Jeep Cherokee 2018 Spy Shots
Jeep Cherokee 2018 Spy Shots

Jeep Cherokee 2018 Spy Shots


Spy shots have emerged of the updated Jeep Cherokee testing in its native Michigan, disguising a refreshed front fascia ahead of its likely release in 2018.

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Caught testing alongside the new-generation JL Wrangler, the new Cherokee is heavily disguised at the front and rear, giving away little about the new model’s look.

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Jeep’s signature seven-slot grille will undoubtedly return, although the spy shots show Jeep has tried to throw punters off the scent with a faux kidney grille that would not look out of place in Munich.

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\"Rumours Rumours suggest the controversial narrow headlights on the current Cherokee could get an update.

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Rumours suggest the controversial narrow headlights on the current Cherokee could get an update, to bring it more into line with the styling of other Jeep models such as the Grand Cherokee and Compass.

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Jeep head of design Mark Allen has previously said that the new Cherokee will feature less divisive styling than the current model, as the purpose of the current styling was to make the Cherokee stand out in a crowded mid-size SUV marketplace.

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“The Cherokee’s styling was meant to be intentionally disruptive,” he said. 

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\"It's It's also expected the rear styling will get a refresh.

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“So we have no regrets in making it look the way it does; it did what it was meant to do. It was meant to shake people up. But the next one will have the legs.”

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It's also expected the rear styling will get a refresh, although any changes to the back end will likely be more subtle than the front.

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On the inside, there is a chance the new Cherokee will be released with a seven-seat option, as outlined by Jeep global head Mike Manley at the LA motor show last year.

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“The only thing after that I would next look at, is a good three-row mid-sized Jeep,” he said.

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“If you look at, for example, what Toyota has done with its three-row (SUV), Ford has just announced a three-row Edge (it’s in China now but I know they will take that vehicle elsewhere), Hyundai has a three-row, and Kia has a three-row… (it’s clear that) families have migrated away from (mini)vans, but still occasionally need a three-row that’s useable.

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“It’s got to be a market that we have to look at,” he added.

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Powertrain details are yet to be confirmed, but it's rumoured the updated Cherokee will receive the new 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder unit destined for the new Wrangler, which could be added to the existing range or potentially replace the entry-level 2.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol four.

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If all current powertrains – consisting of the 130kW/229Nm 2.4-litre, 200kW/316Nm 3.2-litre V6, and 125kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder – are retained for the refreshed model, expect to see a boost in performance and efficiency across the range.

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It is also rumoured a performance-honed Trackhawk version could be created, although an Australian arrival for the hot medium SUV could make for a tough business case.

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The precise date of arrival for the Cherokee is dependent on when a manufacturing move is made from Toledo, Ohio to Belvedere, Illinois, but Australian customers can expect to see it sometime in 2018.

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In the first five months of 2017, Jeep has sold 500 examples of the Cherokee, down 36.5 per cent on the same period last year and well off the pace of the segment-leading Mazda CX-5 (10,437), Hyundai Tucson (9095) and Toyota RAV4 (8351).

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Will a styling refresh help Jeep sell more Cherokees? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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