2012 Jeep Cherokee arrives with new diesel engine

October 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new 2012 Jeep Cherokee goes on sale in New Zealand this month with a new diesel engine option and a range of upgrades.

The 2012 Jeep Cherokee is available in NZ in a single specification level – the high grade Limited. It goes on sale with a choice of diesel or petrol engine variants.

As well as the familiar 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine which produces 151 kW @ 5,200 rpm and 314 Nm of torque @ 4,000 rpm, the Cherokee now offers the new 2.8 DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder Common-Rail Diesel (CRD) engine which produces 147kW at 3600 rpm and 460 Nm of torque at 1600 rpm.

The new diesel engine offers improved performance and economy with 13% more power over the previous model yet uses 12% less fuel. Jeep’s quoted combined fuel consumption figures for the Cherokee diesel are 7.9 L/100km and 206g/km CO2.

Jeep continues to push its 4×4 heritage in the Cherokee by offering the Jeep Trail Rated four-wheel-drive system –Selec-Trac II.

Selec-Trac II is a shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system. Select-Trac II operates in 2WD, 4WD Auto, 4WD Low and Neutral. To back it up the Cherokee features independent front suspension with rack-and pinion steering and a five-link rear suspension set-up. Continue reading “2012 Jeep Cherokee arrives with new diesel engine” »

Jeep Cherokee Sport 2010 Review

April 16th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Building a Jeep can’t be an easy task. Mixing 67 years of brand DNA with all the modern practicalities and technologies demanded by SUV buyers is no simple feat. But Jeep has built a reputation on being rugged and uncompromising in both the vehicles it produces and its attitude towards gaining success in a segment that was once a niche but is now brutally competitive. To combat the competition Jeep has a solid range of off-road inspired vehicles to cater for a variety of needs. Sitting in the NZ line-up between the top dog Grand Cherokee and the pureblood Wrangler is the Cherokee Sport. This mid-size model is currently in its second generation and with a recent facelift is set to continue its assault on the NZ market. Car and SUV got some seat time in the revised Cherokee to see if it’s well positioned to invade the consciousness of Kiwi car buyers.

Little has changed in terms of looks for the updated Cherokee, much of the chrome work has now given way to colour-coded paint cutting down the visual bling. Our test vehicle looked smartly uniformed with door handles, roof rails, mirrors and even the iconic 7-slot grille finished in black. Wide wheel arches, a high waist and distinctive angular lines give the Cherokee a bulky presence while continuing Jeep family styling traits. A chunky front bumper and indicator lights built into the guards create a squared jaw look while at the rear it’s more about function with vertical jeweled lights and a split tail gate. Standard wheels are 5-spoke alloys which are good looking rims but at 16-inches don’t really fill out the arches. Overall, the Cherokee has a boxy charm that’s distinctly Jeep and appears well screwed together.

Continue reading “Jeep Cherokee Sport 2010 Review” »

Jeep takes the cake in UK SUV test

August 28th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

jeep-cherokee-wrangler

Jeep has won the top prize in three categories of the UK’s biggest on and off-road test of 4×4 vehicles.

4×4 Magazine reviewed 67 vehicles for their annual ‘4×4 of the Year’ test and awarded marks in 10 key buying areas: on-road, off-road, comfort, safety, economy, loading, interior, styling, towing and value-for-money.

John Carroll, Editor of 4×4 Magazine, said: “This test aims to put the latest vehicles through a rigorous test and measure them in real world on- and off-road situations. In a market swamped with new 4x4s, Jeep has retained its mastery in three key segments — Budget, Mid-size and Extreme — with the Patriot, Cherokee and Wrangler.

Jeep Patriot: winner of Budget 4×4 of the Year

The judges said: “The Patriot is a huge step for Jeep — after all, the US brand built its reputation for ‘proper 4x4s’, with low range gearing and classic styling. However, in today’s green and cost-conscious climate, the Patriot opens up the Jeep legend to a wider audience. This is primarily thanks to a VW-sourced 2.0-litre turbodiesel that stretches fuel economy to over 6.8L/100km, considerably higher than anything a production Jeep could muster in the past; likewise, CO2 is well below average.”

Jeep Cherokee: winner of the Mid-size 4×4 category

“The all-new Cherokee takes Jeep to a new level. Few will quarrel with the new-look interior, which feels both roomier and is decked-out with smarter materials and comfier seats. Gone is the clumsy stable-door tailgate, replaced with a top-opening one-piece item. The rear screen still pops open separately while the boot space is more practical for loading too.

“An improved 2.8-litre turbo diesel provides torque aplenty with smooth six-manual and auto shifters, plus a revised suspension set-up that offers a better on-road drive. Best of all, though, is the Selec Trac II adaptive 4WD system with low range and hill descent control, cementing Jeep’s off-road advantage in this sector.”

