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Jeep Cherokee refresh: styling direction?

Discussion in 'Mopar News' started by oh2o, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. oh2o

    Level III Supporter

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    As everyone is aware, the Jeep Cherokee exterior styling was quite controversial when it was originally unveiled. I don't recall what the % of like vs dislike was on any polls back then, but there seemed to be a lot more people that disliked it than liked it. At the time, I was in the "dislike" camp, but after seeing one in the flesh it sort of grew on me.

    Irregardless of the styling, the Cherokee has been pretty successful. For 2015, and this year to date, it's been the No. 1 selling Jeep vehicle, with overall U.S. sales having surpassed 500,000 since its introduction.

    A "mid-cycle" refresh will be coming next year. The changes are already completed and locked in, but I'm just curious, in the opinion of fellow Allpar members, which direction should have been taken as far as exterior styling goes?

    1. Keep it the same, the numbers speak for themselves
    or
    2. Change it, a less controversial and more popular design will help to maintain/increase sales even further.

    oh2o
     
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  2. humdrum

    humdrum Well-Known Member

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    The styling is edgy. I like it as I can tell a Cherokee coming at a distance with those slanted running lights. . What makes it great in my opinion are two things. one is the interior's comfort and dare I say quality. The second thing is the performance of the 6 cylinder and the economy of the 9 speed and ride.
    I've said it before there's a camaraderie as in the old days of the beetle. It is in a lot of ways... unique, a good kind of unique with a good measure of capability, I say: Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater... Just in my opinion. I would call it "avante garde".
     
  3. link3721

    link3721 Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road
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    I wasn't a fan at first, but it's grown on me too. Not sure that I'd buy one (I prefer boxy Jeeps) but I wouldn't make it more conservative. It's part of its character now, so to make it look "normal" takes away from what's apparently been working the last few years. Unless there's a majority of owners that are still saying "I love everything but it's looks."
     
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  4. Mopar392

    Mopar392 Well-Known Member

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    The sales numbers could be for the styling itself or could be for the namesake of both Jeep and Cherokee.

    I'd say change it to a less controversial styling.. i.e. Headlight on top and running light on the bottom..

    I don't mind the current styling especially the Trailhawk, but it is still weird for me..
     
  5. hmk123

    Level III Supporter

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    At first I would say less controversial but now I think keep its edgy design. And don't do what was done with the Magnum refresh. That car lost a lot of its personality with its refresh. Please, don't make that same mistake...
     
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  6. mentalicca

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    Is there a way to keep it edgy without being controversial? The only one my wife tolerated was the trailhawk variant, because it looked tough in spite of the squinty look (in her mind). Honestly if they kept the basic shape of the front end and incorporated the DRLs differently I think that would be enough.
     
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  7. Erik Latranyi

    Level III Supporter

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    Personally, I believe most people want Jeeps to be styled like Jeeps. The success of the Renegade worldwide shows what a boxy Jeep commands in the marketplace.

    Patriot outsold Compass when they were priced the same. Why? Patriot utility and Jeep styling.

    Grand Cherokee has presence and style. It is not boxy. I would suggest this style for the Cherokee (small brother) but it seems to be reserved for the Compass replacement.

    The Cherokee (other than the stacked front lights) is a me-too design and not a Jeep. The rear and sides blend-in with every other midsize CUV on the market. The Cherokee also suffers from a lack of cargo space compared to others.

    Go to the boxy (does not mean losing aerodynamics) traditional Jeep-like design and it will be a top 3 selling vehicle. It will stand out among the Toyota/Honda/Ford vehicles and that will draw in hundreds of thousands of sales.

    So, go boxy. Then you will have a lineup as follows:

    Renegade - Boxy
    Compass - High Class
    Cherokee - Boxy
    Grand Cherokee - High Class
    Wagoner - Boxy
     
  8. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    I'm more concerned about the rear styling. If it had a less radically sloped hatch (which would have given it just a bit more cargo space) my parents would be driving one today.

    I liked my Cherokee. Awesome vehicle for a long drive or cross town trip.
     
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  9. hotmach

    Level 2 Supporter

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    I have been thinking about this topic lately as i'm shopping right now. I like the styling idea, i just find it could have been better. IMO the Trailhawk styling should have been the main styling, and allowances for lifting, bigger wheels, and lots of typical aftermarket goodies offered as trim for the real Trailhawk. I like the front end a lot, it's modern styling, it could be a moon rover. For me the sides and back are the styling fail cus they don't carry the theme all around.

    My issue with jeep is its attempting to much. Grocery getter(bland styling), lux-vehicals(upscale styling), Cherokee (futuristic styling) Trackhawk and SRT variants(sport styling), and potentially an expanded Wrangler lineup (which should maybe be its own brand now styling ). Wrangler created a styling identity for the Jeep brand, with the arrival of the Wagoneer and Grand W. i'm thinking the styling theme will be getting even more complicated.

    What i like, and I'm seeing this through the industry, automakers are not watering down styling themes because a vehicle is entry level. Renegade has strong styling character. If Jeep continues with so many styling directions I will hope a Cherokee refresh is a push forward of the design and not a softening, otherwise it may get lost.
     
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  10. gary longo

    gary longo Active Member

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    I would keep it edgy, you know what it is seeing it coming....even in the dark! I think it might appeal to a different buyer,than might not buy a jeep. Sales speak for itself. Seams like the transmissions programing is being worked out. Like they say "If it's not broke,Don't fix it"....500,000 sales seems like a great number :)
     
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  11. Erik Latranyi

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    I think Cherokee could sell near 300,000 per year with more Jeep-like styling. The ad campaign could be "stand out" from the eggs.
     
