Jeep taps into its heritage for the styling of the new model Cherokee that has gone on sale in New Zealand.
The new Cherokee is more powerful and more economical, and pricing starts at $46,990.
Its looks use traditional Jeep features like the clamshell bonnet, seven-slot grille, trapezoidal wheel openings and rugged-looking stance.
The deep body sections and a high beltline produce a tough and strong appearance, and the spare wheel is now placed underneath the vehicle, improving interior space.
The optional Sky Slider sunroof offers open-air driving. It can be moved to several positions, including full forward, full rear, partially open or any position in-between using a one-touch switch. The Sky Slider roof is made from a reinforced acrylic cloth, similar to a convertible top, which is weather-resistant and designed to be leak-proof. The top panel nests into a weather strip seal to minimise wind noise. Sky Slider is an option on the Limited model.
Another option, the MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System allows customers to use touch screen or voice commands to control features, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive to store music and photos.
An integrated music jukebox supports Gracenote music-file management to add song, artist and album information to the music files automatically.
There’s space on the system’s hard drive for about 1600 songs – more than 100 hours of music.
The system is optional on the Limited model and also includes a voice-memo recorder and audio input jack for easy connection to an MP3 player. The Infinity Premium Sound System (standard on the Limited) has nine speakers, including one 6.5-inch subwoofer.
The all-new Selec-Trac II full-time four-wheel drive system is standard on both Jeep Cherokee Sport and Limited models. Selec-Trac II is an active on-demand system that anticipates and prevents wheel slip before it occurs.
It has a wide range of road settings, including one for dry pavement conditions not typically suited for conventional part-time four-wheel drive systems.
The system has a 4WD Auto mode that uses sensors to adjust and redirect torque between the front and rear axles based upon real-time driving conditions.
Hill Descent Control is designed to mimic the downhill control and flexibility found in the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with its 4:1 ratio transfer case and six-speed manual transmission.
This gearing provides for six speeds of controlled hill descent and provides downhill assistance at a controlled rate of speed, with more precision and smoother operation than simply using the brakes.
Hill Descent Control was engineered to provide the smoothest transitions possible, even from a complete stop on extremely steep and slippery surfaces and is standard on all Jeep Cherokee models with automatic transmissions.
The Cherokee’s 3.7-litre SOHC V6 petrol engine develops 151kW of maximum power at 5200rpm and 314Nm of torque at 4000rpm (an improvement of 1kW and 7Nm over the previous model).
Refinements in the valve train and combustion chambers enhance low-speed torque while providing a smooth idle and low engine noise.
An Electronic Throttle Control system helps to improve drivability and acceleration feel.
The exhaust gas recirculation valve also helps to iimprove fuel economy to 9.4 litres/100km (9.9 litres/100km on the old Cherokee).
The Cherokee is also available with a new 2.8-litre DOHC 16-valve common-rail turbo diesel engine.
With its Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) and rapid throttle response, this engine delivers a stonking 460Nm of peak torque at 2000rpm. Maximum power is 130kW at 3800rpm.
Those figures are an improvement of 10kW and 60Nm over the previous Cherokee.
The new diesel Cherokee can tow up to 2800kg and has a potential driving range of 725 kilometres. The new 2.8-litre CRD engine also provides a weight savings of about six percent and features Piezo fuel injectors and a 2000-bar fuel system that has improved fuel economy to 11.7 litres/100km, down from 12.3.
Driver and front-passenger airbags have dual stage inflators and supplement side curtain airbags for both rows in the rear.
Other standard safety features include All-Speed traction control, Electronic Brake control, ABS, ESP, Electronic Roll Mitigation and Park Assist.
Jeep Cherokee pricing
Cherokee Sport 3.7 V6 $46,990
Jeep Cherokee Limited 3.7 V6 $51,990
Jeep Cherokee Limited CRD $56,990