I suppose you could call me a Jeep apologist. When the new Cherokee debuted, I said I would withhold judgement until I took it on the trail. It didn’t disappoint in an off-road setting, but many still are not sold on the front end appearance. From all other angles, it’s a looker, but that front clip is still a major hangup for some buyers.
In an interview I conducted last year with Mike Manly, the Jeep CEO explained that the Cherokee was not styled for the year 2013 or the year 2014, but to be relevant in the year 2024. That is all well and good, but if it turns out that the front clip is a setback for Cherokee sales, there’s always a mid-generation update that Jeep can use to make major changes. If that were the route the American automaker chose to take, it could employ one serious change that would make it the darling of the crossover marketplace.
The Jeep Compass and Patriot were two sub-par crossovers conceived at the brand’s low point. Thankfully they are being put out to pasture, but for the 2011 model year, Jeep overhauled the front end to more closely resemble the popular Grand Cherokee. It made owning a Compass far more palatable to own. Though I’m glad to see both of these vehicles go, I’m more happy to see the Patriot on its way out, and you can attribute that to the improvements made to the Compass (seen here in black).
So with the Compass– and its Grand Cherokee-aping front maw– on its way out, it would be a prime opportunity to graft a similar front clip onto the Cherokee. Think about it– take the only redeeming feature of the Compass and employ it for the only major area of derision for the Cherokee? It would be brilliant.
More importantly, since the Compass front end is meant to look like the Grand Cherokee (seen here in red), it would actually make a whole heap of sense to make your vehicle that is called the freaking Cherokee to have a front end like that of the Grand Cherokee. Listen, I don’t hate the front design of the new Cherokee, I just happen to think as good as this crossover is, it would be even better if it had a front end closer to that of the big-boy Grand Cherokee. Hey, it could happen!
- Jeep Compass
- Grand Cherokee