New Jeep Cherokee 2018 evaluate
This fifth-generation mannequin has been handled to a mid-life facelift: there’s revised styling, mildly up to date suspension and an improved infotainment setup in a bid to maintain it recent in opposition to each mass-market crossovers just like the Ford Kuga and Volkswagen Tiguan, in addition to extra premium rivals just like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
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A few of the styling modifications will little question be welcome. The previous automotive’s pointy face had a whiff of Alec Baldwin in Beetlejuice about it, which didn’t sit nicely in any respect on a chunky SUV. Against this, the brand new automotive’s tweaked entrance bumper and squared-off headlights (now LED) look each extra standard and extra rugged, and it’s all the higher for it.
There was nothing significantly fallacious with the previous mannequin’s again finish, however the newest automotive strikes the quantity plate from the bumper to the boot lid, whereas the tail-lights boast revised graphics, too.
For a automotive of its measurement, it’s pretty roomy inside: rear leg and headroom are on par with the Kuga. Nevertheless, the Jeep’s boot is way bigger: whole quantity grows to 570 litres, which is greater than you get within the BMW.
However whereas it may possibly compete strongly with premium rivals for practicality, it falls nicely brief on inside design. Regardless of modifications to the gear shift encompass and inside supplies, the dashboard seems to be just like the one in a previous-generation Hyundai Tucson – with simply as many laborious, scratchy plastics on present. The newest Jeep Wrangler rocks a rugged, chunky sprint design to units it aside from mainstream rivals, however the Cherokee stays caught with a uninteresting, generic look. It’s essentially the most disappointing side of the automotive.
At the very least the brand new infotainment techniques are a optimistic introduction. Relying on spec, you get both a seven or 8.4-inch touchscreen, each of which characteristic Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s annoying that some local weather capabilities can solely be operated by way of the show, however loading occasions are fast and the menus are simple to entry because of an on-screen shortcut menu.
There’s 4 trim ranges on provide: Sport, Longitude, Restricted and Overland, whereas an off road-biased Trailhawk is due in 2019. All fashions get ahead collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear cross path detection and a rear view digicam. The Longitude mannequin presents just about all the things you’ll want, whereas the Overland provides fancy extras like delicate Nappa leather-based and an enormous panoramic glass roof.
Following the facelift, it seems to be like UK patrons can have just one engine to select from: a 2.2-litre diesel with 192bhp. Energy supply is easy, however it doesn’t really feel as fast because the hefty 450Nm torque determine suggests. Taking advantage of that oomph leads to a pronounced clatter beneath acceleration, too. It’s paired with a nine-speed automated gearbox carried over from the final Cherokee, however which advantages from revised software program. It shifts very easily more often than not, however nonetheless feels dim-witted in handbook mode or when kicking down.
It’s accessible with each front- and four-wheel drive. The latter is claimed to hit 46.3mpg, although based mostly on the automotive’s indicated studying throughout our take a look at, a determine nearer to 33mpg appears extra practical.
Whichever you select – and regardless of modifications to the suspension which Jeep claims improves each experience and dealing with – the Cherokee feels ponderous by way of the turns. A hefty, imprecise steering rack doesn’t do the automotive any favours, and the nose-heavy chassis is susceptible to understeer.
The experience is affordable total, however overly-soft dampers signifies that it wallows from bump to bump on extra undulating roads. It’s secure sufficient at motorway speeds, however an X3 is extra comfy nonetheless – and will run rings round it alongside a twisty highway. Extra worryingly, the identical might be stated of the less expensive Skoda Kodiaq, too.
And the worth is the ultimate sticking level. Whereas exact figures are but to be confirmed, it’ll take a drastic worth drop relative to the pre-facelift automotive to stop a top-spec Cherokee Overland from costing BMW cash. Towards a automotive that’s sooner, extra environment friendly, extra spacious, and way more fashionable inside, it’s very laborious to justify.