New 2014 Cherokee Lacks American Heritage

by American Designed Jeep Owner

2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee

I expect to be more than flamed from those progressive types who think America has held back on so-called forward thinking or progressive design. So be it. At least the Jeeps I've owned were full blooded American designs with America's Jeep heritage in the look, feel and performance up to at least 2000.

Since I've not owned anything newer than that I can only believe based on their look, Jeeps up to 2006 (excluding Compass and Liberty), showed Jeep's heritage in one way or another without mistaking it for "something else".

I guess I'm jumping on the bandwagon of critics about the new Cherokee for 2014. Jeep has taken the American heritage out of it by letting European designers build it the way they would for Europe expecting Americans to flock to it because it's now a European design and it seems that Americans love European design. I'm not one of them. BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Volvo and another round of Fiat to name a few. Remember the Fiat X1/9? I want to forget too and I didn't even own one!

So here we have a "Jeep" that has nothing in common with its predecessors except 4 wheel drive (proprietary modular design and can't be rebuilt in the field with standard truck parts) and a seven slot grill (which Hummer stole only because theirs were more square). Oh yeah. It says Jeep on it. Other than that, it has absolutely no American heritage built in to it. It is as Jeep's President says, "a world car", not an American one.

If you look long enough at it from all angles you might even see that it looks like two cars stacked. From the rear it looks like one team designed the lower half of a minivan
with a 4x4 suspension and another designed the upper half as a hodge-podge FrankenCar from several ideas that don't mesh, and neither team communicated anything to the other. A modified Viper-like headlight profile up front with something from a Fiat or Renault below it? Hmmm.

Looking to the rear, you'd swear it was supposed to come apart and convert it to...a truck, van or a flat bed? Holy Transformers Batman! This vehicle is Jeep's genetically engineered bastard that is supposed to be a world car for all tastes and all walks of life. Did I mention that it has gobs of high-tech stuff that only the Grand Cherokee and Commander had in recent years in addition to a touch screen upgrade? My my. Trail Hawk indeed. We're stuck with this design for that long so maybe it'll come out a swan in five years.

Some will immediately accuse me of being too rigid in my standards and require the "old" boxy look of the Cherokee Sport. While that design was the ultimate success for the late model Jeeps, I think this new Jeep speaks far to far into the future for many.

My questions: Which world was this car designed for? One where design aesthetics are to be ignored or worshiped or is it some designer's fantasy that will ultimately ruin America's true off road brand?

I still have trouble spotting the 2013 Grand Cherokee from behind until I'm close enough to see that it's not a BMW. Something about horizontal tail lights...

Larry's Comment: This "globalism" mentality really stinks. I agree that America is selling out her heritage and tradition to the highest bidders. We need to reclaim that which made this country great...and God willing have a country we can be proud of again.

Comments for New 2014 Cherokee Lacks American Heritage

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Global world
by: Alain

As a 1971 Jeep owner, I regret that US citizens did not buy the brand to build something.

Maybe John Deere, or Apple could have done it.

In France, we sell our big brand wines to Chinese companies, British cars are not British (Rolls-Royce, Jaguar ...)

I have no solutions, but concerning Jeep, it is a pity for sure.

Modernizing Jeeps
by: shatto

When I was in Inchon, Korea I had the opportunity to conduct a simple but graphic comparison between a non military CJ and M-151, the Ford thing that replaced the Jeep as the Truck, Light, Military, by driving them up a hill trail with a particularly nasty set of ruts.

The M-151 idled through the ruts comfortably in the first of its four gears and the Jeep was simply incapable of traversing the same ground because of loss of traction. That the Jeep had far more power was irrelevant as it couldn't be applied. Even the primitive suspension of the M-151 made it superior to the Jeep in this test.

Backtracking a few years...

So, I was strolling through the factory talking with the engineer about my Land Rover experiences as a Pro Hunter in Ethiopia, commenting on how Land Rover and Jeep seemed to have fallen behind in technology.

Toyota had wide springs which gave a smoother ride, Austin used torsion bar suspension, Fiat and Austin had independent front suspension, Unimog had the ideal off-road clearance, coil springs, torque-tube suspension that gave a far superior ride and differential locks, something the Fiat Campagnola and Unimog had but no other 4X4 did.

I told him that Land Rover and Jeep were still manufacturing their original designs and they were obsolete.

Well, the result is the Range Rover, and although there is the slightest chance, it is pretty much a certainty my visit in 1966 had no bearing on it.

The point is simple. We tend to think that all the great engineering and products come from America. Nonsense. Detroit proved that pretending things were 'NEW and IMPROVED' eventually catches up with the advertising. And who suffers? Us.

I told Land Rover and Jeep 47 years ago they needed to upgrade and, presumably, I wasn't alone.

We might, before we insult and criticize the people who are keeping the beloved Jeep name alive, consider that FIAT is still what GM once was and that they might make Jeep better as well as keep it affordable.

And, as long as there is free enterprise, Jeep may in the end, wind up right back where it began.

Nice post!
by: Edward

Great post.

New Jeep Bad. Really?
by: Michael Shatto

Over half a century ago: Independent front suspension, Disc Brakes, Fuel Injection, Differential Locks, Coil springs. Not found in any American 4X4. Fiat had the first two. Disc brakes? Citroën DS. Injection came from Mercedes airplane engines and the Unimog had coil springs and the 51 Fiat Campagnola had differential locks.

Fact is, it is astonishing Jeep survived using 1940s technology.

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