- Radical new look for a familiar name
- Diesel engine range for good economy
- Claimed to be the safest 4x4 of this size
This radical-looking 4x4 is the all-new Jeep Cherokee which has finally been revealed in UK specification, after its American debut in 2013.
Jeep promises that its latest Cherokee will remain a capable off-roader, but the lower, more distinctive look brings it more into line with market segment-blurring crossovers like Nissan’s new X-Trail and Kia’s Sportage.
The especially distinctive front contains dual sets of lighting pods, not dissimilar to Citroen’s latest C4 Picassos, lending the Cherokee a contemporary air, while the familiar seven-bar grille will placate Jeep loyalists.
At the rear, LED lights are mounted high on the bodywork, while the interior promises to be a quality step up from Jeep’s current Compass model.
Playing on the rugged theme, the interior hues are said to mimic the landscapes around Moroccan deserts, the Grand Canyon and Mount Vesuvius.
Jeep makes great claims for the Cherokee’s versatility and safety. The 60:40 split folding rear seat slides fore and aft depending on rear seat or boot space needs. It’s also achieved a very high safety rating with five stars following its Euro NCAP crash test.
Long-gone are the days where Jeep automatically equated to big petrol engines – under the new Cherokee’s bonnet are a pair of 2.0-litre MultiJet II diesels from within the Fiat empire.
With 138bhp the Cherokee comes with a six-speed manual gearbox but opt for the 168bhp version and it’s fitted with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Both motors produce 350Nm of torque at an impressively low 1,500rpm, which should be useful for off-roading as well as making brisk progress on the road.
No performance or efficiency figures have yet been revealed but all Cherokees feature stop/start function which will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Further fuel saving is achieved by two different versions of an intelligent four-wheel drive system that automatically disengages the rear wheels if the car’s sensors feel it doesn’t need them to be fed power. On the ‘Active Drive II’ version with ‘Selec-Terrain’ the driver can override it, for instance if towing a heavy load or traversing steep inclines.
Jeep’s packed the latest Cherokee with relevant technology, so there are two touchscreen size options for the infotainment package, as well as an optional 7-inch digital instrument display.
Driver assistance packages such as self-parking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring are all available too.
At launch the Cherokee will be available in Longitude and Limited specifications, with a range-topping Trailhawk arriving in the UK later.
When can you buy one?
The distinctive new Jeep Cherokee will be available to order from early summer 2014. Check back well before then to read Parkers’ detailed new Jeep Cherokee review and find out how this unusual 4x4 performs on- and off-road.