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Jeep shows the Cherokee some tough love

Jeep footage allays fears that the new Cherokee won’t hold its own off-road

Jeep logo20 Mar 2013

RECKON Chrysler’s all-new Jeep Cherokee has gone soft? The US car-maker thinks you’re wrong, and has stumped up the video it claims will prove it.

The car-maker’s video, released overnight, shows the controversially styled Jeep wading through rivers, ascending dizzying inclines and hopping over rocks with an aplomb more usually associated with modified vehicles.

The footage of the Jeep crawling over tough terrain should satisfy off-road enthusiasts worried that all-new underpinnings meant the new version was not as capable as previous models on tricky surfaces.

US-based Jeep chief executive Mike Manley has previously defended any suggestion that new Jeep models may be built more for the road than the trail.

“The Jeep brand in terms of its equity around the world is too precious for us to weaken it with a product that is not a Jeep,” Mr Manley told GoAuto last year.

“There has to be one version that is trail-rated, absolutely,” he said.

“If we can’t make it a Jeep, we won’t make it – that is the rule.”

Jeep’s own “Trail Rated” certification system is based on a vehicle’s traction, ground clearance, manoeuvrability, wheel articulation and water-fording abilities.

If the video is anything to go by the performance of the new Cherokee is in accordance with Manley’s vision.

The new Cherokee is due for its world debut at the New York motor show on March 27.

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