Home » In Defense Of The Most Controversial Jeep Ever Made: The 2014-2018 Cherokee (KL)

In Defense Of The Most Controversial Jeep Ever Made: The 2014-2018 Cherokee (KL)

Nah Bad Chrokee
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We all plan ahead right? Despite this very website appearing to be thrown together at the last moment by a team of drunken circus performers, behind the scenes it is somewhat organized. David is planning to return to a feral existence if we add another 200 members in the month of April. Being an autismist, my calendar is organized with a precision that would shame one of Field Marshall Montgomery’s battle plans. Torch’s plans for the day don’t usually extend beyond putting on a pair of pants, but we do have Zoom calls and spreadsheets and other professional tools to keep Matt from aging in dog years. But imagine if you had to think much further ahead. The process of designing a car starts about five years before it hits the showrooms, and it may stay in production with minor changes for ten years. Trying to navigate consumer tastes and changing market conditions across a fifteen year timespan is an incredibly difficult needle to thread.

We’re constantly hearing car manufacturers don’t take risks, and car design is the same old same old. Lighting graphics, surfacing and trim features get rehashed and regurgitated repeatedly across different companies cars with diminishing returns. There are reasons for this (I’m not saying they’re good reasons) which I’ll explain in a bit, but sometimes OEMs do make bold design choices with the aim of doing something different, only to walk it back come facelift time. The 2014 KL Cherokee is a gold plated example of this phenomena. Despite extremely strong sales its novel split headlight arrangement and aero look visage proved controversial, so Jeep gave the KL a more conventional front graphic halfway through the car’s life cycle. In the face of upsetting a small but vocal subset of buyers who the Cherokee wasn’t intended for, Jeep didn’t have the courage of their design convictions.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Before we get into the KL Cherokee and why I’m devoting a Damn Good Design to it, we need to understand the how OEMs use the design process to differentiate their vehicles in the marketplace. Companies that have a strong brand image try to design vehicles that visually reflect and support their heritage. This is usually premium brands, because having a consistent identity is important to the customers who buy those cars. Someone in the market for a Bentley, Porsche or Land Rover for example, want it to look like one because they are buying into an image – their car is not only a reflection of how they see themselves but how they want others to see them. Visual continuity is everything. When I first saw the 2022 L460 Range Rover in 2017, I thought it looked extremely clean and modern, but maybe a bit safe and conservative. But a Range Rover is an iconic car that’s been in production since 1970, so that is exactly what Range Rover customers want: the same as it’s always been, simply better and newer.

For more mass market OEMs the situation is a bit different because they don’t necessarily sell on image, status or capability. Customers are more likely to buy based on more prosaic concerns like value, reliability, economy, practicality, availability and what their peers drive. Not having to adhere to a specific look or vehicle type occasionally liberates mainstream companies, which is why some of the most bonkers, revolutionary and interesting cars come from this part of the market. But most of the time they play it safe and follow prevailing fashions, which is why we see the same visual treatments appearing on cars from different companies, leading to them having a superficial resemblance to each other.

Just Play The Hits

Some mainstream brands are lucky enough to have kept an iconic car in their line up for decades, like the Mustang, or have reintroduced one to great success, like the Challenger. Although their value in terms of heritage is priceless, in general cars like these are stand alone outliers with little visual impact on the rest of the range, although that hasn’t stopped Ford attempting to warp the Mustang identity onto a five door electric crossover or Fiat turning its cars into a range of various sized 500 shaped blobs. Renault is currently softening the EV transition blow by making its latest electric models reincarnations of the much loved 4 and 5, demonstrating the value of raiding the back catalog.

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Tuscadero Pink 2024 Wrangler
Tuscadero Pink 2024 Wrangler. Image Stellantis Media
1974 Jeep Cherokee
1974 Jeep Cherokee. Image Stellantis Media
1984 Jeep Cherokee
1984 Jeep Cherokee. Image Stellantis Media

And then there’s Jeep, which like Mini sits slightly above the mainstream with a brand image and cultural heritage to die for. Along with my old friends Land Rover, Jeep is the preeminent manufacturer of capable off-the-shelf off-roaders. With Land Rover selling cars to television housewives and the landed gentry, Jeep has remained a remarkably accessible and resilient brand, successfully building chunky urban assault sub-compacts at the bottom, slightly less visually compelling six-figure Range Rover rivals at the top, and everything in between. The Jeep oeuvre is stacked with beloved classics from the J series pickups, the SJ Wagoneer, the XJ Cherokee and the  ZJ Grand Cherokee. Bestriding the lot like a colossus is the Wrangler, a direct descendant of the legendary second world war Willys Jeep. These cars are the wheeled embodiment of American ideals about rugged individualism and the great outdoors.

