If you’re more of an “all real Jeeps have round headlights” traditionalist, however, be prepared to be disappointed. Change is in the air as the division scrambles for an ever-increasing share of the SUV and crossover market.
As Car and Driver documents, the first new model is the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, set to debut in January of 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show. While the SUV’s styling takes a turn for the modern, the big news is the addition of a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel variant, dubbed the “Eco-Diesel.” Expect it to deliver 241 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, while returning an estimated 28 mpg combined fuel economy.
In May of 2013, Jeep will launch a kinder, gentler version of its Liberty model, designed to better compete against the likes of the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. While it will be lighter and better-behaved on road, a next-generation all-wheel-drive system should ensure that it remembers its heritage, too.
Later in 2013, Jeep is set to launch a kit for the Wrangler that will allow owners to do something “they’ve never been able to do before,” and speculation is that the kit will either be a version of the J-12 Pickup Concept or the Mighty FC Concept. Frankly, we hope it’s the latter, since the Mighty FC is the coolest thing we’ve seen come out of Detroit in quite some time.
First up in 2014 will be the introduction of a single model to replace the aging Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. Expect this crossover to be built on the same platform used for the Dodge Dart, and expect it to be primarily an on-road vehicle with a ruggedized look.
Later in 2014, look for Jeep to debut an even smaller model, meant to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and the MINI Countryman. This compact crossover will be built in Italy, using a platform shared with the Fiat 500X, but it will come in a trail-rated version for those needing both fuel economy and off-road capability.
Finally, a Grand Wagoneer revival isn’t entirely off the table, though production still remains up in the air since such a seven-seater would conflict with the existing Dodge Durango. There’s some strong heritage in the Grand Wagoneer name, so if Jeep’s designers can take a divergent path from the Durango, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this come to market in late 2014.