- Generous standard equipment
- Off-road capability
- Comfortable over long distances
- Front-drive models offer low running costs
- Small boot
- Challenging looks
- Tough rivals
- Residuals may be weak
This is the fourth generation of the Jeep Cherokee and it’s certainly the most distinctive looking version so far.
Not to be confused with the larger Grand Cherokee, this is the mid-size model in Jeep’s range. It replaces the Compass and has been aimed more squarely at European buyers than Jeep models of old. .
Genuine off-road ability.
Although it looks lower and less rugged than traditional Jeep models, off-road ability is still a key selling point for the Cherokee. With the possible exception of the Land Rover Freelander, it is able to manage far rougher terrain than other mid-sized 4x4s on the market. .
Two different four-wheel drive systems are available, both of which feature the ability to disconnect drive to the rear axle during normal driving conditions to save fuel. .
There’s also a special off-road focused Trailhawk version, with brawnier styling, underbody skid plates, a higher ride height and locking rear differential to tackle more serious obstacles. Available as a special-order model through Jeep dealers, it’s likely to be a rare site in the UK thanks to its unfashionably thirsty petrol engine. .
For those who don’t plan to stray from the tarmac, the range starts with a front-wheel drive model with relatively low running costs and far lower CO2 emissions than previous Jeeps – 139g/km is new territory for the company.
Focus on diesel engines
All Cherokees offered in the UK bar the Trailhawk are powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine with a choice of power outputs – either 138bhp or 168bhp.
The former is matched with a six-speed manual gearbox while the latter gets a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The Trailhawk is powered by a 3.2 V6 petrol engine with the nine-speed automatic gearbox.
For the majority of UK buyers, the front-wheel drive 138bhp manual Cherokee could actually be the pick of the range. It doesn’t give a huge amount away to its more powerful sibling in terms of performance and offers more competitive running costs.
One of the Cherokee’s weaker points is its boot volume. At 412 litres to the parcel shelf with the rear seats up, it’s really quite small and features an uncomfortably high load lip. The 60:40-split rear seats can be slid forwards to free up extra space, although that leaves a gap ahead of the boot floor.
Undersized boot aside, practicality is very good with a folding front passenger seat standard and plenty of space for rear passengers. There’s also a small hidden storage area under the flip-up front passenger seat base.
Equipment levels across the range are generous, with even the entry-level Longitude model featuring digital radio, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and a touchscreen multimedia system.
The Parkers Verdict
With decent on-road manners to go with its off-road aptitude and more affordable running costs than previous models, the Cherokee is still not quite up with Europe’s best but it’s arguably Jeep’s closest effort so far.
For more information, click on the categories below or at the top of the page to navigate through the full Jeep Cherokee review.