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Auto blogThu, 10 Apr 2014
While we're still a ways off from the automotive awards season proper, where things like North American Car and Truck of the Year, Motor Trend's Car of the Year and Car and Driver's Ten Best are named, that doesn't mean there aren't trophies being handed out to deserving automakers. Ward's 10 Best Interiors being one of them.
As the name might imply, the magazine focuses on the very best interior treatments in the US market. Whereas some awards purposely exclude extreme, high-dollar offerings, Ward's considers them - the only requirement is that a vehicle has a "new or significantly redesigned interior."
Ward's offered up the list of winners in simple, alphabetical order, and it only seems fair to do the same:
In an unusual move, Chrysler is idling its recently hired second shift of 2014 Jeep Cherokee builders because, Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement, it already has built the "critical number of vehicles we need to stock dealerships once containment is released," Automotive News reports.
After the "critical" 9,430 Cherokees were built, the layoff was enacted so as not to strain the automaker's logistics partners before the Cherokee is actually released. Chrysler says the temporary layoff will last about two weeks, with 500 workers out of work and another 600 reassigned at the Toledo Assembly Complex where the sports utility vehicle was being built. The second-shift workers were hired on August 19.
Chrysler previously insisted that it would release the Cherokee to dealerships by the end of the third quarter, and it initially planned to start selling the SUVs in mid-August. Apparently the Cherokee needed a software fix before hitting showrooms, which is how Chrysler explains why the release schedule is out of whack. We're thinking that this software fix addresses the "powertrain calibration" issue that delayed the first media test drives of the model. According to the Toledo Blade, Chrysler has admitted it is doing "extended quality validation testing" but refused to provide more information.
Production and media drive delays included, there has been no lack of press surrounding the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. With the most recent delay reportedly due to powertrain calibrations, we've been waiting to see how the Cherokee's fuel economy looks against the highly competitive compact CUV segment. Thanks to the EPA, we now know the fuel economy figures for the newest member of the Jeep family.
Arguably, the Cherokee has the most modern powertrain in its class with an updated base engine, all-new V6 and all-new nine-speed automatic transmission, but its fuel economy figures are simply on par for the segment. Still nothing to scoff at, though. According to fueleconomy.gov, front-wheel-drive Cherokee models with the base four-cylinder mill will top out the lineup with 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway; opting for four-wheel drive with this engine drops the figures to 21 city and 28 highway. Get even crazier with the option list, and the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 will get you 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway in two-wheel-drive form or 19 city and 27 highway for 4WD.
If you're wondering how that stacks up among compact CUVs, head on over to Automobile Magazine for a full fuel economy breakdown for the segment. The controversially styled crossover hits dealers this month, and we'll be driving it in just a couple of weeks.