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Future models - Jeep - Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee set to get turbo-petrol power

Rough and ready: Jeep is expected to offer a more frugal and torquey diesel engine in its new-look Cherokee that should make it more appealing for those wanting to go bush.

Turbocharged petrol, diesel engines in the pipeline for Jeep’s facelifted Cherokee

Jeep logo31 Aug 2018

JEEP Australia’s fresh Cherokee mid-size SUV is launching in October with a pair of carryover atmo petrol engines, but a new turbo-petrol engine, as well as an oil-burner, is expected to be made available down the track.
 
A newly-developed 2.0-litre Hurricane turbo-petrol in-line four cylinder launched with the new Cherokee in international markets earlier this year, developing 201kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
 
In comparison to the carryover 3.2-litre Pentastar V6, which powers all Cherokee variants bar the entry-level Sport, the new engine produces the same power output, but lifts the maximum torque figure by 85Nm.
 
Fuel economy is also improved in inner-city driving with the turbocharged engine, which returns 10.2 and 10.7 litres per 100km in urban environments for 4x2 and 4x4 versions respectively, and 7.6L/100km in highway settings.
 
The most frugal Australian-spec V6 Cherokee variants average 13.8 and 7.5L/100km for urban and highway driving respectively.
 
As for a diesel powertrain, the outgoing Cherokee was offered with a 125kW/350Nm 2.0-litre oil-burning unit from 2014, but was discontinued just a year later, while some international markets also have access to a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine that produces 136-140kW/440Nm, but it remains unclear which engine could make its way into local vehicles.
 
Speaking to GoAuto at the local launch of the new Cherokee, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia head of Jeep brand Guillaume Drelon confirmed the brand is currently working on bringing new powertrains to the local market.
 
“We will not have them right now, it doesn’t mean we do not have plans to bring them in someday,” he said.
 
When asked if they would arrive in Australia under the bonnet of the current fifth-generation Cherokee – which has been on sale locally since mid-2014 – Mr Drelon said: “That is a fairly high chance.”
 
When the new powertrains land, they will likely be offered in higher-spec all-wheel-drive variants of the Cherokee that is currently offered in four flavours – the $35,950 before on-roads Sport, the $41,950 Longitude, the $46,950 Limited and the flagship $48,450 Trailhawk.
 
For reference, the former diesel variant introduced in 2014 was priced at $49,000 in Limited trim.
 
Mr Drelon explained the decision was made to keep the new powertrains out of the local market in an effort to reduce model-range complexity and to build the struggling Cherokee nameplate.
 
“The question is very simple, as you were rightfully saying, the Cherokee was less visible in the market for the last few months, and I believe that we need to start with one step and not get too complex with multiple variants and things that could confuse the customer,” he said.
 
“We see opportunities because the diesel share in the D-segment (mid-size SUV) is not that big – it’s in the low 20 per cent.
 
“Obviously we know that the powertrain is ready to go, so as soon as we see an opportunity to bring it to market, we will do.”
 
Jeep has only amassed 324 sales of its Cherokee mid-size SUV in the first seven months of the year, a drastic 59 per cent drop over the same period in 2017.
 
The lead up to a model changeover has likely contributed to the shrinking sales, but the Cherokee is still far off the pace of the sub-$60,000 mid-size SUV segment-leading Mazda CX-5 (16,080), Toyota RAV4 (13,623), Nissan X-Trail (12,127) and Hyundai Tucson (11,770).
 
Year to date, the Jeep Cherokee is also trailing the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 (845 and 342 sales respectively), Suzuki Grand Vitara (566) and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (616) that compete in the same segment.

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