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by Jay Traugott
The Cherokee nameplate will soon return to the Jeep lineup in the form of this Alfa Romeo Giulietta-based crossover, due to arrive in showrooms for 2014.
The Jeep Liberty is dead and the Cherokee is due for a comeback. The classic Jeep model name will return to market for 2014 attached to a new vehicle that's based on the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Up until now, we've only seen heavily camouflaged test mules on the road but today our always reliable spy photographers have brought us some exclusive photos inside and out of a production-bodied 2014 Cherokee. The exterior design is undeniably Jeep as we can clearly see from those wheel arch designs.
Also visible is the traditional seven-slot Jeep grille up front. Our sources have also confirmed that the Cherokee's headlights will feature LED daytime running lights. Another revelation here is the retractable "Sky Slider" fabric roof, a feature that was offered on the outgoing Liberty. Out back are a pair of chrome-tipped exhaust outlets as well as taillights that resemble those on the newly restyled 2014 Grand Cherokee. In general, the Cherokee's styling is a bit of a mix between the Compass and Patriot with a touch of Grand Cherokee. The interior is also a familiar sight, with the steering wheel and gauge cluster taken from the GC.
Expect for the Cherokee to feature a 7-inch configurable gauge cluster screen similar to what's found in the Dodge Dart. Also visible here is a curvy dashboard, a dash top storage compartment, large infotainment screen and two large HVAC vents. The new Cherokee will be offered in both front- and all-wheel-drive variants and at least one trim will be Jeep "Trail Rated". Power will come from a 3.2-liter version of the Pentastar V6 mated to a 9-speed ZF automatic. Other possible engine options could either be the 2.4-liter Tiger Shark four-pot or a 1.4-liter turbo. Production of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will kick off at the Toledo, Ohio plant in May.