above, would retail for $39,100 after the $995 destination is factored in.

Head on over to Jeep’s build-it-yourself website and have a look around.

2014 Jeep Cherokee configurator up and running originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Aug 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chrysler delays 2014 Jeep Cherokee media launch

Filed under: Jeep

2014 Jeep Cherokee

Chrysler is making the unusual move of delaying the first media drives of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which were slated to start next week in Seattle. And while something like this is a rare occurrence, and one that most of the Autoblog staff can’t recall happening this publicly or so close to the event itself, it won’t effect the actual on-sale date of the new Cherokee, which is set to hit showrooms in September.

“Over the last couple of weeks during final quality and durability testing, we have discovered the opportunity to further improve powertrain calibration,” Chrysler told Automotive News. This marks the second notable delay in the Cherokee’s short life, after production was delayed for roughly a month earlier this summer.

Still, we’d rather Chrysler make sure the Cherokee is ready for primetime before flying media in from around the country. It shows a willingness to get things right the first time, rather than offering media drives and then tweaking the car after the fact.

A simple look at the Cherokee’s powertrain is all that’s needed to understand how big of a deal it is. Everything under the oddly styled CUV’s hood is new, from a tweaked 2.4-liter engine to a new 3.2-liter V-6, to the first use of Chrysler Group’s new nine-speed automatic, developed jointly with ZF. The pressure to get this right must be immense. We’ll find out if Chrysler succeeds in September.

Chrysler delays 2014 Jeep Cherokee media launch originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chrysler extending production of current Dodge Avenger, Jeep Wrangler, Grand Caravan

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Sedan, SUV, Plants/Manufacturing, Dodge, Jeep

2013 Dodge Avenger - front three-quarter view

Are you hesitant to pull the trigger on a brand new Dodge Avenger in hopes that a new one will be coming? Well, don’t hold your breath. According to The Detroit News, Chrysler will be extending production of the current Avenger sedan through the end of 2015.

Originally, we heard that the company would kill the Avenger to better focus its midsize sedan efforts on the Chrysler 200 replacement. But then new reports stated there would indeed be an Avenger successor, and that we could see it as early as next January. This Detroit News report cites supplier sources confirming the extension of Avenger production, though Chrysler has not released an official statement on the matter.

These same suppliers say that the current Jeep Wrangler will live on through mid-2018 – that’s right, another five years. The Detroit News reports that a replacement for the iconic, go-anywhere Jeep was due in mid-2016.

Lastly, the report mentions that the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan will remain in production through late 2017, though its Chrysler Town & Country counterpart will be replaced by an all-new vehicle for the 2016 model year. This only further backs reports that the Grand Caravan will be killed from the Chrysler Group portfolio, with the T&C remaining the only minivan in production at the company’s Windsor facility.

Chrysler extending production of current Dodge Avenger, Jeep Wrangler, Grand Caravan originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler recalls 2013 Ram pickups, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Filed under: SUV, Truck, Recalls, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram

2013 Dodge Ram 1500 - front three-quarter view

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee - dead-on front viewChrysler’s spate of successful products is about to be marred by a trio of recalls. The Pentastar is recalling 51,477 Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been no reported accidents, injuries or deaths related to the affected vehicles.

The largest action covers the Ram 1500, which is seeing 45,961 trucks being recalled. Models built between June 26, 2012 and February 5, 2013 are being recalled due to a potential software issue in the electronic stability control. Apparently, the system can be randomly deactivated upon vehicle startup.

Chrysler is also recalling 4,458 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models. Covering everything but the SRT models, the potentially defective SUVs were built between January 14 and March 20, 2013. This recall focuses on “premium headlights,” which means cars equipped with LED running lights. During the switch from the bright daytime running lamp setting to the low-intensity parking light setting, an electrical spike can cause one of the Jeep’s computers to go into a safe mode, turning off the LEDs. This violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Finally, Chrysler is recalling 1,058 Ram 4500 and 5500 heavy-duty pickups. The action covers vehicles manufactured between January 22 and March 8, 2013 due to an incorrect bolt attaching the track bar to the frame. If the bolt breaks or falls off while driving, drivers may lose control of the vehicle.

Owners of effected models will be notified to report to their dealers for free repairs or retrofits, with all three recalls kicking off in August.

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Chrysler recalls 2013 Ram pickups, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Read This: Jeep Cherokee name revival reignites question of cultural insensitivity [w/poll]

Filed under: SUV, Marketing/Advertising, Jeep, Off-Road

2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk - front three-quarter view

The New York Times has published a new story that tackles the issue of ethnically charged product naming, this time in the auto industry. The paper dusts off the discourse because Chrysler has resurrected the Jeep Cherokee moniker for its latest model. Writer Glenn Collins uses the new Jeep as a jumping off point for a merry stroll through the auto industry’s history of culturally insensitive and/or politically incorrect names and advertising.

In the piece, Chrysler representatives say that reusing the Cherokee name isn’t meant to offend anyone, noting that the company hasn’t received any feedback about the name being disparaging. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma has said that the group opposes stereotypes and applauds sports teams and schools for dropping offensive mascots, but has stopped short of criticizing the Jeep Cherokee based on its name. Officially, the Cherokee Nation has no stance on the matter, but spokesman Amanda Clinton says “it would have been nice for them to have consulted us in the very least.”

It’s worth noting that “Cherokee” has been an active Jeep product name for decades now (through its more upscale Grand Cherokee range), and the company has long shied away from the sort of imagery and caricatures that have come under fire in the sporting world and elsewhere (e.g. Major League Baseball’s Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians). Here on Autoblog, when the new Cherokee was revealed, many commenters openly groused about the name choice – but not because of its Native American ties. The issue for many, it would seem, is that this new model represents such a radical departure from the long-serving, much-loved XJ generation, that it has been deemed to not be an appropriate fit.

Do you have a problem with Jeep bringing back the Cherokee name because you think it’s culturally insensitive, or is this much ado about nothing? Head over to The New York Times to read the piece for yourself, then vote in our poll below.

View Poll

Jeep Cherokee name revival reignites question of cultural insensitivity [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch this Jeep Willys return to its birthplace after 70 years

Filed under: Classics, Plants/Manufacturing, Videos, Jeep, Military

Earlier this month, a very significant Jeep was celebrated at the Toledo North Assembly plant. No, it wasn’t the upcoming reincarnation of the Jeep Cherokee, but instead it was a 1943 Willys MB that visited the Toledo grounds where it had been built exactly 70 years ago to the day.

Of course, the actual building where the MBs rolled off the assembly line before heading to Europe for World War II no longer exists, but that didn’t stop Italian owner Vittorio Argento from having the vehicle shipped to the US to make its trek back to its birth place. According to Chrysler, Argento’s MB is still 95-percent original and it drove 1,000 miles from New Jersey to Toledo.

The whole adventure was chronicled on a blog aptly named A Jeep Comes Home. Scroll down for a brief video from Chrysler and for some photos of the Toledo visit and be sure to read more at Argento’s blog.

Continue reading Watch this Jeep Willys return to its birthplace after 70 years

Watch this Jeep Willys return to its birthplace after 70 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 23 Jun 2013 19:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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