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US: Jeep finally starts Cherokee shipments

By Chris Wright | 24 October 2013

The redesigned 2014 Cherokee (nee Liberty) is finally on its way to US dealers

The redesigned 2014 Cherokee (nee Liberty) is finally on its way to US dealers

Chrysler has finally begun shipping the redesigned 2014 Jeep Cherokee after a two month delay caused by transmission software problems.

Software changes have been made to thousands of assembled Cherokees and they are now on their way to dealers.

The new Cherokee which, like its predecessors, will be sold worldwide, revives the nameplate in North America where Cherokee replaced Liberty in 2001 for the last two model generations.

Chrysler said last month Cherokee shipments from Jeep's assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio, had been delayed because of the need to fix a glitch in the computer controlling the vehicle's locally made nine-speed automatic transmission.

The launch had been delayed twice over problems with the complex nine-speed ZF gearbox which features a disconnecting drivetrain. When the engine is not under load the transmission actually disconnects from the axles to reduce rolling resistance.

This will allow the Cherokee to achieve 33 mpg (with the smaller US gallon) from the standard 'Tigershark' four cylinder petrol engine and 29 mpg with the optional, new, 3.2 litre 'Pentastar' V6.

The new models still has to win favour with customers, however, and has been criticised by some enthusiasts for being too ‘soft’ in looks.