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Jeep Cherokee is back! (As a crossover)

I used to own a 1979 Jeep Cherokee with a hot-rod 360-V8. It was a beast that embodied what a Jeep is supposed to be. I drove it through snow up to the doors, conquered mountains on rutted-out logging roads and pulled donuts in fields that haven’t been the same since. Cherokees have always been like that, until now.  Jeep is resurrecting the nameplate for the first time in ten years as a car-jeep.  The press release is below:  

Auburn Hills, Mich. - Jeep(r) Cherokee. The name is instantly recognizable as the most capable and versatile mid-size SUV in the world. For 2014, Jeep brings the Cherokee name back to North America with the debut of its all-new mid-size sport-utility vehicle.

Set to debut at the New York International Auto Show in March, the all-new, "no-compromise" 2014 Jeep Cherokee sets a new standard with even more best-in-class capability, exemplary on-road driving dynamics, and fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent versus the outgoing mid-size SUV model.

The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be built in the United States at Chrysler Group's Toledo Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio, and will arrive in dealer showrooms in the third quarter of this year.

From the little we’ve seen of the new Cherokee the auto press is describing it most resoundingly as polarizing.  The new styling is definitely striking.  Even if the soft-roader designation alienates the rugged Jeep faithful it might not matter to Chrysler.  There are plenty of crossover buyers out there to go after.  

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