Automakers work very, very hard to keep their new vehicles under wraps until they can present them in exactly the way they want them – typically choreographed under the bright lights of an auto show, or perhaps with photos or video in an idyllic location. Spy shooters and leaks, in other words, keep executives and public-relations types up at night.

This is likely to be one of the most polarizing designs to come out in 2014.

Take today, for instance, when the team over at Jalopnik got a big scoop – the first undisguised shots of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, a model whose name wasn't even officially confirmed yet. The clandestine images taken inside of a factory were blurry and didn't exactly show off the crossover's radical new contours in the same sort of flattering light that Jeep probably would've wished for its product reveal. So the Auburn Hills automaker has wisely reacted by spilling at least some of the beans on the new model, giving us these four photos and confirming the Liberty replacement's name, Cherokee.

Jeep has only released a handful of shots of the trucklet's new nose, not showing off the profile or rear view (we note that today's spy shots didn't show the rear, either), but they do give the best look yet at what is likely to be one of the most polarizing designs to come out in 2014. The crimped-back seven-slot grille is a big enough design change that it will take some getting used to, but add in the Cherokee's aggressive split-lens headlamp treatment and you've got the makings of a design revolution.

No word yet on powertrain or pricing, but previous rumors have the Cherokee riding atop an Alfa Romeo-derived platform also shared with the Dodge Dart, which will likely mean that the mid-size utility carries front- and all-wheel drive variants and four-cylinder power. Jeep promises the Toledo-built model will hit showrooms in the third quarter of this year and be as much as 45-percent more efficient than its predecessor.

What do you think? Have a look at the images in our gallery and take a gander at the brief press release below, then leave your thoughts in Comments. Is the 2014 Cherokee better or worse now that you have a clear look at it?
Show full PR text
Auburn Hills, Mich. - Jeep(r) Cherokee. The name is instantly recognizable as the most capable and versatile mid-size SUV in the world. For 2014, Jeep brings the Cherokee name back to North America with the debut of its all-new mid-size sport-utility vehicle.

Set to debut at the New York International Auto Show in March, the all-new, "no-compromise" 2014 Jeep Cherokee sets a new standard with even more best-in-class capability, exemplary on-road driving dynamics, and fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent versus the outgoing mid-size SUV model.

The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be built in the United States at Chrysler Group's Toledo Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio, and will arrive in dealer showrooms in the third quarter of this year.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      joe shmoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      definitely contender for the Aztec of the 21st century. Doesn't look manly or rugged at all.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @joe shmoe
        Exactly!! Jeep is supposed to be the "rugged off-road brand", and this thing looks more like a Honda CRV. Who is Chrysler trying to kid with this Juke, I mean joke?
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is either a joke or a certain sales flop. No thank you; I'm a jeep fan too. No way in hell, this life or the next. And you all thought the original compass or Aztec or gremlin were ugly??? Look again!
      David Zamora
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man, talk about running out of good ideas. Seems that the design team was under pressure to create something new and bold, but instead crapped out this POS.
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would look better if they just scrap this project, start over and do what dodge did to bring the challenger back to life gracefully but apply it to the original cherokee. Please.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you Son of Aztek.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Haven't seen the rear yet, but it's still way better looking than the Aztek. That said, I'm not convinced yet. As someone else posted earlier, the front on view looks intriguing but the rest...not so much.
      Larry Clark
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am a huge Chrysler fan and find this truck's design repulsive! Come on focus group! This thing is horrible. And this is coming from a 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 owner.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Damn. As a new Dodge owner I think Chrysler really made a bad move here to be so god damn aerodynamic with the Jeep. The current model looks great but this is radical and more Korean looking.
        Jose Antonio
        • 2 Years Ago
        For me the new Korean cars, are italian design ,,, this is the first generation of Jeep with Italian dna, the Grand Cherokee still Daimler...
      • 2 Years Ago
      What the hell is this?! I thought Jeep would have learned from the compass, but I guess not. I hope this is a rare blip for Fiat, they cannot make more mistakes like this. This thing is an utter catastrophe, make it a dodge or something ffs, this is NOT in any way, shape, or form........ A Jeep.
      • 2 Years Ago
      If this ends up growing on me I might have to go to the doctor and have it surgically removed.
      • 2 Years Ago
      out of all the Chrysler brands, I never thought Jeep would be the first to employee an iItalien design language... there is nothing Jeep about this thing. personally, it's an insult to the Cherokee name. I hope it flops, forcing Chrysler into an early facelift.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can you say emergency refresh of the front end after the first model year. et al (Civic, Malibu, Camry)
      John McClane
      • 2 Years Ago
      What were they thinking? This thing looks like the new Nissan MallFinder. How is this an SUV? Whatever it is, it shoudn't carry the legacy of the Cherokee nameplate.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John McClane
        From what I've seen on this forum, the main problem is with the use of the Cherokee name, which doesn't sit well with the XJ talibans. To me the design inspires power and sophistication.
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