Jeep Wrangler: winner of Extreme 4×4 group

“The descendant of the original 4×4 comes out on top as an extreme plaything and lifestyle vehicle. It rivals the Defender for showroom-spec off-road ability and the low-down torque of its 2.8-litre diesel means it comes pretty close to the Land Rover on rough terrain; the Americans will be wondering why they didn’t have a diesel rock-crawling Wrangler sooner. The interior is comfortable and roomy for the driver and front passenger, compared with the Defender’s, and the Wrangler is faster and smoother on-road than the Land Rover. It’s more nimble off-road than the Patrol and doesn’t have that laboured on-Tarmac feel that seems to plague the big Nissan.

“The Jeep is well appointed, with airbags (which the Defender doesn’t offer) and optional sat-nav, automatic gearbox and a soft-top. Price is a plus. It’s a deserving winner.”

Jeep Cherokee 2.8 CRD 2008 Review

August 21st, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

jeep-cherokee-2-8-crd-fq-close

The Jeep name has always been synonymous with tough ‘ready to go anywhere and bring anything back’ practicality which was borne of a military need.

Even the name Jeep (in part) stems from military slang for ‘untested vehicle’ though many believe the Just Enough Essential Parts acronym which it earnt during the Korean war for its spartan design is a more accurate tag.

With the new Cherokee, Jeep seeks to combine luxury car-like cruising attributes with the proven off-road ability that the marque is famous for.

The diesel engine gave us a Johnny Depp-style surprise by being both American and refined. Not very much clatter usually associated with diesels here at all, just a smooth sounding four-pot that growls when pushed hard like a crabby co-worker, pre-morning coffee.

The distance you have to push the accelerator pedal down to get any meaningful thrust is long (think ‘Mariana Trench’), the torque on offer really propels the Jeep forward like a kick up the bum from ‘Texas Ranger’ Norris himself.

The 2.8 litre engine really punches above its weight in terms of performance, surging the Cherokee forward on a crushing tide of 460Nm of torque which is available from 2000rpm. This torque helps the Jeep achieve a towing capacity of up to 2270kg.

Chrysler quotes official fuel consumption as 12.2L/100km for the urban cycle, and 9.4L/100km for the combined cycle. During our time with it we registered 10.1L/100km (combined) over 250km.

The interior of the Cherokee while not as enjoyable as the Playboy Mansion is a nice place to be with options like full leather seats and MyGIG stereo system that features a 20 gigabyte hard drive, USB connectivity and DVD player providing comfort and entertainment on long journeys.

There are some problems with the interior however, namely the lack of space in the passenger and driver footwells – caused by a wide transmission tunnel – and the lack of adjustability with the steering wheel which doesn’t adjust for reach. The shortage of foot room makes the driving experience slightly uncomfortable, more so for tall people. The back seat itself is comfortable (if a little slippery on the twisty roads) but legroom could be a problem if there are tall people front and back.

Interior plastics and surfaces are a step up from the usual U.S ‘TV dinner tray’ fare, but you won’t get Euro-class fit and finish at this price point in almost any SUV

Being made for the North American market the handbrake is on the wrong side of the centre console. This goes for the layout of the shifter as well.

The big news with the Cherokee however is the optional two-way fabric roof that can open either forwards or backwards allowing all passengers, front, rear or both to enjoy open top motoring. It is a great feature, but more for those interested in star gazing than those who want to be seen.

Cargo space in the Cherokee is 419L with the rear seats up and 1404L when folded down.  The rear seats fold to create a flat floor and feature several cargo hooks in the floor and the back of the seats which is quite useful for tying down loose loads.

The automatic tailgate window can be opened independently of the tailgate which is handy for putting the shopping in or for long loads and is activated by a button on the key fob, or a separate button to the right of the numberplate light.

Ride comfort is good on smooth roads, which is probably down to the unitary chassis and coil springs all-round, though there is some skittishness over potholes which is as unexpected as finding out Mr T’s favourite colour is pink -. Not what you really expect from a tough American icon.

Four wheel-drive is selectable on the move with both high and low ranges available on the five-speed auto, though our test route only saw the Cherokee traverse wet gravel roads which it had no problems with. Hill descent and hill holding features are standard.

A colleague did have the opportunity to sample the Cherokee off-road recently and said it was a spankingly good 4WD.

The Cherokee has parking sensors but no reversing camera which is odd given the 6.5-inch screen in the dash and the fact that many 4WDs feature reversing cameras these days.

All the normal luxury stuff that you get for $56,990 is there including air-conditioning, cruise control and electrically adjustable heated seats.

Like Chuck Norris’ acting the Cherokee isn’t perfect, but it makes up for its short-comings of a cramped interior with optional extras like the retracting roof and excellent sound system which do help to make the package more appealing as does the torquey and tough diesel engine.

Click through to the next page for full specs on the Jeep Cherokee.

Price: from $46,990. Price as tested $56,990 (Limited option) excluding extras.

