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Jeep's trail-rated Cherokee can't match the Wrangler off-road but it comes close

7 Nov 2014

AS PART of Jeep's commitment to a sense of adventure and its trail-hungry heritage, the North American SUV manufacturer offers one trail-rated option of every model in its range.

That means for every two-wheel drive, soft-roading school bus variant, there is a corresponding four-wheel drive version with genuine off-road ability, says Jeep.

The newest addition to the seven slot-grille stable is the unusually styled Cherokee and, as promised, it is offered as a trail-rated Trailhawk version with all-paw traction, a gutsy V6 and a flotilla of off-road gadgetry.

Jeep says “100 per cent of our vehicles go off road, but some of our customers only do it in their minds”, so does the trail-rated Cherokee really have what it takes on the rough stuff, or is it all just big tyres and spray-on mud?

We pitched the new Cherokee Trailhawk against the undisputed off-road champion of the Jeep line-up – the Wrangler – in a rock-hopping, river-crossing trek to 1400 meters in to the Victorian Highlands to see if it deserves its trail-rated seal of approval.

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Model release date: 1 June 2014

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