Jeep Cherokee comes of age

Jeep has now become the generic name for a 4x4 vehicle, but it was the original true 4x4.

Jeep has now become the generic name for a 4x4 vehicle, but it was the original true 4x4.

The Jeep brand is nowadays owned by the American giant Chrysler Motor Company, but the products still demonstrate all the abilities of the true original. Show any Jeep a dirt track and it will impress with superb off-road abilities. The success of 4x4 type vehicles here in Ireland is evident by the number of them you see on our roads.

As this has been the trend Europe-wide manufacturers have responded by making their 4x4’s more like cars than rugged off-roaders. The result is a market awash with lifestyle 4x4 vehicles. So what is the new Jeep Cherokee like?

The new Jeep Cherokee has become very European looking from the outside and that is a good thing. Gone is the once rugged and somewhat agricultural style, to be replaced by a very smart looking 4x4. Its sleek, stylish, contemporary and especially impressive from the front view. I like how it looks very much indeed!

The cabin of my test vehicle was finished in black leather trim which did make it feel rather sombre. The quality of materials used is first class and the overall fit and finish is very good indeed. I like the high up driving position which gives a commanding view of the road ahead and all the instrumentation is clearly and logically laid out.

The driving position itself is very comfortable and the electrically adjustable drivers seat proved supportive even on long trips. Standard equipment is excellent and too numerous to list here but worthy of particular mention is, dual zone climate control, Sat Nav, Bluetooth, Cruise Control, a centrally mounted touch screen for functions such as Audio, Nav, Climate, Car Settings, and so forth as well as a hot of safety features.

Overall then the cabin of the new Cherokee is beautifully appointed, well designed, pleasing to the eye and functional.

Accomadation is very good with ample leg and headroom for four adults with a big load area easily accessed via the electrically operated tailgate.

Employing the Fiat Powertrain Technology-patented MultiJet II technology, an aluminium cylinder head, double overhead camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder, the 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine is available in two outputs: 140hp at 3750rpm with 350Nm of torque at 1750rpm or 170hp at 4000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 1750rpm.

My test car the Jeep Cherokee Limited is the front wheel drive version and comes with the 2.0 140 bhp engine which is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Performance is good and over my 1000km on board so was fuel economy burning just 6.6 litres of diesel per 100km. Road tax is €280 per year.

To improve ride quality both on and off-road the suspension in the new Cherokee has been completely revised. This set up works very well giving the Cherokee a comfortable ride over most surfaces. The overall result is that the new Cherokee proves to be a very refined, motorway cruiser while also being capable of mild off road work (in 2 WD format), you need the 4x4 version for heavy duty off road work.

The Jeep Cherokee 2.0 FWD Limited costs €47,850. I must say that I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of this latest version of the legendary Jeep brand.