Chrysler is making the unusual move of delaying the first media drives of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which were slated to start next week in Seattle. And while something like this is a rare occurrence, and one that most of the Autoblog staff can't recall happening this publicly or so close to the event itself, it won't effect the actual on-sale date of the new Cherokee, which is set to hit showrooms in September.

"Over the last couple of weeks during final quality and durability testing, we have discovered the opportunity to further improve powertrain calibration," Chrysler told Automotive News. This marks the second notable delay in the Cherokee's short life, after production was delayed for roughly a month earlier this summer.

Still, we'd rather Chrysler make sure the Cherokee is ready for primetime before flying media in from around the country. It shows a willingness to get things right the first time, rather than offering media drives and then tweaking the car after the fact.

A simple look at the Cherokee's powertrain is all that's needed to understand how big of a deal it is. Everything under the oddly styled CUV's hood is new, from a tweaked 2.4-liter engine to a new 3.2-liter V-6, to the first use of Chrysler Group's new nine-speed automatic, developed jointly with ZF. The pressure to get this right must be immense. We'll find out if Chrysler succeeds in September.


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  • 80 Comments
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many times have we all read a First Drive that would wrap it up with something like "These were pre-production models and we were told that will be addressed before the production models begin rolling off the assembly line." Issues are anything from handling to steering to braking to fit and finish. My guess is it's the 9 speed automatic. That seems to be the newest component. So they are probably trying to fine tune the software programming for it. The last thing Jeep wants is to have everyone at the media event harp on an issue they know they can/will fix prior to the true vehicle launch. I know the look of the vehicle is polarizing. It has grown on me over time. I am more interested in how it performs. The interior is great, and the performance and capabilities look to be class leading. So I hope they have a winner.
      Drakkon
      • 1 Year Ago
      ... to do a final quick redo on the front end???
      cpmanx
      • 1 Year Ago
      "it won't effect the actual on-sale date..." FYI, that should be "affect." Sounds like they are still having trouble with the 9-speed auto. Certainly worth missing a media date to get that right.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Prevention is better than cure.
      razov
      • 1 Year Ago
      I agree the 7-slot grill with the ugly crease and weird-looking headlights are definitely hideous. But remember, Ford designers and engineers never admitted the Edsel was hideous until the sales numbers came in way below projections. The same type of design flaw happened with the Compass. The original front end was cheap and wimpy looking, but now it resembles a the Grand Cherokee. I predict the same thing will happen in 2 years with the new Cherokee. It will never have the rugged good looks of the old Cherokee because that was too truck-like, but this new Cherokee will get a more traditional Jeep makeover, despite what signor Marchionne likes. Just wait for the sales figures in December!
      mikemaj82
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe they're overhauling that entire fugly front end.
      davegyza
      • 1 Year Ago
      Go home Jeep, you're drunk.
      ctk4949
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its just fugly!!
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Oddly styled" is a bit of an understatement. :). Nauseatingly ugly might be more accurate. That blue one in previous articles seriously turned my stomach each time I (unfortunately) glanced at it.
      Gilly
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kill it with fire.
      pmiamijohn
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it". The Cherokee reminds me of the Pontiac Aztec- we know how successful that was.
        Bill Burke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pmiamijohn
        It doesn't remind me at all of the Aztec. Keep looking, it's a Jeep....clearly a Jeep.
        Jeepowner
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pmiamijohn
        You are right, unfortunately its closest comparison is the Aztek. Thats embarrassing. I think the Aztek was a hideous vehicle at a terrible time for GM. This is a vehicle meant for global market at a time when Jeep is expanding as a brand and definitely selling well. I hope, other than looks, this shares nothing with the Aztek. When you look at specs it really is nothing like the Aztek so lets hope history is not repeated and we have a sales hit on our hands.
      • 1 Year Ago
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