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Cleaned up Jeep Cherokee debuts with four-pot turbo

16.01.2018

Spied towards the end of last year, Fiat-Chrysler owned Jeep has pulled back the covers off the facelifted KL Cherokee at the North American International Auto Show.

Extensively panned for its polarising looks following its debut in New York four years ago, the updates include a more conventionally styled front facia derived from the Compass, consisting of one-piece streamed headlights, vertical design for the seven-slot grille, a wider lower air intake and LED lights as standard across the range.

At the rear, the Cherokee gets Compass styled LED tail lamps, new bumper with black cladding and a updated tailgate now housing the number plate as opposed to the bumper positioned cavity. The off-road focused Trailhawk meanwhile will feature a hike in ground clearance, different front and rear facia's and unique alloy wheel designs wrapped in off-road tyres.

Inside, the changes are less dramatic with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard on both the seven and 8.4-inch UConncect infotainment system, while a redesigned gear lever, extra USB port for rear passengers and new air vents being the biggest differences.

The biggest alteration is however reserved for underneath the skin where extensive use of lightweight materials has cut weight by some 90 kg, even with the full-on off-road hardware specified.

While the highly criticised nine-speed automatic gearbox has been retained on all models, the Cherokee can now be had with the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the Wrangler, which boasts a 48-volt electrical system for a mild hybrid setup, resulting in a output of 200 kW and 400 Nm of torque.

Carried over from the pre-facelift model, the normally aspirated 2.4-litre Tigershark punches out 129 kW and 229 Nm of torque, while the 3.2-litre V6 retains its flagship status despite the introduction of the turbo with rated outputs of 201 kW and 315 Nm. A diesel engine connected to a six-speed manual gearbox will likely be offered in some European markets as well.

Available in five trim levels Stateside; Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland and Trailhawk, pricing for the Cherokee will reportedly start at around $25 000 (R306 515) with production set to commence at FCA's Belvidere Plant in Illinois during the second quarter of the year.

Although confirmed for the local market, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles South Africa is yet to reveal an exact date and final model details.

Article written by Autodealer
16.01.2018
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