About the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler says it's time to "eschew the traditional and embrace the progressive," but it'll take us some time to get comfortable with the new midsize SUV's radical front styling. Back in 1985 -- before Jeep used the Cherokee nameplate on rebadged Libertys for European customers -- the Cherokee served as the epitome of what SUVs once represented: rugged and traditional design matched with real off-road capability. In this Vintage Ad post, we take a look at the Body and Soul advertisement for the Jeep Cherokee in 1985, courtesy of The Henry Ford.
Simply having four doors with room for five people served as a selling point for the Jeep Cherokee over the Ford Bronco II and Chevrolet S-10 Blazer 44 -- a family of five is pictured in the ad. Nearly 30 years later, we can count on one hand the number of two-door SUVs currently on sale, while new entries like the 2014 Jeep Cherokee will do battle in a crowded class of family-mobiles that prioritize on-road comfort and fuel economy over off-roading ability.
While we anticipate a 3.2-liter V-6 will be among the powertrain choices for the 2014 Cherokee, in this 1985 Jeep ad, the choices listed include a 2.5-liter I-4, 2.8-liter V-6, and even a 2.1-liter turbodiesel I-4. And while the 2014 Cherokee is rumored to use a nine-speed automatic transmission, the 1985 Cherokee offered a three-speed automatic alongside four- and five-speed manual transmissions for certain models. Fuel economy on the 1985 Jeep Cherokee ranged from about 15/17 mpg city/highway for a V-6 with the three-speed automatic to 25/26 mpg with the 2.1-liter diesel/five-speed manual combination.
Of course, beneath the Cherokee Chief pictured in the ad, Jeep noted a Quadra-Link suspension that doesn't sacrifice a smooth ride but keeps ground clearance "superior no matter what the terrain."
The Jeep ad also takes care to note that, with over 71 cubic feet of cargo space, the Cherokee has more than "any other American-made 44 in its class." Though it's unclear how cargo space measurements may have changed over the years, the 2012 Liberty and 2014 Grand Cherokee both have less cargo space than the old Cherokee, but the newer Jeeps would probably perform far better in modern safety tests.
Jeep called the 1985 Cherokee a born winner -- whether the same will be true about the more family-focused 2014 Cherokee remains to be seen.