The Cherokee will be the first home for Chrysler’s new 3.2L Pentastar V6—which is a smaller alternative to the currently available 3.6L unit. The new mill will create 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque while turning in 30 percent better fuel economy than the ‘outgoing’ engine—namely the old-school 3.7L, 210-hp V6 last used in the Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty. Standard will be a 2.4L ‘Tigershark’ engine running Fiat’s acclaimed MultiAir technology for full optimization of engine breathing on a cylinder-by-cylinder, stroke-by-stroke basis. Output? 184 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque.

2014 Jeep Cherokee
2014 Jeep Cherokee
2014 Jeep Cherokee
2014 Jeep Cherokee. Click image to enlarge

Fiat’s influences extend beyond greasy bits of the Cherokee’s four-cylinder engine, too, as the Italian brand’s underpinnings are the basis of Jeep’s upcoming model. Dubbed “Compact U.S. Wide” (CUS-Wide) by the engineering guys, it consists of a modular architecture that allows numerous models to be created on the same basic platform. Chrysler says the result is better quality and reliability, as well as lower costs, less development time and tooling.

The architecture Cherokee is built on is comprised of common, modular and interchangeable components and allows for modularity of the wheelbase, front track, overhang and overall length and width. Translation? This platform could easily house other Jeep models in the future.

Officials say shoppers can expect a top-notch cabin complete with high quality trim and materials, and a full selection of connectivity, multimedia and safety features. Notably, adaptive cruise control that functions right down to a full stop, and a self-parking system that can handle both parallel and perpendicular parking jobs.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee

Lane departure warning functionality has been enhanced and applied to the Cherokee too. Go out of your lane sans signal, and it can even apply a little snudge to the steering wheel to warn drivers to move back over. Other interesting touches will include a full-colour, reconfigurable LED instrument cluster, a cargo management system, and the same fold-flat front seat with in-seat storage you’ll find in the super-handy Dodge Journey.

Cherokee trim levels will work thusly: a Sport is the entry model, with Latitude and Limited grades populating the model lineup. Capping the range in terms of capability is the Trailhawk model, which is Trail Rated. Expect the first Ohio-built Cherokees to arrive at dealers late this summer.

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