New Jeep Cherokee doesn’t look much like the old ones

While I have to admit I miss the old, boxy Jeep Cherokees, the sleek new versions are pretty amazing. I got to drive one a few weeks ago, and it left me pleasantly surprised.

I miss the rugged looks of the vehicles I grew up with. Some of the body styles are still fairly similar to what they looked like in the early 80s, but others are vastly different. One of the most dramatic differences is in the Jeep Cherokee.

Those old Cherokees looked like somebody carved them out of a block of stone, and didn’t spend much time rounding off the corners. But the 2017 model looks like it could take you to the moon, if you put the right fuel in it. And after driving one for a week, I think there’s some truth to that.

The changes to the Cherokee aren’t just in its look. Jeep has spent a considerable amount of research and development to shave weight off of it, yet at the same time, give it more horsepower and torque. That combination is incredible. This lighter Cherokee is much more powerful than its older brothers, and that power to weight ratio makes for quicker pickup, better fuel economy, and overall better off-road performance.

It may not look like much of a rock crawler anymore, but if you get the right package and have the right tires on it, you can go anywhere in a Cherokee. And with all the fancy options you can get inside of it now, like heated and cooled seats, it doubles as a very comfortable ride for date night. Just make sure you take the cooler of fish out of the very roomy cargo area before you take your squeeze out for a night on the town.

I have to admit, when I first saw the new Cherokee, my first thought was that they’d ruined it with the fancy new sleek design. But after driving it, I realize they really did make it better. It’ll still go anywhere, and it’ll still carry more gear than you’d think would fit in it, and it’ll do it using less fuel but giving you more power than ever before. Well done, Jeep, well done.