If the near-5,000 word press release is anything to go by, Jeep is rather proud of it’s new Cherokee, which arrives in the UK this month. It goes up against some stiff competition in the likes of the Honda CR-V, Ford Kuga and Hyundai ix35, but Jeep is still hoping to set new standards in the class.
Two engines will be available initially, both 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesels sourced from parent company Fiat. The 138bhp version is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the option of front- or four-wheel-drive. In FWD guise it returns a highly respectable 53.3mpg on the combined cycle, with Co2 emissions of 139g/km.
The 168bhp model comes with 4×4 and ZF’s new nine-speed automatic gearbox. Economy numbers are 48.7mpg amd 154g/km. Slightly bizarrely, both engines produce 258lb/ft of torque. Neither is especially quick, the more powerful car taking a whole 10.3 seconds to reach 62mph.
4×4 Cherokee’s predominantly drive the front wheels, with the rears coming into play if the car’s brain thinks it necessary. Selec-Terrain lets you choose from five modes that apply different settings to the car’s systems, depending on the conditions. It probably won’t take you as far off-road as a Land Rover Freelander, but it will certainly go further than pretty much all its other rivals.
The Cherokee comes in four trim levels; Longitude, Longitude+, Limited and the special order-only, 3.2 V6-engined Trailhawk, aimed squarely at off-roaderists.
All Cherokees comes with a TFT information screen in the instrument cluster, varying in size and sophistication depending on model. A touchscreen lives in the centre of the dashboard (up to 8.4-inch), hooked up to the Uconnect control system, giving access to the climate controls and stereo. And the Bluetooth, satnav and music streaming. You can even have a wireless charging pad in the front armrest.
Jeep claims it has but much effort into making the new Cherokee as pleasant to drive as possible (the last one was not much cop), and there are safety systems galore, so it should be quite hard to crash it. Or at least, it won’t do you much harm if you do. Either way, it earned a five star rating from EuroNCAP.
Jeep Cherokee prices start at £25,495 for the 138bhp FWD Longitutde, running to £35,695 for the 168bhp Limited.
More information available here