What Made The XJ So Special

The original XJ Cherokee was a seminal moment in the evolution of the SUV. It marked the turning point when SUVs began to move away from body on frame boneshakers to something more every day and refined. Jeep was able to leverage their tie-up with Renault to utilize the French company’s pioneering CAD/CAM expertise to create a unibody SUV that was smaller, but roomier and much more economical than the SJ based cars it ostensibly replaced. Access to the Renault dealer network helped the XJ, along with the TJ Wrangler spearhead one of the only successful and lasting invasions by a US brand into the European market. Over an incredible 18 production run nearly 3 million were sold worldwide. After the Wrangler, it’s probably the most important car in Jeep history.

1984 Jeep Cherokee
1984 Jeep Cherokee. Image Stellantis Media

Unfortunately when it came time to replace the XJ, Chrysler had entered its disastrous merger of equals with Mercedes-Benz, another company in the middle of having its engineering-first principles gutted in the name of cost-cutting and efficiency. Subsequently, the KJ and KK Liberty replacements were pastiches, leaning too hard into caricature Jeep stylistic elements and compromised by longitudinal layout that hurt their packaging and economy. Known as Cherokee elsewhere in the world, in the US they were given the jingoistic Liberty moniker. The KJ lasted only six years before being heavily retooled to become the KK, which itself stayed in production until 2012. The KJ was by far the stronger seller, nearly 900k units finding homes but the KK fared much worse with less than half that.

It’s worth taking another pause to focus the hindsightometer on this part of the Cherokee story. Jeep had a beloved, successful and iconic vehicle in the XJ Cherokee, but chose not to continue the nameplate. This is always an undertaking fraught with peril, especially for a car that had been in production for so long. If your new car is a galactic leap forwards and the previous model has negative connotations then absolutely, it can be worth trying – think about how the Focus replaced the Escort. But with a car that is a fundamental part of your heritage like the Cherokee, we will see you are potentially playing with fire by denying yourself the opportunity to tweak the formula for the times. The other side of this coin is keeping a nameplate on a car that is fundamentally a different prospect to its predecessor also risks outrage. The new Defender was never going to be a like-for-like replacement for the iconic original, because the basic utilitarian market had long since moved on to things like quad bikes and John Deere Gators, and Land Rover simply didn’t have the resources for an all-new body-on-frame platform it could only use on one vehicle. Land Rover have been slowly working their way upmarket and a Defender with live axles just wouldn’t do, darling. This is what I mean when I say it’s a tricky needle to thread – you have to consider not just where you were, but where you are going.

2014 Cherokee.
2014 Cherokee. Image Stellantis Media via NetCarShow

And where Chrysler was going was bankruptcy. As Chrysler emerged from the ashes in 2009 after the disastrous Daimler-Benz and Cerberus years, Fiat became the major shareholders of the wreckage, giving Jeep access to a new box full of Italian toys. Although Jeep still had the Compass and Patriot road-based crossovers, they were ghastly holdovers based on an old Mitsubishi platform. The new KL Cherokee would use the more up-to-date Fiat Compact platform, first seen underneath the 2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta and tweaked for the 2012 Dodge Dart and 2014 Chrysler 200.

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Why The KL Turned Out The Way It Did

The brand new KL Cherokee was unveiled at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. Led by long-time Jeep designer Greg Howell, it was a much smoother and more approachable-looking car than anything else Jeep had at the time. With a shallow aero nose, a sharp horizontal break in the trademark grill and controversially, a split headlight arrangement that at that point had only been seen on the equally eye popping Nissan Juke, it was something completely fresh and a world away from the weekend warrior cars that constituted the rest of the lineup. In a precursor to the outrage prior to the launch of the new Defender, the main bone of contention with the hardcore Jeep fans was the absence of live axles. On a crossover. When our old pals Jalopnik leaked the then-unnamed new crossover in pilot build form, the comment section exploded in frothing outrage that descended into borderline racism and ableism. According to them, it simply didn’t deserve to be called Cherokee, a storied nameplate that had been absent from American soil for twelve years.

