Car reviews - Jeep - Cherokee - Limited 5-dr wagon
The Jeep Cherokee has a reputation for toughness as well as off-road ability
11 Jun 2002
By BRUCE NEWTON
WHEN Jeep says the new Cherokee is "all-new", it's not kidding. The company spent a massive $1.7 billion developing this vehicle and so keen was it to separate it from the old XJ Cherokee that it renamed the new car the Liberty in the US home market. Obviously, in Australia, Subaru would have had something to say about that, so Cherokee it stays. There are strong links from old to new, with Jeep's tradition of tough, dependable off-road ability well and truly continued. But also in this case Jeep is trying to convince us it can build a decent on-road off-roader as well - an area in which the previous Cherokee failed dismally to impress. Here we're testing the most bitumen-oriented of the Cherokee family, the top-of-the-line Limited, complete with 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine mated exclusively to a four-speed automatic transmission. Also offered are two Sport models, one a petrol/auto combination like the Limited, the other a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel mated exclusively to a five-speed manual transmission.
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Jeep CherokeeReleased: April 1996
Ended: August 2001
Family Tree: Cherokee
JEEP'S classic off-roader made it to Australia in 1994, a mere 11 years after it went on sale in the USA. Small by medium four-wheel drive standards, the 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder petrol version boasted excellent straightline performance and good off-road capability. But on-road behaviour was very average, and the space, flexibility and ergonomics of the interior poor. Initially a strong seller here, the Cherokee was very much a spent force by the time the new model arrived.
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