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I$ORDS Rtr l)ill.on PIIOTOGRAPHS Don lNtkrlin


he Jeep name has always been synonymous with the tough ready-to-go-anywhere-and-bringanything-back practicality born of military need. Even the name !eep'stems from military slang for'untested vehicle', though many believe the Just Enough Essential Parts'acronym earned during the Korean War for its Spartan design is a more

available only in the top-spec Limited is the best choice, as it combines economy with towing power. The 2.8-litre engine really punches above its

weight in terms of performance, surging the Cherokee forward like a sumo wrestler
launching into an opponent. A crushing 460Nm of torque is available from 2000rpm, which is more than enough to propel the near two-tonne Jeep with great vigour. This torque is also handy to help the Jeep tow levelled loads of up to 2270k9, or 1600k9 without a load-levelling device. Fuel consumption is good, with a claimed

accurate tag.

With the new Cherokee, Jeep seeks to combine luxury car-like cruising attributes with the proven off-road ability for which the marque is known. The four-cylinder diesel

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average for highway cruis ng of 7.Bl/100km and 9.4 ove'a l, although du'ng oJ'test we achieved an average of 10.1 /100km. The interror of the diesel Cherokee is a nice place to be, wrth full leather seats and an optional MyGIG stereo system that features a 20GB hard drlve, USB connectivity and DVD player for providing comfort and entertainment on long journeys. However, space is hard to find in the passenger and drlver footwells, and

handy when shopping or carrying long loads. A butro^ on Lhe <ey'ob activares it. Rlde comfort is not bad on smooth roads, which is probably down to the unitary chassis and coil springs
aiL round, though there is some skittishness over potholes. Four-wheeL drive is selectable on the move with both high and low ranges avai able on the five-speed auto, though our test route only saw the Cherokee travel on wet gravel roads. The Cherokee has parking sensors but no reversing camera, which is odd given the seven-rnch screen in the dash. lt's easy enough to park, but some assistance would be a welcome add tion, especially when

the steering wheel doesn't adjust to reach. aTso found the handbrake, located on the wrong side of the centre console, inconvenient to use. The Cherokee's redeemlng feature is the two-way fabric roof opt on for the Limited that can open either forwards or backwards aLlowing alL passengers, f ront, rear or bolh to enjoy open-top motoring. Cargo space is 419 litres wlth the rear seats up and '1404 litres when folded. The rear seats fold to create a f lat f loor, and cargo hooks are provided to secure loads. The automatic taiigate window can be opened rndependently of the tai gate, and is
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hitching a caravan. Whlle the Cherokee isn't perfect, it makes up for the shortcomings of a cramped interior with optional extras like the retracting roof and excellent sound system, which do help to make the package more appealing, as does

r^e sroot'l, torqJey d esel eng ne. The Cherokee def initely has rts nrche, and would make a good tow car for those looking for a capable 4WD loaded with extras. O

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MODEL/MAKE
JEEP CHEROKEE

LIMITED DIESET 2.8 RRP: $56,990 AS TESTED