Jeep Cherokee

Limited 2.2

Automatic 4x4

Jeep Cherokee, front
Jeep Cherokee, front
Jeep Cherokee, front
Jeep Cherokee, rear
Jeep Cherokee, side
Jeep Cherokee, interior

NOT many motor manufacturers can say they inspired Land Rover but Jeep can and justify their standing in the off-road market.

When the first Land Rover was sketched on an Anglesey beach after the Second World War it was based on the wartime Jeep or "general purpose" vehicle of the US military. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to the present day and the Jeep Cherokee is the American equivalent of the Discovery, and that's no bad thing.

The Jeep Cherokee has been carefully pitched into the heart of the British 4x4 market and runs to a dozen models from about £26,000 to £38,600.

There is a choice of mostly four cylinder diesel engines but also a petrol, with six-speed manual and nine-speed automatic transmission while trim levels are Limited, Longitude, Night Eagle and Trailhawk.

The mid-range model we drove came with the latest higher performance 2.2 turbo-diesel engine and nine-step automatic transmission and it's a formidable and impressive package.

Pull from rest is strong, the engine quickly spinning into life and giving good acceleration for overtaking aided by a seamless transmission which was quiet and quick acting.

The number of ratios mean it tends to run in the highest gear for any situation and that not only aids refinement but also refuelling is cut and it should allow most owners to see 40mpg with a modest foot on the pedal and longer inter-urban journeys than we made.

The powertrain's sophistication is matched by the precision and performance of the steering and brakes so it can be confidently placed anywhere and feathered to a stop from speed.

I liked the way it had a slight tendency to roll around corners but still stay firmly rooted to the road so it soaked up our bad roads but never put a wheel off line.

In town it had a good turning circle and excellent visibility if you allowed for the thick pillars when pulling into traffic and parking sensors are essential while the Limited rear camera is desirable.

Inside, the Cherokee was smartly styled with a simple and clear fascia display, plenty of oddments room and straightforward heating and ventilation controls and an efficient system as well.

Access was fairly easy although it was some way off the ground and once inside the big seats were very comfortable and supporting so it was a delight to drive long distances and arrive unstressed and relaxed.

The boot space rises from 514 to 1,267 litres and its easy to load and empty with quick folding seats.

Noise levels were generally low, but push hard and the engine let you know it was a busy four-cylinder under the bonnet, but wind and road rumbles were muted.

From standstill it was fairly brisk through the gears to the standard 62mph and it was utterly composed at the motorway maximum. The all-wheel-drive transmission was simple and refined and it has surprisingly good off-road ability.

FAST FACTS

Jeep Cherokee Limited 2.2 Automatic 4x4

Price: £36,795

Mechanical: 200ps, 2,198cc, 4cyl diesel engine 9-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 8.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 49.6

Insurance Group: 29

C02 emissions: 150g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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