Jeep Cherokee 2.0 JTDm-2 170 bhp 4×4 Limited Auto
The Cherokee are a Native American tribe indigenous to the Southeastern United States, principally Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The name Jeep is synonymous with off road driving, particularly in WW2, with Jeep vehicles taking US troops across Europe. The Jeep brand is the original 4X4 & it’s reputation has been built on it’s ‘toughness’ to go anywhere, anytime. However, other car manufacturers launched their own 4X4’s & most of these now sell their off-road capability to urbanite soft-road drivers who expect their 4X4 to be comfortable, well equipped & manuovereable in the city. When FIAT bought the Chrysler-Jeep brand, they were aware that they had to update the JEEP range so that it could compete in a fast changing market place with the likes of Land Rover, whilst still keeping the brands heritage. This is easier said than done.
Fiat relaunched the Jeep Cherokee in 2014 keeping the Jeep tradition whilst adding a sensible Fiat diesel engine. It was this first version that CCV got to drive recently in the form of the Cherokee 2.0 JTDm-2 170 bhp 4×4 Limited Auto. In the flesh the Cherokee is very much a Jeep with the Jeep front grille & headlights making it stand out from the crowd.
Inside, the Cherokee is a big improvement over Jeeps of old, with a dashboard mounted TFT screen used for the touchscreen and trip computer the highlight of a bright & functional interior. Most functions are controlled via the touchscreen menus although the infotainment & climate controls are mixed up on the centre console. What it is though is different as Jeep tries to at the very least match the competition which is fierce in this sector. Because of this soft-road focus the Cherokee has moved well away from it’s roots & now offers drivers a comfortable ride with very light steering. It’s when you put your foot down that the the hefty 1900kg kerbweight, feels it as the 170 bhp engine struggles to get the Cherokee off the mark. Around town the sheer weight of the Cherokee could make for difficult driving, however the light steering & auto box make city driving much easier than anticipated. Praise must go to the nine-speed automatic gearbox though as well as to the nice & easy cruise control which enabled me to drive on the motorway fuss free.
The Cherokee is designed as a family car & therefore space & practicality need to be good. It’s off to a good start with a 591-litre boot. Sllide the back seats forward to create 714 litres. You also get a removable metal bracket on one side of the boot which features a set of handy bag hooks. Fold the seats flat & hey presto there’s 1,267 litres of space & you can fold the front passenger seat as well to fit extra-long items in There’s also an underfloor stowage bin offering 77 litres of hidden storage for valuables or delicate goods.
Headroom is fine back & front although rear legroom could be better. Rear passengers do get their own air vents & a 12V socket. Driver & front passenger have an armrest cubby, deep door bins with an iPod slot on the centre console, plus the glovebox.
Longitude Plus as well as my test car the Limited both have an 8.4-inch display, which is really good, with a clear & easy to use display. The Limited comes very well equipped & I guess at £36,000 it should. Standard on the Limited are a wireless charging pad,
Stop/Start system, electronic park brake, cruise control ,tyre pressure monitoring display, power tailgate, 12V auxiliary power outlet (front), 9 Alpine amplified speakers with subwoofer, instrument cluster with 7” TFT colour display, Uconnect media centre with 8.4” touch screen display, navigation system, digital audio broadcast (DAB), integrated voice command with Bluetooth,steering wheel mounted audio control, driver Seat 8 Way Power Adjustable and Driver Seat 4 Way Power Lumbar Adjustable, front passenger fold flat seat, heated front seats, Leather trimmed bucket seats, rear view autodimming mirror with microphone & ambient led interior lighting (door handles, map pocket, centre console).
On the outside the Limited features brake stability control, hill start assist, traction control, electronic roll mitigation, off road suspension, select-Terrain® system, Jeep Active Drive 1, rain sensitive windscreen wipers, keyless Enter n’ Go, Park Assist Group – rear back-up camera, park sense front/rear assist with Stop & power multifunction fold away mirrors, emergency accident response system (EARS), high intensity discharge headlamps (HID bi-xenon) with headlamp washer, LED daytime running lamps & fog and cornering lights, power locking fuel filling door with a dual chrome exhaust tip
For a large SUV fuel economy & emissions aren’t too bad with a combined consumption of 48.7 mpg- I averaged around 35 mpg, CO2 emissions of 154g/km, with 62 mph reached in 1o.3 seconds & a top speed of 119 mph.
