What is it about the new Jeep Cherokee?

I think the front look really nice but it is not a Cherokee for sure

I think the front look really nice but it is not a Cherokee for sure

It happened quickly. Spy pics of the new Jeep D-SUV were released in the web and soon everyone was talking about them. Then, some hours later, Jeep published the first 4 official pictures of its all-new Cherokee. Car forums were full of comments about this weird new SUV. I checked the opinions in several websites in and outside the US. If the sales of this new Jeep are going to replicate the number of comments, then it will be certainly a success. But unfortunately (or fortunately) car fans are strongly divided into their perception of the design of the Cherokee. The controversy is good as the car becomes popular even before its launch. Even Ralph Gilles, Chrysler design chief, had to intervene in the discussion to calm down everybody. He tweeted “we are shifting some paradigms around.. it is time” pointing at those claiming for a ‘real’ Cherokee. The discussion gets tough in USA as there hasn’t been any Cherokee nameplate since 2001, when it was replaced by the Liberty, aka Cherokee in overseas markets. That’s a key point for the introduction of this SUV. The Cherokee nameplate is very strong there and people normally associate it with the boxy and rough family mid-size SUV that was so popular in the 90’s. Now Jeep decided to bring it back to life in the form of a very particular SUV that doesn’t have anything to do with former or current range.

Good for the front view. Isn't it the side surface to flat?

Good for the front view. Isn’t it the side surface to flat?

Without considering my opinion about it, I think Jeep guys should be very careful about this new proposal. It is good, indeed, to change and propose new concepts. If the brand wants to maintain its success it must evolve. They began with the new Grand Cherokee, which has had a big success thanks to its awesome features, and now they come up with the new Cherokee. Aren’t they going to far with this new design? Are Americans willing to pay for a SUV using a classic nameplate but wearing a bold dress? How good is it for the brand to risk in D-SUV segment when it is the segment in which it has an interesting market share? To re-think the design and concept of a car will be always welcomed. In fact most of popular car makers forgot it and now most of the cars sold worldwide are boring and they all look the same. So in that issue I think Gilles and Co. made a wonderful job (from the 4 pictures of the front we can see so far). That’s a characteristic of Italian cars and now it seems is making part of Chrysler products. But I think they should had chosen the C-SUV segment to prove it as it is a segment closer to crossovers and daring designs, and Jeep doesn’t have that much to lose. Doing it in D-SUV means to risk the reputation of a nameplate and future sales.

At the end, if they could make it with the Fiat 500 in USA and then they start to have success with the Dart, why not to do it with Jeep? Time and demand will tell us.

Ralph Gilles and Jeep Cherokee Tweets


22 thoughts on “What is it about the new Jeep Cherokee?

    • Oh please! come on! how can you compare the ugly Aztek with this interesting proposal? you may not like it, I understand that, but tell me at least 3 details in which they resemble


      • Come on JuanFe,
        you perfectly know that everybody in the net is comparing it either to the Aztek (American readers) or the Multipla (European readers), so DeWitte is not wrong at all…


      • Yes, most of people hate it. But the Cherokee has nothing in common with the Aztek/Multipla. You may not like it, but they are different cars.


      • 1)The front fascia lines don’t match up. They didn’t on the aztec.

        2)They lost the theme, the aztec was a hodge podge of design cues. This has one on the front, another for the rest of the car.
        3)they tried to excuse the aztec ugly by saying it was for the active lifestyle. They are saying it’s Jeep and we’ll get used to the looks.

        His point was valid. No one would listen to the fans saying the Dart needed stronger engines either.

        I speak from a layman’s thinking. The headlights are the eyes in the face of the car’s front fascia. You move the eyes too far and it’s going to look alien. You can switch the parking lights to the be the upper line for the headlights and the down to just below that bulgy line, with the parking lights just under them ala 1964-1968 J series and wagoneer. It shouldnt’ make the wiring harness too much different and it would set things right. The rest of this new model is so pleasing to the eye, why deliberately make it ugly up front?


  1. It’s as if they think they can out french the Rogue in weirdness.

    If it doesn’t cost any more to make attractive cars than ugly ones, why not make some tweaks on this to have the front match the other nice body cues?


  2. I must admit when the first Nissan Juke pictures came out I nearly choked on my coffee – however – it has been a roaring success – there is a fine balance between ugly and distinctive. I am going to wait until I see it in the metal and reserve my judgement until then.


    • Sometimes design doesn’t count as much as marketing. And if a good positioning and Ad campaign tells you that the car is nice, you will start to love no matter its shapes.


  3. it’s not that bad. it’s just that the change is so drastic. this type of change is usually the product of a slow, design evolution, initially debuting in concept form. launching this new look in this sector might be scaring jeep fans, fearing this polarizing design will show up on future vehicles.


  4. I really think it’s a waste of an opportunity. This risk wasn’t necessary. Remember the press pics are of the best angles and colours. The leaked pics looked scary. The biggest problems for me are the double face and heavy looking front bumper. However I know ugly cars sell these days (BMW ;)) so I won’t be surprised if this succeeds. However having the very decent looking Grand Cherokee as a starting point it was really big risk that Fiat-Chrysler cannot afford to take.


  5. Pingback: The first year of ‘Fiat Group’s World’ | Fiat Group's World

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