The Jeep Cherokee is not that commonly seen in Ireland and for that reason it is a real head turner. Many will have seen the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee on TV, but when was the last time you actually spotted one on our roads? There might be a good reason for this. The Cherokee is an expensive piece of kit and its high price tag doesn’t seem to be tickling the fancy of the masses. The Cherokee faces steep competition from more reasonably priced vehicles like the Nissan Qashqai. A reason for the Qashqai being more popular than the Cherokee is because Nissan is a more recognised and trusted brand to the Irish customer. With that said, the Cherokee is a high quality machine and if FCA Ireland could get there pricing right they might be more appealing to customers in this country.
The diesel offering is the 2.0 litre MultiJet II Turbo engine. This is a much more economical option than the previous 2.8 litre engine. The car offers 140 bhp and 350Nm of torque from 1,750rpm. Depending on what model you opt for (Front-wheel drive /4x4 / automatic / manual) the 0-100 km/h time ranges from 10.3 to 12.0 seconds. The 9-speed automatic transmission is getting great reviews as being a very smooth gear-changer.
Passenger comfort was obviously one of the goals of the Jeep design team when they mapped out this project because the ride is supple and there are no major problems when it comes to bumps on many B-roads. However, some will complain that the vehicle is not as fun as it could or should be. Because of the size of the Cherokee it suffers from body roll on corners. However, the steering is light and accurate.
The diesel engine can be a little bit noisy when idle and if the foot is really put down the noise levels are high. Apart from that this is a very well insulated machine. It cruises nicely and steadily on the motorway and it’s a nice car for long distances.
The interior of the Cherokee is chunky to say the least. The steering wheel is thick and the ride height gives you a commanding view of the road. Like with the Wrangler and the Renegade, homage is paid to the Willys throughout the car with “1941” stamped on the steering wheel and a small Willys decal on the bottom of the windscreen. The plastics on the dash are big and they feel sturdy.
Jeep tells us that there are over 70 safety and security features available with the Cherokee. Among these features are full-length curtain and side-thorax airbags. Other features available with the Cherokee include, Lane Sense Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Path Detection. A park assistance system is also available for people who are anxious about parking.
Despite its chunkiness on the inside, the front still feels like a spacious place to sit. The head room to the rear is good but where it does suffer is with leg room. This is disappointing because the exterior appearance of this vehicle is very large. The boot space is very big though offering 591 litres. This space stretches to 1,698 litres with the rear seats folded.