JANUARY SALE Subscribe for just £5 today CLICK HERE

Review: The Jeep Cherokee

PUBLISHED: 09:05 22 November 2014 | UPDATED: 09:05 22 November 2014

Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee


Posh yet affordable, the new Cherokee upholds its famous battlefield heritage as well as modern Fiat-inspired refinement and cabin appeal

A tough recession was required to convince 4x4 fans that they didn’t need all-wheel drive to get the ‘funky chunky’ looks they crave.

Instead, economical front-wheel drive ‘soft roaders’ have become the recent 
norm rather than those with 4x4 kit.

But what if you still need decent yet affordable off-road ability wrapped up in 
a family size car? It would seem that Jeep, America’s 4x4 star, has the answer with 
the latest Cherokee, launched this year.

It is also available with front-wheel drive, but Jeep has ensured that the latest Cherokee can still hack it off-road. With decent ground clearance and selectable 4x4 abilities, the Cherokee really only 
has one rival: Land Rover’s comparatively expensive and ageing Freelander.

You’ll get a lot more kit as standard on the Jeep, and distinctive looks, too: the Cherokee’s designers have carried over Jeep’s classic slotted grille, but with a horizontal crease. Paired with the car’s slimline lighting array, it creates a front end to be loved by some and loathed by others.

But there’s much more to endear this Cherokee to buyers than on the previous three generations seen in the UK. Jeep’s new owner Fiat has endowed the Cherokee with a lighter touch in build and economy.

So the Cherokee’s powertrains comprise two powerful yet miserly versions of the Italian brand’s classy 2.0-litre MultiJet turbodiesel: a 138bhp unit with six-speed manual gearbox or a 168bhp with new nine-speed auto transmission.

I drove the 140bhp in 4x4 format 
and was impressed by its high-speed refinement, not something you expected from previous Cherokees. And on a twisty rural lane it continues to shine with decent grip and a modest yet well-controlled lean on the bends. Ride quality is impressive.

An official combined 50.4mpg for a fully competent diesel 4x4 is not bad either.

In the cabin, Jeep has often grappled with a typically American inability to trim and equip interiors to equal the off-road prowess of its cars, but there’s a definite step-up this time, plus upmarket options like the well-priced £950 ‘CommandView’ dual-pane electric sunroof extending from the windscreen and almost to the car’s rear.

The Cherokee interior is practical, with 60/40 split rear seats adjusting fore and aft for increased passenger comfort and cargo flexibility, plus fold-flat front passenger seat with stowage beneath the seat cushion.

Those sliding rear seats are vital because boot space with them fully back is only modest for the class, if understandable given the need for the extra transmission serving the rear wheels on 4x4 versions.

It is worth adding here the Cherokee’s impressive safety thumbs-up: a five-star ‘best in class’ Euro NCAP rating in the 
Small Off-Road 4x4 category. n

More from Motoring

Monday, January 13, 2020

Lamborghini has opened a new showroom in Leeds bringing these lust-after motors to Yorkshire. Kathryn Armstrong joined them on a tour of the county's finest routes.

Read more
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Millions of motorists are convicted of offences every year - but are they all guilty? An expert in motoring law has successfully defended many cases for clients who suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Read more
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Trying out some classic cars as part of Goodwood's Revival Racing Experience

Read more
Friday, November 8, 2019

More than 200 guests attended the opening party and saw the latest Lamborghini models.

Read more
Monday, October 28, 2019

Most people probably assume that motorways are the most dangerous roads in the UK, but the shocking fact is that accident fatalities are eleven times higher on country roads than on motorways.

Read more
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Two hundred and forty women from 14 countries attended the rally at Castleton.

Read more
Thursday, September 19, 2019

More than 170 guests turned up at Porsche Bolton for an exclusive event to celebrate Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, the personal tailoring department of Porsche.

Read more
Friday, August 30, 2019

Hoghton Tower in Preston was the venue for the Bowker Centenary Family Festival, celebrating the company's 100 year anniversary.

Read more
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A rally with a difference brought Defender devotees to see the birthplace of their cult and quirky made-in-Yorkshire motors.

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life