Jeep's latest Cherokee is something of a revolution for the iconic American four-wheel-drive manufacturer.

Story By Bruce McMahon

This striking vehicle sits on an Alfa Romeo platform and carries an innovative nine-speed transmission plus a clever axle-disconnect system, which cuts drive to the back wheels when it isn’t needed. Then there’s the style, a radical departure from the square-jawed approach of some previous Jeep Cherokees.
The Australian offerings begin with the two-wheel-drive Sport, with 2.4-litre petrol engine. That’s followed by the single range, all-wheel-drive Longitude and Limited versions with 3.2-litre petrol V6. The four-wheel-drive hero is the Cherokee Trailhawk with V6, two-speed transfer case with low-range, better ground clearance and a host of rock-clambering, mud-busting technologies. The only diesel is a two-litre, 125kW engine option for the Limited; that version also runs a two-speed transfer case. All share the same body style, polarising in some quarters but best appreciated in the metal. Also shared is a host of features, including that clever automatic.
In product research, people either loved or hated the Cherokee’s lines. That, says proud designer Greg Howell, means it’s a strong and lasting form, which will sit well through to 2020.

This Story is from Issue #97

Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2014