The 2014 Jeep Cherokee, whose production has been delayed by about a month due to various issues, has started rolling off the production line at Chrysler's facility at Toledo, Ohio in the US.
Mr. Mike Manley, head of Jeep brand, stated that the cars will reach the American showrooms by August. The production volume would be stepped up by September. He also added that the initial priority would be given to the LHD models.
Based on the Dodge Dart's platform (which also underpins the Fiat Viaggio), the new Cherokee shares many key components with the sedan. The mid-size crossover SUV is a replacement for the Jeep Liberty.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is expected to have a starting price of $22,995 (around Rs. 13.68 lakhs). The entry level variant will be powered by a 2.4 litre Tigershark four cylinder petrol engine which puts out 184 bhp. The higher end models make do with a 3.2 litre Pentastar V6 petrol that has 271 bhp on tap. A new 9-speed ZF automatic transmission would be on offer.
For Europe, Jeep is reportedly considering a diesel engine which would be sourced from its parent company Fiat. The 2.0 litre MultiJet diesel engine that powers the Fiat Freemont is the likely candidate. The oil burner is available in two states of tune - 138 bhp and 168 bhp.