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  12. zack_falcon

    zack_falcon Active Member

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    I don't like the way it looks currently, though I understand why people who like it do.

    It is very distinctive, I'll give it that much, but it just didn't say "Jeep" for me. I don't mind a curvy Jeep design. The GC and the Compass both look great and good enough respectively, but there's just something about the KL that's off.
    • A grille so bent, that if it were an actual grille, I'm convinced I'd drown my engine when driving in the rain.
    • The mismatch between the controversial front and plain-Jane rear.
    • An oversized rear hatch with undersized rear window. Not even a spare tire there.
    • The bend in the front quarter windows. Why?
    • The pointless separation of DRLs with actual lights. Why?
    Probably all of the above.
     
  13. Charger

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    The rear needs some work
     
  14. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic
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    One of my coworkers was raving about her friend's new Trailhawk. Said she loved the interior, the features, and the fact that it's good in the snow (health care worker), and it drove well. She's says she wants to buy one now. Interesting thing though, she never once mentioned the "looks" of the vehicle. I think a lot of people are like that, they care more about the features, ride, and utility more so than the exterior appearance of the vehicle.

    Me, I don't particularly care for the looks, but it's grown on me somewhat in Trailhawk form. Would I buy one if it fit my needs? Yes. Does it meet my needs? No. But I wouldn't radically change the looks. You don't mess with a winning formula...unless it's becoming stale which I don't think it has yet.
     
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  15. james.mooney.

    james.mooney. The Poster Formerly Known As "Bethlumboy"

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    Considering this is a refresh, it seems unlikely that any of the "hard points" (shape of the hatch, windows, doors, pillars, roof, etc.) will change. I'd expect the major changes to be to the lights and fascias, with possibly some tweaking of some of the sheetmetal, most likely to the hood and/or tail gate.

    That said, I think they would do well to evolve the current styling as they have done with the WK2 Grand Cherokee refreshes. Enlarging the DLR openings and putting the headlights there while keeping the grill and overall shape of the front end would update the look while maintaining the current theme but making it a little tamer/ less controversial-looking, while also connecting it more greatly to the GC.
     
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  16. dakrt99

    dakrt99 Well-Known Member

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    I liked it, still do. Jeep needs to broaden it's horizon. I like boxy, but I don't think everything you make should be boxy. You have to differentiate the models so people feel like they have options. We have to avoid the Aspen/Durango catastrophe. I would like to see a more hardcore version, with lockers both front and rear and sway bar disconnect. Offer something above the Trailhawk. I know they wouldn't do something like until an overhaul, but when they do, make a Rubicon version.
     
  17. humdrum

    humdrum Well-Known Member

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    After giving it some thought, I would have to see the proposed changes. As many have said it would be a shame to ruin a good thing, yet I would be interested if there's some lineage, connection with the current package. I would be open to rear wheel drive if it doesn't erode the smoothness of the current package, yet allow for more individual input. Yet that seems a distant dream.

    I currently haul 8 foot 2x8 for a current project I am working on. with the front seat folded flat, works fine. However, It would be nice to be able to open the window in the tailgate.
     
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  18. T_690

    T_690 Active Member

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    They sell it more than 300k per year.:rolleyes:
     
  19. JavelinAMX

    JavelinAMX Well-Known Member

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    .
    Then, if you change it the wrong way, you could also lose out.

    I was dead-set against the front clip when the Cherokee was revealed. I'd prefer something else, still. After getting a step beyond the front, the rear without much cargo space behind the rear seats dictated how you pack your gear. I wondered where the space went. Virtually everything HAS to be soft-sided, fabric cases without frames, and likely no stoves or burners or even a typical cooler. It's thumbs-up for bags and bundles; thumbs-down for structured gear. Some people shrug that off; and others ( like me ) dislike the dictate coming from that limitation.

    Keep the rear slope? Then stretch the cargo floor length. Stretch that length, the vehicle gets into a different class. A Conundrum. With the rear wheels right there, it's good for Departure Angle. Just trying to find a positive.

    I like some of the Jeep concepts from yesteryear, but FCA won't go back to CDJR themes. Some of those styling exercises do look very, very Jeep and are also attractive. I think it was mistaken ( as in too early in the Fiat-Chrysler pairing ) to accept stepping outside that barrier - even for the wee bit that was done where the current Cherokee is concerned. You end up with questions such as what this thread highlights - and these are comments from the faithful.

    I think part of the Jeep face is hard-wired for Round headlights ( which tend to portray eyes wide open ), the Slotted Grille with stout bumper underneath gives almost a Teddy Roosevelt determined face to it. He was known as a brave, gritty, intrepid guy - not unlike the vehicle itself.

    Not being a Teddy Roosevelt fan, that's hard for me to say :D

    { Late Edit : Picture of Teddy Roosevelt } -

    [​IMG]
     
    #19 JavelinAMX, Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
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  20. BobbiBigWheels

    BobbiBigWheels I'm likely at work...
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    Considering the amount of Nissan Jukes I see on the road, I think there is a market for "different" looking vehicles. As a salesman I can say that along with Jeep 4x4 capability and its heritage, the fact that the Cherokee is so recognizably different than other vehicles helps it sell. This applies for Wranglers extremely well also. Despite a Wrangler's unsurpassed capability out of the box, when I ask a customer "why a Wrangler?" when it will only be daily driven, the answer is often, "because it doesn't look like everything else on the road."
     

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