The popular Jeep Cherokee has had revisions to its exterior, interior and gained a new 400 N.m 2,8-litre common rail diesel engine.The popular Jeep Cherokee has had revisions to its exterior, interior and gained a new 400 N.m 2,8-litre common rail diesel engine.

From the outside, the new range can be differentiated by a new front fascia, grille, fog lamps, fender flares, bodyside mountings and new standard roof-rack rails and wheels.

The Cherokee Sport comes with body-colour grille and a front-bumper with a “twin-tube” appearance, the Limited gets chrome grille, body side-moulding and roof-rack rails, body-colour painted fascias and wheel arches with five-spoke alloy wheels.

The Renegade offers a distinct, more rugged exterior compared with Sport and Limited editions and will appeal to a slightly different buyer, Jeep says. The model has a flatter bonnet and taller grille, plus off-road fog lamps, taillamp guards, “bolted on” wheel arches, large six-spoke alloy wheels, tow hooks, three skid plates and optional overhead light bar.

The model can be differentiated from its less-butch siblings by roof-rack rails, functional side rock rails and skid plate appliqué below the front bumper in bright silver finish.

Inside, all Cherokee models offer a choice of lighter interior colours (Silver Mini Carbon, Satin Silver, Medium Slate, Khaki and Khaki/Light Graystone or Gray/Light Slate Gray leather) and new front with added lumbar support and one-third/two-third flatter folding rear seats.

A RB3 navigation radio system with a 12,4cm diagonal full-colour display, tuner and CD player is offered as an option, as is Uconnect wireless communication system with voice recognition technology. Mounted on the centre stack are new heating/ventilation/air conditioning controls with separate AC and heated read window select buttons. Power window buttons have been relocated to just behind the gear selector.

The engine lineup comprises the 108 kW 2,4-litre four-cylinder petrol, 150 kW 3,7-litre V6 petrol and new 2,8-litre common-rail diesel units. The latter is fitted with a variable geometry turbocharger mated with a six-speed manual gearbox or optional five-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder 16-valve unit produces 120 kW at 3 800 r/min and 400 N.m at 1 800 r/min (which is said to be nine per cent more power and 11 per cent more torque than the previous 2,8 with additional improvements to noise, vibration and harshness).

The range offers two four-wheel-drive systems… Command Trac allows drivers to engage 4x4 whenever necessary to obtain extra traction on wet, sandy, gravel or muddy surfaces. Selec-Trac is a full-time 4x4 system and also has a “shift-on-the-fly” function that allows drivers to shift from two-wheel drive (high) to four-wheel drive (high) while the vehicle is moving. The Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential senses when a rear wheel starts to spin and distributes available torque to the other rear wheel to provide optimum traction.

Lastly, models powered by the 2,8-litre diesel are said to have a total of 41 measures to maximise driving refinement. As well as structural items, such as improved isolation engine mounts and stiffer cross-member supporting the drivetrain, 25 acoustic components absorb and subdue noise – including acoustic engine cover, belly pan, bonnet and transmission tunnel liners outside the cabin and new noise-absorbing carpets inside the cabin.

The 3,7-litre engine features a new “thick” wall composite intake manifold, an acoustic foam pad in the valley of the engine block’s V, composite cylinder head covers, plus camshaft profile and valve-train modifications for quieter operation and a smoother idle. The new six-speed manual transmission has better meshing, quieter running gears.

Suspension, drivetrain, steering, brakes and safety features of the previous range have been retained on the new Cherokee.