Currently reading: New York motor show: Jeep Cherokee
New Jeep Cherokee promises improved fuel economy, superior handling and better build quality
Lewis Kingston
News
3 mins read
27 March 2013

The all-new Jeep Cherokee off-roader has been revealed in full prior to its unveiling at the New York motor show

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. 

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Can Italian tech put this once-rugged off-roader ahead of the pack, or is the Cherokee lost in an increasingly large crowd of superior family SUVs?

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Jeep's new Cherokee also marks the debut of Chrysler's Adaptive Cruise Control Plus, which can bring the vehicle to a complete stop in certain conditions. It uses radar and video sensors to observe vehicles in front, braking the vehicle to maintain a driver-defined gap. If the gap is reduced dramatically, the stability control system can bring the Jeep to a complete halt, even if the driver doesn't touch the brakes.

"The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be the benchmark for mid-size SUVs, with a new level of on-road driving dynamics and fuel economy, while at the same time improving the 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep", said Mike Manley, boss of the Jeep brand.

When launched in the US, four different models will be available: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk.

Click here for more New York motor show 2013 news.

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MikeSpencer 6 April 2013

Most disappointing car at the show

For me, the biggest let down of the show. Willfully different styling tries to bully you into taking notice. It's a bit late to do anything major to improve the looks now, but body-coloured or smoke chrome surrounds on the seven bar grille could help. As would black (not grey) honycomb grille inserts. A smaller Jeep badge would improve things at the rear, I feel. But, sadly, you can't help feeling that even this won't be enough to save it. Who do Jeep use for their focus groups? Of course, styling is subjective but nobody can say this strikes the right balance between purposefulness and elegance. It's a real pity for a company who have suffered some tough times of late. You feel those times may well continue for some time yet if this new Cherokee is anything to go by.

Euclid 28 March 2013

Jeep Cherokee

I think the looks will grow on you,  vehicles often look a lot better in the flesh than in photographs.  The overall spec looks particularly good. Assuming the Cherokee comes to the UK I  hope they offer a  diesel engine capable of towing at least 2500kg - a horse trailer and two horses.  The previous Cherokee could handle this, I'm worried this wont, "class leading" figures of 4500 pounds have been mentioned for the US spec Cherokee which falls short.  They will miss out on a slice of the market if this is the case.  Hope I'm wrong, I currently run a Grand Cherokee which is a vast improvement over the previous model but just a little too big for very narrow lanes!

ahaus 28 March 2013

Hideous front end styling

The styling especially the front end is truely bizzare and suffers from the same confusing multiple stacked headlight design as the Nissan Juke, but there is nothing charming about this design exercise. I don't know how this new design language will translate to other models.

Interiors have always been a weak point in most American cars and while this interior is nothing to make the German, Japanese and even Korean car companies worry about it is a huge improvement over the previous model.