BUYERS GUIDE - SOFT-ROADERS
Jeep’s Cherokee model has returned to the Australian market. The 2015 KL was based on the Fiat/Chrysler wide-compact platform, with petrol and diesel engine choices.
The KL model, which followed the XJ, KJ and KK Cherokee models, came with a choice of 4WD systems with one- or two-speed power transfer units: Jeep Active Drive I, Jeep Active Drive II and Jeep Active Drive Lock. All featured rear-axle disconnect, which activated when 4WD capability was not required and improved fuel efficiency.
KL Cherokee came standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission, in which the top four ratios were all overdrive gears.
A 2WD Sport and 4WD Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk versions were available. All petrol 4WDs were powered by the Jeep 3.2-litre V6 Pentastar petrol engine, with 200kW and 316Nm of torque and a claimed 20-percent improvement in fuel economy over its predecessor.
Jeep’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine was available in one model only: the Limited. It delivered 125kW and 350Nm and was equipped with stop/start technology that helped keep fuel consumption to a claimed 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres.
Standard safety features included seven airbags (front seats multistage air bags, side bags, window bags, driver side knee air bag), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with ERM (roll-over mitigation) and ABS (anti-lock brake system) with both on-road and off-road calibration.
Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system was fitted to the Cherokee, with up to five modes to provide optimal traction for specific conditions: Auto, Snow, Sand/Mud, Sport and Rock.The Trailhawk and diesel Limited models came with low-range gearing and were listed with more detail and driving impressions in our Medium Wagons segment..
The Cherokee had a torsionally stiffer body structure, more than 65-percent of which was pressed in high-strength steel. It also had front and rear independent suspension systems, with frequency-sensitive damping shock absorbers that automatically adjusted to input from the road.
Speed-sensitive electronic power steering also automatically adjusted for limited effort during parking or increased steering effort on the open road.
All models came with a Uconnect multimedia touch screen to control the vehicle’s functions and systems: 12.7 centimetre (five-inch) on Sport and Longitude and 21.3 centimetre (8.4-inch) on other models.
A full-colour LED reconfigurable instrument cluster displayed fuel economy, driveline information and turn-by-turn navigation. Cherokee featured Jeep’s newly-designed corporate steering wheel, which included Electronic Vehicle Information Centre (EVIC) audio, voice and speed controls.
KL Cherokee’s optional safety systems included Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Crosspath Detection, Forward Collision Warning Plus, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning Plus, ParkSense Active Park Assist System and reversing camera dynamic grid lines.
Pricing for the 2WD model started at $33,500 and ran to $49,000 for the diesel Limited model.
The refreshed Jeep Cherokee arrived in May 2020, bringing with it the new Jeep Cherokee S-Limited that featured: body-colour front fascia, cladding, sill and fender flares; 19-inch Granite Crystal alloy wheels; Granite Crystal roof rails and exterior badging; dual panoramic sunroof; black A-pillars and headliner; premium leather-trimmed bucket seats with Tungsten accent stitching that also lines the door armrest and console lid.
The range topping Jeep Cherokee S-Limited added $3750 claimed value for $2700 and was priced from $52,650 MSRP.