Following the forced-hand introduction of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, there has definitely been a mix of responses revolving around everything from its design to the return of the legendary nameplate. As evidence of this, just check out the 1,000+ comments in our article last week and some of the many opinions that were voiced. Following this not-too-warm reception, Ward's Auto had a chance to talk to Chrysler designer chief – and SRT president – Ralph Gilles, who shed a little more light on the styling direction of the new Cherokee.

Rather than looking to previous models for inspiration, Gilles says that the Cherokee has been designed to be more contemporary, with Mark Allen, head of Jeep design, adding that a main goal was to make sure the design still looks modern five years from now. Interestingly, Gilles does point out that one of the design elements incorporated on the new Cherokee that pays homage to past Jeeps is the sharply downward angle for the leading edge of the beltline, which he notes is meant to mimic the look of the old YJ and TJ Wrangler models fitted with half doors. Of course, the squared-off wheel openings – a signature Jeep cue – are still used.

This is probably a design that will need to be seen on the street in actual daylight to properly assess, but in the meantime, we'll bring you full images and impressions when the Cherokee debuts at next month's New York Auto Show.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      LenTex Brewery
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      A disgrace to the names Cheokee and Jeep. Whoever designed this mess should be sent to a Gulag!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Did he say Contemporary or temporary? i really hope its the latter.
      • 2 Years Ago
      in 5 years, it will still be terrible.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here's your chance LeBra, come up with the auto equivalent of the brown paper bag and Jeep will be forced to buy direct and give one away with each new Cherokee sale
        • 2 Years Ago
        LOL. I was thinking the same thing! Maybe J.C. Whitney will actually have some add-ons that will improve its looks!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can fiat please take back thier release(unrelease) of these photos and apologize to real Jeep owners for ever releasing them. This is a real bad joke right?Please at least do not call this thing a Cherokee it is an insult to the name and heritage. It is not worthy of that name or eventhe Jeep name. Say good by the the Jeep Brand if this is the future.
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks neither rugged, nor luxurious, nor motorsportsy---it evokes no form of leisure or waste. It thus will fail in the aim of attracting \"aspirational\" buyers. Also notice that the official photos never show the profile or the all important rear 3/4s view---the street signature of a car. They must be shocking. I like how Giles pawned this off on Allen, who mumbled some stuff about the YJ and wheel-openings. Giles is about to lose his Chrysler 300-related halo.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I caught the rear end somewhere. It could have been Jalopnik. IMHO it is worse than the front end.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think the sides and overall shape relate to the large Grand Cherokee in a way they haven't before. I think it's going to be quite popular.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "...a main goal was to make sure the design still looks modern five years from now." Name three really "out there" or unusual designs that still looked modern five years later.
        • 2 Years Ago
        within 2 years it'll get a new nose.... I'm sure they used "contemporary" to describe the original compass, or the pontiac aztek
          • 2 Years Ago
          I'm betting ONE year before the facelift, just like the Civic and the Malibu. Who knows, the 2014 Cherokee could become a collector's item among people who have no taste or are legally blind.
      Gernn Blanston
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jeep is sure tied in knots trying to honor their off-road heritage AND sell Jeeps to those who, by and large, don't need a Jeep at all. Ceding the market for an affordable, legit off-road SUV to the Xterra and FJ is one lousy homage.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan Juke has a big brother now.
      • 2 Years Ago
      They is no way that will sell,
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