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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:52 am 
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Pacer

Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:25 pm
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Location: Nova Scotia
Yesterday I had a chance to have a bit of hands on with the new Cherokee Trailhawk, later on I'll be going back for a better test drive in that plus a new Wrangler.

First of all, the Cherokee looks like a bag of turds in pictures. I have to tell you that the new Cherokee looks a TONNE better in person, to the point that I was extremely surprised between the pictures and real life. VERY surprised.

I had myself in it, under it, over it, and all points in between, for about an hour.

First of all, it actually has the same "feel" inside as the old Cherokee did. I don't know how to explain it, but sitting in the seat, holding onto the steering wheel it felt eerily similar to the my XJ. Same snuggled in feeling, very comfortable, and felt solid. Besides all the very nice additions like the leather, soft touch interior, big media screen, heated everything, if I were blindfolded and sat in each with cloth seats I would have a hard time guessing which I was in if they were both new. The rear was roomy enough to sit myself in it, and probably be comfortable for a long drive (I'm 6', 235pounds and was dressed for the cold). 2 adults and a child could sit comfortably, but anyone really big would have to sit in the front.

The exterior looks very different in person. You really can't tell the curves that it has, or the angles in the front and rear that accommodate for enter and departure angles. I was duly impressed as they are nothing that I have seen before on any new SUV. The front of the vehicle, which I thought would be long and ugly since thats the way pictures show it, was actually quite stubby and very nice looking.

Crawling underneath it, I noticed the armor. Not cheap but very solid, and VERY covered, and extremely flat. About the only thing not with skids is parts of the muffler pipe, and that's not exaggeration. I can guarantee the bottom can take a beating, and a hard one at that. Looked to be quite hardy, and smashing on it didn't give a cheap sound.

I played around with the 4x4 modes as well, and was delighted to see a rear locker in it.

For me I'm waiting to see some folks get it and take it for some real uncontrolled trials, and to see what Mopar brings out in the way of lifts and accessories. I noticed it has a 1" lift from the factory (and states it in the handbook), so I wonder if it's going to allow for higher lifts.

I know a lot of people aren't going to want to read this, but I'm going to head out on a limb and say the new Cherokee is going to be a winner. Period. It's comfortable and feels familiar, its VERY attractive inside and out (when seen in person), has all the stuff to make it a moderately capable off roader (not extreme like the Wrangler, more like a beefy Tracker with the extras), and I think it's going to shine as a vehicle for someone who likes to head off the beaten path that is a bit more beaten, wants good MPG and all the creature comforts.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:59 am 
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Eagle

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:43 pm
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Sounds like fiat might have hit the nail on the head with the reuse of the name Cherokee. Once they start to see the road, I hope they do look alot better in person. Then I would be a. Car you just don't want to take pictures of

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:38 am 
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Pacer
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:06 am
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Location: Central Pennsylvania
I have seen a few of them around town and I still can't get over hating the front end, but in all fairness I did not like to dodge change in 94 ( I ended up owning and enjoying 2 of them)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:03 am 
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Pacer

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Location: Nova Scotia
I would love to see it with solid axles front and rear, IMO that's a huge mistake that they made so they could get MPG and ride comfort.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:24 pm 
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I just can't get past the fwd platform, that truly kills it for me, had they built it on a charger/300 platform, (IE: a rwd car) rather than the dart, my opinion might be a little better of it (I just hate fwd's, period). As I said before, my chryco rep had a few choice words for me when I told him "history has just repeated itself, with building an offroad capable 4wd, from a car platform". :lmao:

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:25 pm
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Location: Nova Scotia
It's not built on the Dart platform. They are both CUSW, but that's not a type of frame, it's a build platform that Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep uses (C-Size, United States, Wide Variant). Think of it as 2 white guys not related. They are both 6' tall, but with different builds.

http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/20 ... e-not-dart


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