We've received a bunch of tidbits over the past few days, here's some of the more interesting ones...
No More 5-Speed Cherokees?
We recieved an email from one of our readers a couple of days ago regarding his difficulty in taking delivery of a 5-speed 2000 Jeep Cherokee:
After 6 months of waiting and being told next month, next month, next month, i have learned that DiamlerChrysler/Jeep has NO date set to begin production of the Model Year 2000 XJ W/5 speed manual transmission. In fact they do not know if the MY 2000 XJ will EVER roll off the assembly line with a manual. My local dealer, after checking with their reqional manager, told me this information today (01/13/2000). I was told the most likely reasons are problems adapting the new NV3550 to the XJ or lack of demand, no concrete answer.
A couple of days later, we heard more from the same reader:
I have checked with DC Customer Services. The only thing they could tell me is that there is no production date listed. I also read on the JeepsUnlimited.com (Cherokee) message board, a reply to my post, that the unavailability could be caused by a lack of transmissions. The demand for them is higher in the TJ's so they don't have enough for the XJ's.
If anybody has any information about this, please email us at email@example.com
Jeep Varsity Concept Vehicle Feedback
Well, the vast majority of the feedback we received on the Jeep Varity concept vehicle that debuted earlier this month at the North American International Auto Show was negative, to say the least. In the interest of fairness, here's a sample of both negative and positive comments:
If this is the new cherokee, I will be forced to look at another alternative for my future family off road go any where, drive any where haul any thing vehicle. I was really hoping for the Dakar. If this is what we get I will have to get a used Cherokee or spend the cash and buy a Isuzu Vehicross.
I guess if this is what Daimler has to contribute we would be better off making our own 4X4's at home out of iron pipe and sheet metal. This is a very sad day in the Jeep world.
DaimlerChrysler is in a very unique position. Most vehicles must be made complex or beautiful to be appealing to buyers. However, Jeep buyers want their vehicles to be 'utility'. Real simple utility, like exposed hinges, flat sides, detached bumpers, round headlights, flat dashboard, and of course, an open roof. Build this in four doors, and all of us adventurists who have had to trade in our 'real' jeeps will be back in the Jeep showrooms. Please don't make us buy a Nissan Xterra.
Here's the positive one:
I like the Jeep Varsity a lot. Sort of reminds me of what the early '50s Willys Aero might have evolved into. Here's another Jeep with independent suspension, front and rear. I think Jeep is preparing us for that to happen on production Jeeps.
Got an opinion on the Varsity? You know how to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org)!