The all-new Jeep Cherokee off-roader has been revealed in full prior to the New York motor show.
It's the first Jeep to utilise Chrysler's new 'Compact U.S. Wide' platform, which benefits from independent front and rear suspension. Jeep claims that its new Cherokee will deliver world-class on-road dynamics, improved fuel economy and a wide range of equipment
Offered initially with a nine-speed automatic gearbox, a choice of two engines, three types of 4x4 system and a host of safety and technology options, Jeep hopes that the Cherokee will compete strongly in the mid-size SUV segment. The bold styling, which features aerodynamic design cues that are claimed to combine the company’s heritage with advanced technology, resembles that of the recently revised Grand Cherokee.
Inside, the driver-orientated cabin is said to feature premium materials throughout and a high standard of build quality. Cloth or leather seats are available, as well as upgraded seats with electric adjustment, a memory function and heating and cooling. Buyers can also specify a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a wireless charging pad, useful for those with numerous mobile devices.
A 3.5-inch greyscale screen, or an optional 7-inch colour unit, in the instrument cluster can be configured by the driver to display information about economy, navigation, cruise control settings or the Jeep's four-wheel-drive system.
The standard multimedia system is a 5-inch touchscreen unit, and a larger 8.4-inch system is offered which also includes BlueTooth and sat-nav. A park assistance package is available, as well as myriad practicality and off-road orientated upgrades. Standard safety kit includes ten airbags and stability control.
Internationally, engine options will initially consist of a 2.4-litre four-cylinder 'Tigershark' petrol engine, or a new 3.2-litre V6 'Pentastar' petrol engine. The Tigershark engine uses Fiat's MultiAir technology and produces 184bhp. The 3.2-litre V6 petrol delivers a significantly higher 271bhp.
The nine-speed transmission is Chrysler’s own and is reputedly capable of delivering aggressive launches, smooth power delivery and improved fuel efficiency.
Power is transferred to all four wheels by one of three four-wheel drive systems. The entry-level 'Active Drive I' is automatic and can switch in and out of 4WD at any speed. The 'Active Drive II' option adds a low-range mode, with a locking centre diff, and a 1" increase in ride height.
Those determined to head deep off-road can opt for the 'Active Drive Lock' system, which adds a locking rear differential for improved traction in poor conditions. All come with Jeep's Selec-Terrain traction control which offers multiple modes for different surfaces.
Jeep's new Cherokee also marks the debut of Chrysler's Adaptive Cruise Control Plus, which can bring the vehicle to a complete stop in certain conditions. It uses radar and video sensors to observe vehicles in front, braking the vehicle to maintain a driver-defined gap. If the gap is reduced dramatically, the stability control system can bring the Jeep to a complete halt, even if the driver doesn't touch the brakes.
"The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be the benchmark for mid-size SUVs, with a new level of on-road driving dynamics and fuel economy, while at the same time improving the 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep", said Mike Manley, boss of the Jeep brand.
Jeep will soon launch its products in India starting with the larger Jeep Grand Cherokee. The new Jeep Cherokee revealed here could be Jeep’s C-Segment offering for India.