Importantly, my family like the Cherokee, praising it for it’s comfort, looks & equipment levels. It’s certainly appealing to more urban customers with a neighbour of mine & his brother both leasing Cherokees this Summer, with both having young families & a cycling obsession.
Just four weeks after my test drive, changes to the popular Cherokee range were announced with details of a powerful new engine, offering an augmented range with better fuel economy, greater torque and improved standard content.
The current two-litre diesel 140 hp manual versions have been joined by a modern 2.2-litre MultiJet engine, available with 185 hp and 200 hp outputs, and offering a significantly wider spread of torque from low rpm, greater power, improved performance and better fuel economy than the out-going two-litre 170 hp automatic engine. The new 2.2 engine is already Euro 6 compliant.
Available only with Jeep’s segment-first nine-speed automatic gearbox & matched to the Active-Drive four-wheel-drive systems, all new Cherokee 2.2 versions are packed with equipment. The Cherokee range, from entry level, now has additional specification as standard including electric tailgate, windscreen wipers with rain sensor, dusk sensor, eight-position electrically adjustable seat, four-position lumbar adjustment and automatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror with built-in microphone. The specification on all trim levels gives Cherokee a highly attractive equipment-to-price offering within the mid-size SUV class.
The new 2.2 MultiJet II engine, which places Jeep Cherokee towards the top of its class for performance, refinement & true efficiency, can now be ordered in the UK. Two power variants are available: 200 hp and 185 hp, both with 440 Nm of peak torque. The 200 hp variant is available on Limited specification while the 185hp is fitted on Cherokee Longitude and Longitude+ variants only.
The new 2.2 is matched to Jeep’s Active Drive I system, but can be specified with Active Drive II on the Limited 200 hp model. Active Drive I offers Jeep’s original rear-axle disconnect system which improves fuel economy, while Active Drive II adds a two-speed power transfer unit, for 2:92:1 ‘low range’ capability and hill-descent control. Both versions carry an impressive towing capacity of 2.5 tonnes.
The Cherokee range has extremely strong technological credentials with the award winning UConnect system, a class leading touchscreen and Sat Nav unit and market-first wireless charging pad, all standard on Limited.
Cherokee also has a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating and is among the safest Mid-Size SUVs. The Limited 2.2 200 hp versions also offer the option of the ‘Technology Group’ pack. This ‘peace of mind’ oriented pack includes Advanced Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning Plus, Smartbeam automatic main beam dipping function, Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus, Adaptive Cruise Control, as well as Start&Stop, mirror with Blind-Spot Monitoring function, and a rear parallel parking assist system.
Made in the Pratola Serra plant, near Avellino, Italy, the new 2.2 MultiJet II engine delivers 200 hp (147 kW) at 3500 rpm and has a torque of 440 Nm at 2500 rpm making it one of the best performing four-cylinder turbodiesels in class.
Equipped with the innovative automatic nine-speed transmission and 4×4 Jeep Active Drive I, the Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet II 200 hp reaches a top speed of 127 mph. It accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds, has an average combined fuel consumption figure of 49.6 mpg and CO2 emissions of 150 g/km.
The Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet II 200 hp with Active Drive II and low-range has a top speed of 126 mph, 0-62 mph time of 8.7 seconds, and combined fuel consumption of 46.3 mpg, with 160 g/km of CO2 emissions.
Finally, Longitude and Longitude+ trim levels are provided with a 2.2 MultiJet II 185hp (136kW) variant, in combination with 4×4 Jeep Active Drive I and the nine-speed automatic transmission. Equipped in this way, the Cherokee reaches a top speed of 125 mph and accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 8.8 seconds. Combined fuel economy and emissions are 49.5 mpg and 150 g/km.
What this actually means is that the New Cherokee just got even better as Fiat strives to improve the Jeep’s engine to meet upcoming Euro emission changes & to compete with the numerous other cars in this sector.
Overall, I liked the Cherokee. What I didn’t enjoy was it;s lack of oomph & this should be better with the new more powerful lower emission diesel unit. As my family liked the Cherokee a lot It is a car that I could easily drive daily & because of this coupled with the new engine rating I am going to award the Cherokee 3/5 . A vast improvement over what went before.