What is it?
When the fifth generation (KL) of the Jeep Cherokee was launched last year, it was powered by a humdrum 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine that was all too gruff and struggled to propel the car's 1878kg mass with any reasonable level of performance.
The American car firm recognised this inherent flaw and, as a result, has dropped that oil-burner from the line-up in favour of a gutsier 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel powertrain.
It has 25% more torque than the previous engine, at 324lb ft. Jeep also claims this car accelerates almost two seconds quicker to 62mph, at 8.5sec, and has an extra 10mph added to its top speed - now 127mph.
Combined fuel economy is claimed to be improved, too, from 48.7mpg to 49.6mpg, while CO2 output has dropped from 154g/km to 150g/km.
The new, fifth-generation Cherokee finds itself in a highly talented class, with strong performers such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport, BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Volvo's XC60. And it's clear that Jeep aims to offer a similar premium feel with its mid-size SUV, but for a lower price.
Two trim levels are available on the Cherokee with this engine - Longitude and Limited - and here we're testing the range-topping Limited 4WD model, paired with the nine-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
What's it like?
Gutsier, for starters. Credit where it's due: this new 2.2-litre Multijet engine has addressed the shortage of oomph suffered by the 168bhp version.
Plant your right foot and there is some initial lag, but the engine soon gets its act together once the revs get closer to its 2500rpm peak torque sweet spot. From this point upwards, you'll seldom be wanting for more grunt in real-world driving.
There's enough power on offer to make light work of overtaking in the countryside, and when the time comes to ease off the throttle, the Cherokee settles down to an acceptable cruise.
It's quite a refined powertrain, too. Only the slightest hint of vibration gets filtered through to the cabin, and you have to rev the engine hard beyond 3500rpm before it emits any sort of gruffness.
When we last tested a fifth-generation Cherokee on UK roads, it was a right-hand-drive model that left the brake servo on the opposite side of the car and resulted in our tester noticing considerable thudding every time the brake pedal was released. The model tested here was a left-hooker, so we'll reserve final judgement on refinement until we bag ourselves one with the steering wheel on the correct side.
The first thing you notice about the nine-speed automatic transmission is how smooth gearchanges are when left to its own devices - to the point where you aren't aware of them taking place at all, such is the seamlessness. However, take matters into your own hands by flicking the gear selector over to manual mode and it soon becomes apparent it's a Jekyll and Hyde gearbox.
Swapping cogs manually is greeted with disdain, as the 'box reacts far too slowly and then delivers hurried gearchanges with all the delicacy of a heavy-handed nightclub bouncer. Best to leave it in auto mode, then.