Review Jeep Cherokee Limited Diesel
The diesel engine and all-wheel drive mean this Cherokee can go the long way and the tough road.
Practicality is an important part of the vocabulary for SUV sales. The yard – and more and more Australians buying it – are tall wagons that are more versatile than their sedans. They also provide more space, better visibility and off-road capabilities.
The reality is that most SUV owners won’t need more ground clearance than hop on the curb. Their aerial view of the world is also likely to be obscured by another SUV in the side lane.
As for off-road capabilities, all-wheel drive fitted to midsize SUVs takes them on the trail or down to the beach and that’s more than enough for most owners. Indeed, many people don’t need an AWD, which is why most models come with a two-wheel drive variant.
The reduced weight helps to reduce fuel consumption without compromising on space and visibility. Some asked for more, that was when the Jeep Cherokee entered the war. It is the only candidate in the class with a low-range option, meaning it has the ability to jump boulders and logs like a curb.
Off-road players seriously demand the diesel for its extended range, and the Cherokee now caters to that subset with a limited edition that can theoretically go 1,000 kilometers. It also offers braking traction of up to 2393kg, which is incomparable in the midsize SUV segment and means it will happily carry a large boat or a small caravan.
The diesel is $ 5,000 more expensive than the V6 petrol, but the price includes the upgraded Active Drive II all-wheel drive. That adds a low-shift gearbox but doesn’t include the other rear-locking found on the top-end Cherokee Trailhawk petrol variant.
That also meant that the Limited diesel engine didn’t win the Jeep “Trail Rank” title, which was awarded to the most capable off-road racers in the American company’s lineup. In fact, the Limited diesel’s traction and ground clearance of 185 mm will take it where few owners dare go.
Standard fares on the Limited include an 8.4-inch touchscreen with satnav and reversing camera, nine-speaker audio, leather seats, heated front seats, headlights and automatic wipers. The impressive interior is superior to Mazda’s CX-5 in terms of refinement and functionality.
On the road, Cherokee rides with the best of them. That doesn’t mean miracle as it also handles the off-road toughness without jostling the occupants from their seats. The ride is solid but the dampers initially suppress smaller bumps, then quickly tighten as the springs begin to compress.
The steering is direct and solid, but the feedback is not top. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as it faces kicks and jolts when negotiating trails and puts it on par with many less capable SUVs.
The nine-speed automatic can actually only hit seven speeds – the eighth and ninth can sometimes be achieved but only with full load and then only by moving over the 110km / h limit already to post. Putting that to Jeep needed to develop powertrains for global markets, countries with 120-130km / h as the standard.
Fuel use of 5.8L / 100km is declared not unattainable though – CarsGuide managed 7.0L, even without paying attention to the pedal.