Earlier today we showed you the first pictures of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. It's the most daring Jeep design I've ever seen. But will all that daring make it a success or a failure?
I actually kind of like the design of the Cherokee. I know, I know, I'm a heretic with bad taste that Jeep paid to say nice things about their ugly new truck. Design can be polarizing, and I'd say we're split about 50/50 here on staff as to who likes it and who doesn't. I see a little Isuzu Axiom and Range Rover Evoque in the styling. Jason says it looks like the Rancor from Return of the Jedi, which isn't a compliment. Well, the joke's on him because the Rancor is actually quite handsome.
This polarization of opinion makes it quite similar to the Nissan Juke, which will be one of its competitors.
Here's my thought. The Liberty isn't an ugly car at all, but it's a bit derivative and boring looking. The style was just so conservative that new cars were already looking dated. Jeep decided they'd go the opposite of boring with the replacement.
And that's a good move, because Liberty sales have been slowing down. They only sold 2,000 of them in January. A radical design and a classic name will make people talk about Jeep again. And I bet if you stare at it for a while, which I've been doing for the past 24 hours, it'll grow on you.
I don't think that white is the best color for it, but in black it looks downright sinister and aggressive. And it hides all that plastic cladding. I think that's what will draw people in and I'm thinking it will actually sell pretty well.
Then again, the Pontiac Aztek and Isuzu Vehicross were designed radically, had a lot of plastic cladding, we all kind of liked them, and well, they sold like pulled pork at a vegan market.
But what do you think? Did Jeep shoot itself in the foot by going wild with the style or is this the right move to make to gain sales?