It's the first Jeep to utilise Chrysler's new 'Compact U.S. Wide' platform, which benefits from independent front and rear suspension.
Jeep claims that its new Cherokee will deliver world-class on-road dynamics, improved fuel economy and a wide range of equipment
Offered initially with a nine-speed automatic gearbox, a choice of two engines, three types of 4x4 system and a host of safety and technology options, Jeep hopes that the Cherokee will compete strongly in the mid-size SUV segment.
The bold styling, which features aerodynamic design cues that are claimed to combine the company’s heritage with advanced technology, resembles that of the recently revised Grand Cherokee.
Inside, the driver-orientated cabin is said to feature premium materials throughout and a high standard of build quality. Cloth or leather seats are available, as well as upgraded seats with electric adjustment, a memory function and heating and cooling. Buyers can also specify a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a wireless charging pad, useful for those with numerous mobile devices.
A 3.5-inch greyscale screen, or an optional 7-inch colour unit, in the instrument cluster can be configured by the driver to display information about economy, navigation, cruise control settings or the Jeep's four-wheel-drive system.
The standard multimedia system is a 5-inch touchscreen unit, and a larger 8.4-inch system is offered which also includes BlueTooth and sat-nav. A park assistance package is available, as well as myriad practicality and off-road orientated upgrades. Standard safety kit includes ten airbags and stability control.
Engine options will initially consist of a 2.4-litre four-cylinder 'Tigershark' petrol engine, or a new 3.2-litre V6 'Pentastar' petrol engine. The Tigershark engine uses Fiat's MultiAir technology and produces 184bhp and 171lb ft.
The 3.2-litre V6 petrol delivers a significantly higher 271bhp and 239lb ft of torque. No specific economy figures are quoted for the V6, but the 2.4-litre four cylinder is claimed to average an acceptable 37mpg.
The nine-speed transmission is Chrysler’s own and is reputedly capable of delivering aggressive launches, smooth power delivery and improved fuel efficiency.
Power is transferred to all four wheels by one of three four-wheel drive systems. The entry-level 'Active Drive I' is automatic and can switch in and out of 4WD at any speed. The 'Active Drive II' option adds a low-range mode, with a locking centre diff, and a 1" increase in ride hight.
Those determined to head deep off-road can opt for the 'Active Drive Lock' system, which adds a locking rear differential for improved traction in poor conditions. All come with Jeep's Selec-Terrain traction control which offers multiple modes for different surfaces.