5 American rides getting a makeover for 2014

Bill Wilson
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Question: what do Christmas and new car models have in common? Answer: they both arrive earlier each year. By now, many of the 2014 models have been on the road for over a month, plenty of time to check them out and give our thoughts on what’s hot and what’s not. So here’s a look at five redesigned American vehicles that have already left 2013 in the dust.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Let’s start with the best, obviously. The new ‘vette is hands-down the most exciting thing to come out of Detroit since God knows when. Redesigns include a new interior, lighter weight, and a 455-hp engine that can go from running on eight to four cylinders at the touch of a button.

Cadillac CTS

Caddy’s quality revolution continues unabated with this sleek re-do of an already excellent automobile. With tighter lines and a lower profile, the 2014 CTS has more of an attitude than its predecessor. And, with 20-way power seats and highly tunable climate controls, the CTS doesn’t skimp on the luxury touches that have traditionally set the brand apart.

Jeep Cherokee

For all we know, this might be a great vehicle under the hood. But we just can’t get past the bizarre restyling of the front grille. Combined with the “smiley face” outline on the front bumper, the 2014 Cherokee looks like a stoned catfish swimming its way down the highway. If I ever catch anything that looks like that, then I’m throwing it back.

Chevrolet Silverado

Looks aren’t everything, especially when it comes to this much improved full-sized truck. While the Silverado’s exterior looks scarcely different from the 2013 version, under the hood it’s a different story. Economy-conscious drivers will appreciate how the aluminum doors and new, super-efficient engine has them spending less at the pump. Meanwhile, the plush interior on the 2014 will make riding to work a joy.

Jeep Compass

It may seem like we’re picking on Jeep today, but this pseudo-SUV deserves all the scorn heaped upon it. A Cherokee-style grille on the new model can’t change the fact that power is dismal, handling sucks, and fuel economy is pathetic. The Compass is a perfect example of what happens when a vehicle tries to be all thing to all drivers. It ends up doing nothing well.