Jeep Cherokee will keep controversial face in forthcoming update
The mid-cycle update for the Jeep Cherokee, which is expected to debut in the middle of 2016, will retain the crossover's controversial looks, according to the brand's CEO. Not only did the latest-generation Cherokee shift to a front- and all-wheel drive car-based platform, but it also ditched the model's formerly square and sharp-edged looks for something much more organic.
Stoking the internet's desire for ire even further is the car's front-end design, which features split headlights, with prominent LED driving lights up top and disguised main beams below it, as well as a new sloping version of the brand's iconic grille.
"I think the overall styling, the overall shape, the overall accommodation of that vehicle is spot on," Mike Manley, Jeep's CEO, told Automotive News.
"I don't think that there's anything that dramatically needs to change with that vehicle going forward," he added. The Jeep boss did concede that the Cherokee has been affected by a number of issues, including software and other problems with the car's nine-speed automatic transmission. Manley said that the brand had made "significant progress" on this front and that Jeep would "continue to look to make quality improvements wherever we can".
Despite these stumbles, Cherokee sales have proven strong. In the US, sales are up 31 percent year-on-year to 104,426 units.
In Australia, the Cherokee is picking up speed with 4297 sold so far this year. That's just 40 sales short of the segment's sixth-placed Honda CR-V and 134 behind the fifth-placed Mitsubishi Outlander.
The Cherokee is still a long way behind the leaders in the medium SUV category, though, with the Mazda CX-5 (12,489), Nissan X-Trail (9272) and Toyota RAV4 (9160) lapping most of the field.