Cherokee12
2014 Cherokee. Image Stellantis Media via NetCarShow
Cherokee7
2014 Cherokee. Image Stellantis Media via NetCarShow

Jeep were stuck between a rock and a hard place. The existing Compass and Patriot had laid the groundwork for more road-biased Jeeps, but the Cherokee name in the eyes of fans was sacrosanct. It meant live axles and a tested ability to cross the Rubicon Trail, a rite of passage for any Jeep. The problem is this is a specific level of off-road ability that the majority of Jeep owners don’t really use. It highlights the tension between what your brand actually stands for, and how customers use their vehicles. In 2019 head of Jeep design Mark Allen told ABC News that only 10 to 15% of Wrangler owners take them off-roading. And that’s the Wrangler. From a design point of view Jeep made absolutely the right decision in basing the KL Cherokee on a modified FWD car platform, although it’s worth noting they made significant adaptations to give the Cherokee genuine off-road ability, especially for the Trailhawk versions.

It Was Successful Until They Made It Boring

Despite all the controversy the first version of the KL Cherokee sold very well. And then sold some more. According to Wikipedia, over 1 million made it onto driveways across America, selling 240k in 2018 alone. Added to that is a further quarter of a million units for the rest of the world. When the more conventionally faced 2019 model arrived, merging the split lighting and making the grill slightly more upright, sales began to taper off, slowly at first and then off a cliff. There were worldwide mitigating factors that contributed to some of this, but across 2022 and 2023 barely 65k Cherokees were sold. It’s not clear whether will be directly replaced.

Cherokee6
2014 Cherokee. Image Stellantis Media via NetCarShow
Cherokee5
2019 Cherokee. Image Stellantis Media via NetCarShow

The other thing to consider when thinking about the KL Cherokee is who was paying the bills. Fiat knew what they had with the Jeep brand – remember earlier I said the original XJ and YJ Wrangler had established a beachhead in Europe – always a tricky market for American car brands to penetrate. Fiat wanted to further increase Jeeps presence in Europe from slightly leftfield choice to a genuine mainstream alternative, so a less bellicose and aggressive vehicle would be necessary to expand sales here because an overt tacticool influence is seen as a bit naff.

Now I’m not going to sit here and argue the KL Cherokee is an amazingly brilliant, epoch shaking piece of automotive design, because it isn’t. Not every car can be a Citroen DS or indeed the original Willys, and nor should they be. Good design isn’t about creating high art every time the Bic hits the paper – it’s about designing the right product for the right time, and making it as pleasing as possible for the intended customers. And customers do like distinctive looking vehicles if they have substance to them. One of the reasons the original Nissan Juke was so successful was because it didn’t look like anything else on the road, and the young (and young at heart) market it was aimed at appreciated that, along with its low purchasing price and running costs. The 1998 Fiat Multipla was delightfully bonkers, but behind its radioactive amphibian looks was a genuinely brilliant MPV. It was not a car for everybody, but owners really fell head over heels with their visual individuality and versatility. The 2014 KL Cherokee was nothing like as challenging as the Fiat and was perfectly judged for its target audience of non-traditional Jeep buyers.

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I really liked it when it was released, and still do. It struck me as a fresh, bold take on the Jeep identity that was a distinct alternative to the bland crossovers available elsewhere . In the time between the XJ and the KL the odd-road market had changed considerably, and the Cherokee had to adapt to that to remain relevant. Sadly for the hardcore, that meant ditching the clanking railway engineering between the wheels and the body. I asked David, a man who if you cut him open would have the word Jeep written through him like a stick of rock, if he would have bought a KL Cherokee if it had live axles. He said no, because he’d rather have a Wrangler.

Case fucking closed my friends. Case closed.

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Jeff Morse
Jeff Morse
1 month ago

It wasn’t bad, it’s just the purists hated the naming of it. That ZF nine speed was kind of a mess, but if FCA had used a better six or eight speed gearbox it would have been much better. I think at first the FWD models did have a six speed and the drivability was better.

Tall_J
Tall_J
1 month ago

I have a really good friend with a KL. When he bought it (2016, Altitude Package) he had no intentions of offroading it. It was meant to be his commuter car that could get him to work and to his parents in, pretty much any weather condition. Its great on the road, gets decent gas mileage for an SUV. Perfect for what he needed.

*Tall_J Enters the friendship* “Hey man, we both have Jeeps now, lets go to Easter Jeep Safari in Moab next year”

He did a super mild build to it with sliders, skids, a spacer lift, tow hooks, and BGF KO2s. In 2019, we drove from the East Coast all the way to Utah. His KL did better than my WK2 in a lot of places. It was more nimble, smaller, and had better angles that I did. He kept up with all the $20k built Wranglers on our trails (and mind you we didn’t do anything crazy). Its been a super super stout mild offroader for him. He loves it and I almost got a Trailhawk version a few years ago.

