Offering an early look at a vehicle that will be revealed at the New York Auto show in April, the first images of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee have been released by the Chrysler Group. This mid-size "D-segment" offering is the de facto replacement for the aging Jeep Liberty. While resurrecting a classic Jeep name, it clearly sets a new and welcome styling course that gives it a far more contemporary character than the boxy "XJ" Cherokee which departed the scene more than a decade ago.

Beyond its smoother and sleeker sheetmetal, the new 2014 Cherokee features dramatically recast thinline headlamps and a new "angled" take on the classic Jeep 7-slot grille. It's a cleaner and no doubt more aerodynamically efficient look that we expect to see filter down into a number of other next-gen offerings from the renowned Trail Ready division.

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While Jeep hasn't released any powertrain details on the 2014 Cherokee, it has indicated this newcomer will deliver over 45 percent better fuel economy numbers than the Liberty. That kind of improvement does prompt speculation as to both the cylinder count of its engine(s) and the number of gears that might be found in its transmission or transmissions.

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Characterizing it as a "no-compromise" exercise, Jeep promises the 2014 Cherokee will set a new standard with even more best-in-class capability and exemplary on-road driving dynamics. Production of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is slated to take place at the division's facility in Toledo, Ohio, and it will go on sale during the third quarter. Full mechanical details as well as trim, packaging and possibly even pricing guidance should be presented at the formal unveiling in New York.


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