For Sale By:Private Seller
Options: 4-Wheel Drive
Exterior Color: Burgundy
Power Options: Power Seats
Interior Color: Burgundy
Number of Cylinders: 8
Alden, Iowa, United States
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.
In our First Drive article on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee we said, "our informal and thoroughly unscientific opinion is they're going to sell tons of them. Why? Because it is very good." So far, it appears the public concurs. Of course, it's very early - the new compact utility has logged just one month of confirmed sales, but Larry Vellequette at Automotive News says dealers have told him that the second month of sales will be even better, a message that mirrors what we've heard from company execs.
In its first, severely truncated month on sale, the Cherokee sold 579 units. With all of November to play with, though, dealers moved 10,169 of them - compared to 11,753 Wranglers and 14,798 Grand Cherokees. That helped propel Jeep to a 30-percent year-on-year improvement for the month, Chrysler Group to a 16-percent improvement and the group's 44th consecutive month of sales growth, exceeding analyst expectations in posting its best November numbers since 2007.
If it can just keep replicating the its first month of sales, the finalist in North American Truck of the Year voting will smoke the trade done by the outgoing Liberty, which didn't break 7,900 units in a month in the last four years of its life (and normally didn't get close to even that). In March this year, Chrysler said it wants to build 250,000 Cherokees in its Toledo assembly plant for global sales. It's early yet, but with second-month sales quoted as being as "strong as death," the bookies might be resetting the odds.
While most brands are busy showing off in New York, Jeep headed out to Moab for the Easter Jeep Safari with the company's fleet of 2013 concepts. This year saw the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II, Wrangler Mopar Recon, Wrangler Stitch, Wrangler Sand Trooper II, Wrangler Flattop and Wrangler Slim Concepts tackle the rocks and sand, and Jeep was kind enough to bring along a camera crew to film the machines rolling over a few obstacles. The result is the video below, though don't expect to see too much hardcore off road action.
Instead, the quick clip features more than a few interviews with Jeep executives, including Jeep Head of Product Design Mark Allen, explaining what makes the Easter Jeep Safari so important. You can check out the quick clip below for yourself, and be sure to thumb through our galleries of the concepts as well.