Needless to say, I totally agree with the article. When you see the nose of a KL poking through trees on a trail or anywhere offroad, it kind of looks like a little velciraptor. Does it have sold axles? Nope. Does it need them? Nope. It does what it does and then for the .05% of folks that offroad them, it can handle whats thrown at it. Its such a cool design in a cool package.

Sledgehammer
Sledgehammer
1 month ago

Seemed pretty simple. The market would only carry 1 genuine solid axle off road suv with a jeep badge. They chose the wrangler and added 2 doors and soft roaded the Cherokee.

The overlap(s) with the compass, patriot, and the other wee fiat based boxy things (renegade) was on the other hand idiotic.

Although I never had much time for the split headlight Cherokee I applaud the risk/chance taken and recall them being seemingly everywhere for a hot minute.

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
1 month ago

It’s a lovely interpretation of the SUV form. A bold step that was needed in the era of blandness and badness. Right on target, Adrian.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago

That car would have been massively improved in 3 key ways:
1: Different name. Cherokee is “hallowed ground” among jeep folk. Liberty had been sullied with the lackluster KK, but there’s many names to choose from. Heck, they could/should? have called it the Compass and discontinued the smaller Compass, since it was such an overlap with Patriot anyway (which looked a lot better).

2: That front end. Yes, it’s distinctive. Yes, any PR is “good” PR, even if it’s making a car with one of the ugliest mugs available. The refresh was a bit boring, but looked better. Really they should have made it look more like the Patriot’s front end, but rounder (but not as round as the KJ Liberty or original Compass).

3: That wretched 9-speed automatic. Holy cow was that an overshoot. Bold, yes, but far too complicated for the application and available R&D. 6 or 7 speeds would have been fine. I think the transmission woes are a huge part of why the FWD-based Jeeps haven’t had the staying power expected. Better than the CVTs in the Patriot and first-gen Compass, but that’s about the same as saying that a massive boil on one’s perineum is better than hemorrhoids.

Pneumatic Tool
Pneumatic Tool
1 month ago

To me, the knock was always on the problems that were associated with the new Cherokees, not necessarily the styling. Additionally, the back seat headroom wasn’t great. From a design standpoint, I think that the trailhawk was always a great looking model – that wasn’t the problem. The funny nose profile/overhang on the non-trailhawks (especially in a side view) was always weird looking to me. It competed with that little Nissan van for the honor of being the car that most looked like Snoopy.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 month ago

As an XJ owner, I kinda hated these at the first glance but then it grew on me. To the point where in 2015 I was considering buying a Trailhawk version as a daily (in the same navy blue as my XJ at the time). The seats in the Trailhawk were great.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

I always thought the split headlights looked stupid. Plus I heard these newer Fiat-based Cherokees were less reliable.

To me, the ‘boring’ version looks better than the original ‘stupid’ version.

And the lack of success likely isn’t just due to the reliability, but also a greatly improved Jeep Compass that was almost as big but cheaper.

In the past, part of the reason the Cherokee was successful was it had fewer other jeep models to compete with.

These days, Jeep has too many models and product overlap.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

It’s a Jeep generally hated by hard-core Jeep fans. Ironically, it’s one of the few Jeeps I would consider for myself since you could get it in FWD/manual form… making it as offroady as the old Ford Focus Wagon I had in the past.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Compass

A greatly improved 2nd gen model came out in 2016 which must have further eaten into the KL’s sales

https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/jeep-compass-sales-figures/

ProfPlum
ProfPlum
1 month ago

I’ve owned a couple of TJs and what I believe to be the platonic ideal SUV, a WJ Grand Cherokee. Why ideal? I found the footprint perfect for parking in the city (not too wide, not too long), the boxy shape held a lot of stuff when I needed to move things, and it would chug through some of the miserable dirt/mud roads I had to travel on with aplomb. It was much more comfortable than the TJ on a long trip. Mine was a 2004 Laredo with the I-6 and the manual 4wd system.

