Posted Jan 16th 2013 5:15PM
Now that the Liberty has left us for greener pastures and the Compass and Patriot are entering their final model year, it's time to start looking into the future of Jeep. The next all-new vehicle for the off-road brand will be the midsize SUV you see here, effectively replacing the Liberty, and not necessarily carrying on with that name.
From the sides, the prototype you see here sort of looks like a miniature version of the handsome Grand Cherokee, albeit with a bit more in the way of body sculpting. Up front, the seven-slat grille will be front and center, with completely revised headlamp designs that are reportedly angular and sweep well into the front fenders (you can sort of see what we're talking about in the side profile). That doesn't sound very Jeep-like, but we'll reserve judgment until we, you know, see the thing.
The bigger question with the Liberty replacement will be whether or not its off-road chops will be up to snuff. After all, the two previous generations of Liberty models were body-on-frame traditional SUVs, whereas this new Jeep rides on a larger version of the Dodge Dart platform.
We'll likely see the new Jeep debut at the New York Auto Show this spring, though we'll no doubt spot some less-camouflaged testers before then.
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