THE world of the SUV is expanding dramatically and although there are some more modern contenders, that American icon Jeep has it in the bag.
The name Cherokee conjures up images of the great outdoors and in this respect the Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet Overland has what it takes to go where few have ventured before.
Although the Cherokee is a familiar sight on British road it still shouts that it was born in the USA and is a refreshing change from products from Britain and Europe.
It has a character all of its own and in a crowded marketplace that counts for a lot.
Overland trim is at the top of the list and combines cabin luxury with pure off-road ability, plus, very importantly commendable roadgoing qualities.
But vehicles like this do not come cheap at more than £42,00 it is on a par with some premium saloons, and competitive in its class.
It is something of a showcase for what Jeep can achieve these days. The scene is set by brightly polished alloy wheels, heated and vented front seats, Nappa leather seating, power tailgate, dual climate control, touch screen with sat nav and much more.
It is indeed pure American comfort all the way and special mention has to be made of the heated steering wheel which is one of the best on the market. The wheel itself is chunky and is part wood and part leather and is very user friendly.
Under the bonnet is a four-cylinder 2.2-litre turbo diesel which has 440Nm of torque and whacks out more power than you would ever need in a vehicle like this, peaking at 197bhp.
The power is fed through the latest nine-speed automatic gearbox which handles all situations very well. A top speed of 127mph and 0-62mph acceleration speak volumes of its ability.
Luxury rider it may be but when the gloves are off and the Cherokee has to get down to some dedicated mud-moving its suite of off-road technology can handle everything a vehicle like this should cope with.
Active four-wheel-drive and a low range mode for the gearbox ensure that sand, snow and mud pose few barriers.
It is sad in a way that most owners will never take this vehicle to the max off road, but it is reassuring to know that if the occasion arises, the Cherokee is on the case.
Luggage space is ample about 715 litres with the rear seats folded.