I bring it up because I thought about buying a KL when my WJ wouldn’t pass inspection (rust.) The KL was very close in footprint to the WJ, but more rounded so it didn’t hold as much stuff. When I drove one, it just didn’t feel “Jeep” to me. I also disliked the local “I know what I got” dealer, which didn’t help either. I passed on buying one.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

That’s one of the things that seems wildly overlooked during vehicle development, especially in the age of computer models and such. The proof in the pudding is actually designing the vehicle to be used. Physical models – especially 1:1 examples – are critical, and even simulators and holograms can’t quite capture the physical interaction between person and machine.

It’s one of the reasons I can’t stand gm vehicles from the last… 3 decades, in that the vehicles seem designed by multiple different committees each with a different area of focus (front, sides, rear, dashboard, cabin, powertrain, etc.) who don’t communicate with each other, but there’s just enough parameters to where all the disparate parts generally fit together come assembly time. Dishonorable mention to Subaru for seemingly adopting the same ethos of late (though they generally do have nicer-feeling touchpoints than most gm vehicles, even if they still feel flimsy/cheap). VAG also, but their exteriors at least seem reasonably cohesive, in stark contrast to their interior/ergonomic teams.

It’s also one of the reasons I have a first-generation Volvo XC90 as my daily driver. To borrow and paraphrase a quote from Jeremy Clarkson (who apparently has had 3 of them), it seems to have been designed by people who have families and use them like a family does. Safe, clever touches, superb comfort and ergonomics, everything that is touched feels good, the car looks nice without being too striking or too plain, and it makes great use of its footprint.

Acevedo12
Acevedo12
1 month ago

The issue, in the looks department, is how Jeep implemented the bottom portion. There are like 7+ different facets at odds with each other in a very compact area of a very otherwise soapy design.

It feels tacked on in a way that doesn’t take into account how the rest of the car was designed.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago

I like the Fiat era Jeeps. Renegade with a stick is a big tall hot hatch, a Panda for the US market. The Cherokee and Grand brought along the good trailhawk trims. Best era since the XJ and the legendary 4.0 died at least. But still plagued by reliability issues unfortunately.

Protodite
Protodite
1 month ago

Good design isn’t about creating high art every time the Bic hits the paper – it’s about designing the right product for the right time, and making it as pleasing as possible for the intended customers. And customers do like distinctive looking vehicles if they have substance to them

Excellent write up on Good Design. That far too often gets overlooked as the algorithms push you to do the most extreme thing possible for attention, or, like Architecture, you design work simply for other architects and forget that you still have to make buildings that work for people who use them *cough cough Boston’ heinous brutalist Government Center cough cough*

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
1 month ago

I also liked the KL when it came out and was disappointed with the refresh. I liked the front end of the KL because, as you said, it was different and eye-catching. I appreciate the Juke for the same reason. I appreciate any model which breaks up the ever-increasing monotony of daily traffic. Anything that stands out among the parade of sameness parading by in the opposing lane is ok by me.

Also, I always got a kick out of getting behind a Cherokee and seeing my reflection upside-down in the concave tailgate.

Crimedog
Crimedog
1 month ago

In Defense Of The Most Controversial Jeep Ever Made: The 2014-2018 Cherokee (KL)
.
.
<Jeep YJ enters stage right> “I wanted to talk to you about headlights….”

Last edited 1 month ago by Crimedog
Crimedog
Crimedog
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Is there any particular feature that speaks to you? Or is it that the whole thing that sits in your line of sight and your brain says, “Yes; that one.”?

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
1 month ago
Reply to  Crimedog

Kinda funny how the “REAL JEEPS HAVE ROUND HEADLIGHTS” crowd mostly went silent after the introduction of the KJ…

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago

That 2014 Cherokee was the prettiest effort by Jeep in, what, decades?

Adrian, I commend you for sharing my opinion.

Ben Chia
Ben Chia
1 month ago

Hmm, nah. Different does not always mean better.

I think part of good design would also be visual functionality. One glance and you know which element performs which function. On the Cherokee you don’t quite know what the split headlights are supposed to do.

And the Juke is just a horrid POS.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben Chia

This.

And what’s horrifying is that manufacturers (primarily gm lately, but others are doing it, too) are copying this scheme, with bumper-mounted headlights (that require bumper removal to replace a burned out halogen bulb) and eyebrow-looking DRLs/turn lights. While I appreciate the lower headlights from a not-being-blinded aspect, they throw off the visual cues for how far away an approaching vehicle is, and aren’t so distinct from the other lighting elements that they don’t necessarily obscure each other. Fir example: a couple days ago, some black blobular chevy crossover (blazer? trax? Heck if I know other than it was fugly) was making a left turn across traffic at dusk, and what was its white LED DRL changed to a turn signal; that by itself isn’t uncommon (and I think is a legal thing, though it looks dumb), but from the angle I couldn’t see if its headlights were on, making it partially invisible in the dim evening light.