What we like

  • Huge torque
  • Awesome stereo

What we don’t like

  • Cramped footwell
  • Interior engineered for the U.S market

POWERTRAIN
3.7L V6 3700
2.8L CRD I-4 2768

Horsepower (kW@rpm)
3.7L V6 151 @ 5200
2.8L CRD I-4 130 @ 3800

Torque (Nm @ rpm)
3.7L V6 314 @ 4000
2.8L CRD I-4 460 @ 2000 (Automatic)

3.7L V6 Sequential multipoint electronic fuel injection
2.8L CRD I-4 Direct-injection, common rail (1600 bar)

2.8L I-4 CRD
Transmission 5-speed automatic with overdrive, electronic govenor, electronically controlled converter clutch Std.

3.7L V6
4-speed automatic with overdrive and lockup torque converter;
electronically controlled Std.

FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE SYSTEM (transfer case)
Selec-Trac® II MP3022 Active full-time; 2-speed with 2WD and 4WD auto high range, low range (2.72:1) and neutral, variable with 35/65 front/rear default torque split, electronically controlled clutch pack coupling in centre differential and open front and rear differentials Std.

CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS(kg unless otherwise specified)
Fuel Tank (L)
3.7L V6 73.8
2.8L CRD I-4 70.0

Base Curb Weight (kg)3.7L V6 1935
2.8L CRD I-4 1985

Max Cargo Weight (kg) 590

Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (kg)
3.7L V6 2540
2.8L CRD I-4 2520

Towing Capacity (without/with load-levelling device)1600kg/2270kg
Tongue Load Limit (without/with load-levelling device) 160kg/227kg

BODY/SUSPENSION/CHASSIS
Body Design
UniFrame construction: All-steel body sheet metal and frame structural members welded and bonded into a single unit Std.

BODY/SUSPENSION/CHASSIS
Front Suspension: Independent short/long arm (SLAnm) with cast-iron lower and forged steel upper A-shaped control arms, coil springs, stabiliser bar; low-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers; 1247 kg gross axle weight rating
Rear: Five-link solid axle with tubular track bar, upper and lower trailing control arms, coil springs, stabiliser bar, low-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers; 1451 kg gross axle weight rating

Steering Power-assisted, rack-and-pinion
Overall Ratio 17.4:1
Turns (lock-to-lock) 3.4
Turning Diameter (m) curb-to-curb 10.8

Brake System
Power-assisted; ventilated disc brakes; 302 mm rotor diameter Front Power-assisted; solid disc brakes; 316 mm rotor diameter Rear Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Four-channel, four-wheel antilock with active wheel-speed, vehicle-speed, steering-wheel angle, yaw-rate, and lateral-acceleration sensors, vehicle stability management with two-stage activation switch, all-speed traction control, Brake Lock Differentials, Brake Assist, Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), Hill Start Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) Std. Hill Descent Control Std.

INTERIOR DIMENSIONS(mm unless otherwise specified)
Head Room, front/rear 1024/1027
Leg Room, front/rear 1036/982
Shoulder Room, front/rear 1449/1436
Hip Room, front/rear 1338/1229
Cargo Volume (L), rear seat up/folded 419/1404
Seating Capacity, front/rear 2/3 Adults

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (mm unless otherwise specified)
Length Wheelbase 2694
Overall Length 4493
Overhang, front/rear 744/1055
Width Body Width 1839
Track, front/rear 1549/1549
Height with/without roof rack side rails 1797/1736
Ground Clearance, (at base curb weight) front/rear 189/196
Water Fording (at 8km/h) 483
Approach Angle(2)/Departure Angle 38.2º/30º
Breakover Angle 21.7º

Words Ben Dillon, photos Darren Cottingham

New Jeep Cherokee coming to New Zealand soon

August 4th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

jeep-cherokee-fq

Jeep has launched an all new Cherokee which will be available in New Zealand soon.

A new suspension and steering system help make the Cherokee more refined on the road, while on the inside, the Cherokee moves more upmarket with a leather interior, heated front memory seats, climate control, electric windows and cruise control all as standard.

A segment exclusive feature is the optional Sky Sliderâ„¢ full-open canvas roof.  Two and a half times the size of a regular sunroof, this powered roof can be operated while driving and gives all passengers a unique open-air driving experience.

Jeep hasn’t forgotten about the Cherokee’s legendary 4wd ability. The new Selec-Trac® II full-time four-wheel drive system is now standard across the range for the ultimate on and off-road driving experience.

Selec-Trac® II is a permanent, active on-demand system that helps anticipate and prevent wheel slip before it occurs, making it ideal for road driving and towing. Cherokee models with an automatic gearbox will also feature the new Hill Descent Control system which offers even more downhill control in low-traction conditions.

The Jeep Cherokee will be available in New Zealand quite soon we here at Car and SUV will be bringing you a full review later this month.