2014 Jeep Liberty (spy photo)

The same official reconfirmed our earlier reports that the Liberty’s replacement will use the Fiat/Chrysler CUSW (Compact U.S. Wide) platform, be available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations, and use a nine-speed automatic transmission. Codenamed “KL,” the Liberty’s as-of-yet-unnamed replacement will have four primary trim levels. Based on preliminary testing results, engineers are shooting for a 31-mpg highway fuel-economy rating. Even if that’s achieved only with front-drive versions, it represents a significant improvement; the current Liberty manages only 16 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway with rear-wheel drive, and 15/21 when equipped with all-wheel drive.

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Company officials haven’t ruled out resurrecting the revered Cherokee name for duty on the new mid-size Jeep. As our source notes, the Liberty was sold as a Cherokee in markets outside of North America, which might provide a little insight. Chrysler is expected to unveil the new Jeep model at the 2013 Detroit auto show.

By Andrew Wendler