James Carson
James Carson
1 month ago

Always liked the look of these. You couldn’t pay me enough money to actually own one. But they are attractive to my eye.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
1 month ago

I actually liked the original 2014 design of the KL. Something about the radical front styling seemed in keeping with some of AMC’s more outrageous concepts which never got off the drawing boards. It was definitely an improvement over the flaming pile of shite that was the Liberty. Pick you generation, doesn’t matter, the Liberty was horrible, just in slightly different ways across its two generations.

I also got to drive a KL of the facelifted variety, and it was quite possibly the most tepid experience I’ve ever had in a Jeep. It didn’t help that it was a four-cylinder model. It was an oddball rental that was a used car picked up to augment the post-pandemic fleet. (It still had used car lot stickers on it, for Pete’s sake…) It was just boring through and through to drive. There was nothing particularly wrong with it. It was a modern enough crossover; it was comfortable; it ate up highway miles just fine. The four-cylinder power was adequate if unexciting. But it was terribly, terribly dull.

But then I love Jeeps and Land Rovers of the live-axle variety — tough, brutish off-roaders with inexplicably tolerable to even pleasant on-road manners (Especially in the case of Disco 1’s and classic Rangies…) but certainly not sophisticated enough to appeal to the market of the modern crossover buyer. The KL is probably just fine as what it is and what it does. It’s just not a car for me.

Craig Brown
Craig Brown
1 month ago

I took great pleasure in telling a Jeep rep at that 2013 NAIAS that the new Cherokee had a face not even a mother could love. Seeing them again (it’s been a while…cause…Jeep reliability) has only confirmed I was right. Split headlights and the overbite were hideous then, are hideous now, and will always be hideous.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

I fully expected Adrian to lay waste to the countryside, spewing vitriol and inflicting scathe in the process of informing us (the unwashed) exactly why that split headlight was exactly right for the application. This read as if the author had persued an MBA rather than a degree in design. Perhaps that was the point?

Still an enjoyable read, just lacking a little something. Have you been slacking on the day drinking, Adrian?

Gerontius Garland
Gerontius Garland
1 month ago

The split headlights looked awful, as did the bent grille slats. It looked like it t-boned a semi trailer, so only the top half of the fascia got smashed in. The facelift fixed the headlights, but the grille is still bent.

And as a “young” I’m offended by the idea that the Juke was designed to appeal to me. I wouldn’t go within 20 feet of that hideous monstrosity.

JumboG
JumboG
1 month ago

XJ vs SJ. Smaller, yes. More fuel efficient. yes. Roomier? Heck no. Maybe in auto designer lingo they were able to squeeze some additional cubic footage in there, but having owned a SJ and ridden in an XJ there is no way the XJ is roomier than a SJ.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
1 month ago

Ok, the Autopian does NOT feel like it was thrown together by a team of drunken circus performers. It feels much more like a roomful of Adderall-medicated chimpanzees with portable air horns.

Give yourselves some credit.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

Did you forget that it’s a piece of shit in terms of reliability? Maybe that had something to do with it…

SirRaoulDuke
SirRaoulDuke
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

This right here.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

It’s a fiat jeep. It goes without saying.

Jason Dekok
Jason Dekok
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

I’ve been daily driving our 2016 KL for 8 years and it has been fine in terms of reliability

Space
Space
1 month ago

I always wonder what is considered “off road” by auto manufacturers. Does a graded dirt County road count, how about a 2 track BLM “road”, or do I need to crush some vegetation or climb some dunes to be considered offroad.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Space

I wonder the same thing about “sport” – it’s in the name of an entire, improbable class of vehicles, automakers use it whenever they add a tape stripe or trim that’s black, and really, are there any wheels that aren’t called that at this point?

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 month ago
Reply to  Space

I think off pavement may be more accurate. I drve a lot of Forest Service and BLM roads that can be pretty beat up, both dirt and gravel plus the occasional graded gravel county road. I don’t generally go where there’s no road, except that time Google Maps got stupid. Since I don’t drive the Rubicon trail, and aren’t made of money, I drive a crossover and an old two wheel drive pickup. I still do more mileage on dirt than the average Jeep owner.

Space
Space
1 month ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

This is a good definition, less ambiguous. Especially since going truly offroad except in designated areas is frowned upon.

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