As most SUVs have grown a little softer in their styling over the years--a little less aggressive and confrontational, perhaps--Jeep still caters to the old-school with its seven-bar grilles and chunky off-road looks.

With the new Altitude special editions, available on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, you get even more attitude. Jeep has applied a "blacked out" look to each vehicle, dispensing with any hint of chrome or shiny trim, instead coating minor exterior and interior trim pieces in matte and gloss black finishes. The Altitude name resurrects a name chosen for previous Jeep special editions, following its use on the Grand Cherokee concept unveiled two years ago at the Houston Auto Show.

For the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Altitude, buyers have the option of the standard 2.4-liter MultiAir and 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engines, with two- or four-wheel drive versions available. Each is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Dedicated Altitude trim pieces include gloss black grille surrounds, roof rails, front fascia lower trim and badging, and black surrounds for each window. Altitude models also come with 18-inch gloss black painted alloy wheels and a black interior.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude, based on the Laredo, gets similarly dark attributes--gloss black grille inserts, a black lower bumper insert, black bezels for the headlamps, wheel flares and side cladding, and a set of 20-inch five-spoke wheels. Only a shiny dual exhaust tip breaks the all-black combination. You can probably guess the interior color, which covers the leather and suede seats, steering wheel, door trims and more. A 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen is standard, among other items, and under the hood there's a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine producing 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Once again, two- or four-wheel drive options are available.

The Wrangler Altitude is four-wheel drive only and shares the Grand Cherokee's engine--albeit 5 horsepower down--and looks even more suited to the blacked-out look. Based on the Wrangler Sahara, the Altitude gets a matte black grille with gloss black throats, head lamp rings and Jeep badge, gloss black front and rear bumper appliques and 18-inch seven-spoke rims. A body-color "freedom top" is standard, a soft-top optional. Inside, it's all... well, black.

Pricing starts at $25,990 for 4x2 models and $27,990 for 4x4 models on the Cherokee, $36,285 for 4x2 models and $38,285 for 4x4 on the Grand Cherokee and $32,590 for Wrangler two-door models. You can add another $3,800 for the four-door Wrangler Unlimited. All prices include Jeep's $995 destination charge. The new special editions arrive this Spring.


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