Jeep has launched the latest generation in South Africa this past week, boasting a new design, and hopefully a more modern drive over the outgoing model. The new Cherokee, despite boasting looks similar to those of Bane from the Batman film, features a host of new technology.
The new Cherokee is available in 2- and 4-wheel drive configurations, the 4-wheel drive setups offering two choices of drive systems – Jeep Active Drive 1, and Jeep Active Drive Lock – the latter of which features a locking rear differential for the more difficult off-road circumstances. The mid-size SUV also features rear-axle disconnect on 4WD equipped models, with the goal of improved efficiency when 4WD isn’t needed.
Driving these systems will be 2 engines. A 3.2-litre Pentastar V6 engine generates 200kw @ 6500rpm and 315Nm @ 4300rpm, and will only be available on the Limited and Trailhawk model lines. The second engine in the line-up is the 2.4-litre Tigershark engine, a MultiAir unit developing 130kW @ 6400rpm and 229Nm at 3900rpm. Mated to these engines is a new 9-speed automatic transmission as standard, for both FWD and 4WD models, with low-range on selected models. Available as standard on 4×4 models is the Selec-Terrain system, which features 4 drive modes as standard. Auto, Sport, Snow and Sand/Mud, and offers a 5th, Rock, when the Cherokee is equipped with Jeep Active Drive Lock.
Visually, the Cherokee will take some getting used to, but the new design lends itself to upgraded technology, including integrated aerodynamic features, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, and Bi-Xenon headlights. The Cherokee rides on 17-inch tyres in Longitude or Trailhawk spec, whilst Limited spec sees the SUV equipped with 18-inch shoes.
The interior of the new Cherokee, designed by the man who designed the interior of the Mercedes-Benz A Class, features a modernised design with soft-touch materials around the cabin. Three interior trim options have been made available, inspired by landscapes around the world such as Morocco, the Grand Canyon, and Mount Vesuvius. The ‘Morocco’ package includes black trim with ‘Moroccan Sun’ stitching, with upholstery available in cloth, Nappa leather, or a combination of both. The ‘Grand Canyon’ package includes brown trim with golden stitching and Nappa leather upholstery, available only on Trailhawk spec models. The ‘Vesuvio’ spec trim features dark brown and Indigo Blue leather, with white stitching and silver trimmings.
Standard spec in the Cherokee includes amenities such as cruise control, dual zone automatic air-conditioning, USB ,SDcard, and auxiliary sound inputs and the UConnect 8.4 Radio Nav with touch screen and Bluetooth. Optional equipment includes a 506-watt Alpine 9-speaker sound system with sub-woofer, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a wireless cellphone charging pad.
Pricing on the new Cherokee starts at R479 990 for the 2.4l Longitude FWD, whilst the 3.2l Limited FWD will cost R505 990, the 3.2l Limited AWD R563 990, and the range-topping Trailhawk 4WD will set you back R607 990. All models come standard with a 6 year/100 000km maintenance plan.