It’s been a while since the current Jeep Cherokee was introduced, featuring those love-’em-or-hate-’em headlights. We were in the love them camp but it seems most of South Africa wasn’t. Hopefully the Cherokee does better for itself when it arrives locally featuring an all-new face. The overall shape remains but those slim headlights of old have been fattened up significantly. From the rear it looks more or less the same, with the tail lights receiving a slight LED overhaul. On the international front, the Cherokee is available with four engines and a choice of three all-wheel-drive systems. Every model features independent suspension front and rear.
The interior on the pre-facelift model was already a giant leap forward compared to Jeep interiors of old but with the facelift model, the manufacturer takes another step forward.
The quality of the materials has been enhanced while the centre console has been redesigned to create additional storage space. Boot space has also been increased by 70 litres, taking the total cargo space up to 570 litres.
The South African engine line-up will likely be carried over so we’re looking at a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol and a 3.6-litre petrol V6. The big question is the new 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel we first experienced in the all-new Wrangler last month. It’s a peach of an engine but since it won’t be offered here in the Wrangler, chances are the Cherokee won’t get it either.
The other thorn in the Cherokee’s side was its nine-speed automatic, but Jeep has spruced it up with new software that it claims will ensure aggressive launches, smooth power delivery and improved efficiency.
In terms of off-road ability, there are three options to choose from, though it’s unlikely the rear-wheel-drive option will be made available here. Jeep’s Active Drive 1 is a step up from that and it’s basically a traditional all-wheel-drive system that requires no driver input.
Active Drive 2 includes all of the features of Active Drive I but adds, thanks to a two-speed PTU, a selectable 4WD low gear range mode with 2.91:1 gear reduction that allows for enhanced climbing ability, as well as crawl ratios in severe off-road conditions. The facelifted Cherokee arrives here in November.