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Watch out, Jeep Liberty: 2014 Jeep Cherokee boasts dramatic redesign

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(Read caption) The 2014 Jeep Cherokee midsize SUV made its debut in March 2013 at the New York International Auto Show. With a sleek redesign and updated technology, the new Jeep Cherokee will sell for $23,990 later this year.

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It's time to put the Jeep Liberty to pasture and for 2014 its replacement brings back a legendary nameplate: the Cherokee. Introduced at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, the Jeep Cherokee is nothing like the vehicle it replaces. It's a crossover that focuses on design, fuel economy, and technology. Priced from $23,990 including destination, the new Jeep Cherokee will take on segment leaders such as the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V.

The Cherokee will be available in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Jeep has been quick to mention that the Trailhawk model is the trim it feels will resonate with Jeep enthusiasts, while the Sport, Latitude, and Limited are aimed at conquest sales.

The base Sport features power mirrors and locks, Uconnect with a 5.0-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth hands-free and streaming audio, 3.5-inch color display in the gauge cluster, 10 air bags, and much more. Available options will include Jeep Active Drive I 4x4 system with a Selec-Terrain drive mode selector. A backup camera will also be available.

Move up to the $25,490 Latitude model and you'll add body-color mirrors and door handles, tinted windows, fog lights, fold-flat front passenger seats with in-seat storage space, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and a 115-volt power outlet. An 8.4-inch touchscreen with Uconnect infotainment is available along with a 506-watt Alpine premium audio system. For those seeking all-weather capability there's either Jeep Active Drive I or Jeep Active Drive II 4x4 systems.

The Limited model starts from $28,990 and adds heated power seats, heated steering wheel, keyless entry and push-button start, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a security alarm, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, an 8-way power driver seat, an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 7-inch color display in the gauge cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped shift knob, and a garage door opener.

For those wanting to go off-road there's the Trailhawk model starting from $30,490, and it includes all the standard equipment from the Latitude model along with unique front and rear fascias, off-road wheel flares, red tow hooks, skid plates, off-road suspension, one-inch increased ride height, heavy-duty engine cooling and auxiliary transmission oil cooler, Jeep Active Drive Lock 4x4 system with low range and Hill-Ascent Control along with Hill-Descent Control, heated power mirrors, a 7-inch color display in the gauge cluster, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Uconnect.

All 2014 Jeep Cherokees are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed transmission sends the power to either the front or all four wheels. The Trailhawk model is the only trim not available in front-wheel drive. For those seeking more power a new 3.2-liter V-6 engine rated at 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque is available.

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Jeep's expecting a driving range of nearly 500 miles with the four-cylinder engine thanks to an up to 31 mpg highway rating. Opting for the V-6 engine will drop that driving range to approximately 460 miles.

The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will go on sale during the third-quarter of 2013. Until then, be sure to read our preview here.


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