2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4 Low Miles Great History 4.0lt Very Clean With Video on 2040cars
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Auto blogTue, 04 Mar 2014 00:01:00 EST
It's no secret that the midsize crossover segment is one of the most hotly contested battlegrounds in the automotive industry. Long have vehicles like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 duked it out for those ever illusive consumer dollars. For many customers, though, even something like a Nissan Rogue is too big, whether in terms of price, fuel economy or just plain size.
For those customers, a growing market segment seems poised to fulfill their needs. Compact crossovers and tall wagons like the Nissan Juke and Kia Soul offer the high-riding driving experience with all the utility that comes from their two-box layout. It's an underrepresented segment among manufacturers, with big names like Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Honda lacking a true competitor.
To capitalize on this growing class, Chrysler's Jeep brand has readied this: the Renegade. That's right. Not Jeepster - Renegade. This diminutive off-roader, which rides on Fiat Chrysler's new small-wide 4x4 architecture, represents Jeep's first foray into the subcompact CUV segment as we know it, and it's making its official debut this week, on the floor of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Join us as we take a close look at one of Jeep's most important products in some time.
Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant opened in 1992 for production of the first Jeep Grand Cherokee, but in the subsequent years, the Detroit plant has gone on to produce some of the company's biggest SUVs including the Jeep Commander and Dodge Durango. Earlier this week, the plant produced its five-millionth SUV, which, fittingly, was a Grand Cherokee.
Celebrating the plant's five-millionth unit, the silver 2014 Grand Cherokee was promptly donated to the USO. In addition to this milestone SUV, Chrysler also had a near-perfect 1993-95 ZJ Grand Cherokee on hand for the photo op. Scroll down for the Chrysler press release as well as a video showing some of the speeches from the celebration.
Adding yet another chapter to the ongoing Jeep recall story, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) head David Strickland has gone on record to defend the government's request that Chrysler recall 2.7 million out-of-production Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty vehicles after the agency investigated fiery rear-end collisions that have reportedly killed at least 51 people over the years. In statements made to The Detroit News, Strickland said, "We felt very strongly that the process that we undertook and the findings that we made and ... we made the decision to issue a recall request. We do not take that very lightly." The top US auto safety regulator stopped short of telling owners to park their cars until the automaker takes action. "They can make their own risk assessment and their own choices," he said.
Chrysler does not intend to recall the models, insisting the "vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity" when they were manufactured and sold. "The company does not agree with NHTSA's conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective," Chrysler announced last week in a statement. "We believe NHTSA's initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the agency to resolve this disagreement."
Legally, Chrysler has until June 18 to formally respond to NHTSA's request. If the automaker does not take action, NHTSA is expected to issue a formal finding and seek a recall.