Given that the hardware that lies beneath the Cherokee is all new, you’ll be unsurprised to find that what’s within the cabin is a also complete change for the Cherokee.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what is notable is that, other than the badging, there’s nothing in here to suggest that you’re in a Jeep, as opposed to any other make of car.
If this is a new start, fair enough, but given that Jeep has a premium mindset, it’s a pity that the brand’s lineage – and there have been plenty of high spots over the years – hasn’t been more clearly acknowledged.
If you climbed into any modern Land Rover, BMW or Mercedes-Benz, even without badges you’d know in an instant which brand of car you were sitting in. Given a similar test in the Cherokee, you might guess at half a dozen manufacturers before you alighted on this being a Jeep.
Still, fit, finish and the overall design are better than in any Cherokee before. For the most part, the controls are laid out sensibly, and the central TFT touchscreen is recognisable from that found in the Maserati Ghibli, with a few Jeep-specific bits.
The driving position is pretty upright. The Cherokee may be a relative of the Giulietta, but if you’re moving up from a conventional hatch, don’t expect to be able to retain a similar posture, or to find the steering wheel as widely adjustable as that in a Range Rover Evoque.
Don’t expect the same standard of materials, either. Fit, finish and surfaces are improved over Jeeps of old, but there’s not much in here that will keep Land Rover or BMW awake at night. Some soft surfaces aren’t soft enough, some dull ones are too shiny. What’s more impressive is interior volume. The rear bench slides and, with it folded, there’s up to 1.6 metres of load length.
Longitude, Limited, Overland and Trailhawk are the four trim levels. Entry-level models get cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, rear parking sensors and a powered tailgate on the outside as standard, while inside there is dual-zone climate control, electrically adjustable front seats, a nine-speaker Alpine sound system and Jeep's 8.4in touchscreen infotainment system complete with Bluetooth, sat nav and USB connectivity.
Upgrade to Limited and the Cherokee is adorned with front parking sensors, a reversing camera, keyless entry, a Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and bi-xenon headlights, while Overland models gain a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel and thick-pile carpets.