Even with production models just on their way to dealers now, the reborn 2014 Jeep Cherokee has already captured its first major industry award: At the recent 21st annual Texas Truck Rodeo, hosted by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), the Cherokee was named Compact SUV of Texas for its combination of new cutting-edge technologies and old-fashioned off-road capabilities. For example, not only does the 2014 Jeep Cherokee offer a trail-rated Trailhawk edition, but it also boasts the segment’s first nine-speed automatic transmission, which, in turn, enables a massive fuel-economy jump over the Cherokee’s immediate predecessor.
Of course, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee wasn’t the only member of the Jeep team honored in Texas. Its big brother, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, earned its share of awards, too. After first claiming the title of Mid-size SUV of Texas, the Grand Cherokee also scored the highest finish in the Luxury Mid-size SUV category in its Summit trim, and capped off the day by winning the overall SUV of Texas recognition.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s engine also earned an award of its own, with TAWA selecting the Jeep’s new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 for its Best Powertrain prize. Naturally, with that clean-diesel engine being shared with the 2014 Ram 1500, the Chrysler Group’s full-size pickup also shared the spotlight at this year’s Truck Rodeo by nabbing its second straight Truck of Texas title as well as prizes for Full-size Truck of Texas, Heavy Duty Truck of Texas (configured as a 2500HD pickup) and Luxury Truck of Texas (in the shape of its Laramie Longhorn edition).
Other Chrysler Group products pitched in as well, with the Dodge Durango and Ram ProMaster helping the automaker earn 15 of a possible 24 awards presented during this year’s event.
“The Ram, Jeep and Dodge brands from Chrysler Group clearly impressed our TAWA members at this year’s event, said Michael Marrs, TAWA president. “There’s no doubt that innovative powertrains, impressive designs and new technologies are paying off for these brands.” A total of 63 pickups, SUVs and crossover vehicles were entered in this year’s rodeo.
Written by Charles Krome.
Photo courtesy of Jeep.