TESTED 7.9.18, Italy ON SALE 2019 PRICE £40,000-£45,000 (est)
New-look front end and tech updates set it up for a 2019 roll-out
The Jeep Cherokee has come a long way since the first-generation SJ model was launched way back in 1974. Gone is the boxy, all-American image of that original. Today, this facelifted fifth-generation version is a far less obnoxious and more subtle-looking thing.
For 2019, the Cherokee loses the squinty-eyed front end of the 2014 model and replaces it with a far more classically handsome, if a little forgettable, fascia. New active safety systems and updated infotainment software have also been introduced as part of the modifications.
Only one engine is available: a 2.2-litre Multijet II four-cylinder diesel, tested here in 192bhp guise. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that, in our pre-production test car, sent its power to all four wheels.
Disappointingly, there’s precious little about the manner in which the Cherokee drives that would give any of its rivals real cause for concern. The ride, for instance, is almost perpetually choppy and unsettled, with even the smallest imperfection in the road surface causing it to lose nearly all of its composure. Short-wave undulations cause its vertical body control to all but go out the window, while potholes and expansion joints send fairly forceful jolts through the cabin – even at lower speeds.
That engine is vocal under throttle, sounding harsh and unrefined, and an indicated 27mpg doesn’t inspire confidence so far as its efficiency is concerned. The gearbox is sluggish in its response to your inputs too. There is at least a decent amount of weight in the steering, but its slow gearing doesn’t give the Jeep a front end that feels particularly enthusiastic about the idea of turning in.
The cabin, meanwhile, lacks the material appeal to tempt you out of more mainstream rivals, and passenger space in the rear is incredibly tight.
It’ll likely cost £40,000-£45,000, as well, placing it in BMW X3 and Audi Q5 territory. Although the Jeep is well equipped, it doesn’t hold a candle to those two in terms of dynamic ability, refinement or badge appeal.
It does come with a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, though. But is that enough to make it a recommendable buy? Afraid not.
Price £40,000-£45,000 (est)
Engine 4 cyls, 2174cc, diesel
Power 192bhp at 3500rpm
Torque 332lb ft at 2000rpm
Gearbox 9-spd automatic
Kerb weight 2106kg
Top speed 126mph
Economy 42.8mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2, tax band 175g/km, 37%
Rivals Land Rover Discovery Sport, BMW X3, Audi Q5