The all-new Jeep Cherokee has arrived in Australia, priced from $33,500 plus on-road costs. Available in four models with two petrol and one diesel engine, the new KL Series Cherokee is said to be the first mid-size SUV on the market to offer three advanced, class-leading four-wheel drive systems with one- or two-speed power transfer units.
It is also the first in industry with rear axle disconnect to enhance fuel efficiency. It is activated when four-wheel drive capability is not required and reduces energy loss thus improving fuel efficiency.
Four models with two petrol engines are on offer at launch, all connected to a 9-speed automatic transmission. A diesel variant will join the line up in late 2014.
The entry-level two-wheel drive Sport model is the only variant to be offered with a 2.4-litre TigerShark inline four-cylinder petrol engine. It delivers 130kW of power and 229Nm of torque and is said to bring a 33 per cent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing model.
The Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk 4WD models features Chrysler Group’s 3.2-litre V6 Pentastar petrol engine generating 200kW of power and 316Nm of torque. It is claimed to gain a 20 per cent improvement in fuel economy over its predecessor.
Jeep’s renowned Selec-Terrain system makes its first appearance on Cherokee, fitted on the four-wheel-drive equipped Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk Cherokee models. There are up to five modes to provide optimal traction for specific conditions: Auto, Snow, Sand/Mud, Sport and Rock. The Cherokee is said to provide enhanced handling and improved road manners thanks to a new body structure, more than 65 per cent of which is fashioned from high-strength steel. This delivers new levels of torsional stiffness.
It also has new front and rear independent suspension systems, and all models are equipped with frequency-sensitive damping shock absorbers that automatically adjust to input from the road. Its speed-sensitive electronic power steering system also automatically adjusts for limited effort during parking or increased steering effort on the open road.
Jeep also claims better on-road dynamics and NVH properties.
The Jeep Cherokee’s all new sheet metal is characterised by its slimline daytime running lights and iconic seven slot grille.
Inside, multiple trim levels and colour choices allow customers to personalise the Cherokee to their taste. All models come with a centre stack mounted Uconnect multimedia touch screen to control the vehicle’s functions and systems, 12.7 centimetre (5.0-inch) on Sport and Longitude and 21.3 centimetre (8.4-inch) on other models.
An available seven-inch full-colour LED reconfigurable instrument cluster allows the driver to receive information and feedback in their preferred format and display elements such as real-time fuel economy, driveline information and turn-by-turn navigation. Cherokee features Jeep’s newly-designed corporate steering wheel, which includes Electronic Vehicle Information Centre (EVIC) audio, voice and speed controls.
KL Cherokee’s safety systems include options that are new to mid-size Jeep SUVs: Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Crosspath Detection, Forward Collision Warning Plus, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning Plus, and reversing camera dynamic grid lines.
It is also the first Chrysler Group vehicle to feature the ParkSense Active Park Assist System, which automatically steers the vehicle into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces.
Cherokee’s 7 standard airbags include front & rear side-curtain airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags.
Fiat Chrysler Group President and CEO Veronica Johns said all-new Cherokee would provide Australian customers with a new and compelling choice that also set new standards for its mid-size SUV rivals.
“Cherokee is one of the most anticipated vehicles to enter the Australian market this year, bringing unmatched all-terrain capability, the segment’s first nine-speed automatic transmission and bold, distinctive styling,” Ms Johns said.
“The Cherokee line-up will cater to all types of customers, from the city commuter who appreciates technology and comfort to the serious off-road enthusiast who demands dependable capability that only a Jeep can deliver”
All-new Jeep Cherokee will be on sale in Jeep dealers across Australia from June 2014.
|Model||Engine||Transmission||Price (Excl. on-roads)|
|Sport 4×2||2.4-litre MultiAir Tigershark l-4||9-speed auto||$ 33,500|
|Longitude 4×4||3.2-litre V6 Pentastar||9-speed auto||$ 39,000|
|Limited 4×4||3.2-litre V6 Pentastar||9-speed auto||$ 44,000|
|Trailhawk 4×4||3.2-litre V6 Pentastar||9-speed auto||$ 47,500|