Jeep Cherokee 2015 3.2L FWD Limited review

Jeep-Cherokee-thumbJeep Cherokee 3.2L FWD Limited 

Finally Jeep builds a Cherokee again that deserves to be called Cherokee. Thank you motoring gods.

Jeep has been very clever. They make three different types of Cherokee. A real 4×4 called a Trailhawk. An excellent SUV that has All Wheel Drive (AWD) and a cross hatch/ station wagon which has front wheel drive. They all have the same bodies and share engines and so on. The differences come in the suspension, ride height and gears.

Jeep-Cherokee_067

We tested the FWD car. The model that will suit most city dwellers.

Jeep-Cherokee-Limited_seatStyle and clever design is what this iteration of Cherokee is all about. I know you don’t automatically  link design and Jeep. From now on you need to.

From the passenger seat base which lifts up to reveal a handbag sized ‘secret’ stash cavity to a CD player, USB port and power supply in the between seats armrest this car is practical and cleverly laid out. The front seats have heating.

A covered top bin is located above the radio on top of the soft touch instrument panel. Its big enough for glasses or a phone. The materials, fit and finishes are all premium quality.

Jeep-Cherokee-Limited_cd-binIn the boot this car has what Jeep calls the vehicle cargo management system which has handy hooks, a rail to hook onto and a removable grocery bag holder as well as some thoughtful add-on storage solutions including a First Aid Kit. The 60/40 split second-row seats slide forward and back for added comfort and cargo flexibility.

I like the exterior although some do not like the ‘shark’ nose. I think it seems both poised and elegant. The 18 inch polished aluminium rims on the Longitude model suit the car to a T.

 

Jeep-Cherokee-Limited-080

This new Cherokee is a great drive. The 3.2-litre Pentastar V6 normally aspirated petrol engine in the model we tested is frisky and quite frugal. You can feel the power. It’s fun to drive. I got 9.5 litre/100km which included a daily commute. Highway driving should give you around 8 litre/ 100km.

Prices are as follows:

Jeep-Cherokee_boot2.4L Longitude                   R500 990.00
3.2L FWD Limited            R536 990.00 (Tested)
3.2L AWD Limited            R592 990.00
3.2L Trailhawk                    R654 990.00

Options for all models include:
Wireless Charging Pad (Limited, Trailhawk only)         R 1 400.00
Black Hood Decal (Trailhawk only)                                  R 1 400.00
Metallic Paint                                                                         R 4 000.00
Park Assist Group (Longitude & Limited)                       R 4 500.00
Electronics Convenience Group                                         R 8 300.00
Comfort/Convenience Group (Excl Limited)                 R 16 000.00
Full Sunroof                                                                           R 17 500.00
Leather Interior, front heated, electr. driver seat (Longitude & Trailhawk only)  R 18 000.00
Luxury Group (Trailhawk only)                                          R 20 300.00
Technology Group                                                                  R 32 500.0

Jeep claims Cherokee raises the bar with superior on-road ride, handling and fuel economy, best-in-class 4×4 capability and class-exclusive technology. I think they may just be right.

If you are looking for a medium sized crossover also look at the  Mitsubishi ASX, Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai ix35

If a SUV is more to you liking check out the Kia Sorento, Subaru Forrester, VW Tiguan, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota Rav4.

Real off-road capable 4×4’s include the Suzuki Grand Vitara, Two door Mitsubishi Pajero, Freelander Sport.

Warranty 3 years or 100 000km.

Maintenance plan 36 months or 100 000 km. (Optional)

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon review

Jeep-Wrangler-thumb

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 3.6L V6 

The Wrangler is an off-road machine. I use the Helderberg Farm 4×4 trail to test 4×4 vehicles. Well, the Wrangler just wasn’t tested. It is so capable it just waltzed over the course. It is almost foolproof off-roading at its best. But loads of fun.

The Jeep Wrangler really can go anywhere, even to the ends of the earth. The wrangler we tested is the short wheelbase two door Rubicon model. The best outdoor toy a woman or man can buy, I think.

Interior Wrangler_topless

The Jeep is designed as a practical, working go-anywhere 4×4 rock hopping, trail conquering machine. Visibility is excellent.

Controls are chunky, sturdy and easy to use. It is as mud proof as a comfortable.

The interior is an excellent place for man and machine to become one. At the same time a mom with her kids will find it just dandy to go to the mall or on the morning school run.

The modern Jeeps all have the normal safety equipment including airbags and a good sound system, air-conditioner and so on.

For interior cleaning and water drainage, remove the floor drain plugs located just below the foot spaces.

Wrangler-142Bundu Basher

You can dismantle the black plastic type roof (without tools) either partially or completely remove it to make an open Jeep like you see in the old WWII movies. Just much bigger and better than the original. The Command-Trac 4WD system is unbeatable. Rubicon has a 73.3:1 crawl ratio, allowing for a controlled 0.8km/h cruise up or down the rocks.

The Wrangler is available with a V6 “Pentastar” petrol engine or a turbodiesel with your choice of automatic or manual gearbox. I would go for the automatic diesel.

Wrangler-187

With the flip of a switch, Wrangler automatically disengages its electronic front sway bar when driving under 29km/h in 4WD 4LO mode for tremendous off-road articulation which I did not need on our 4×4 test trail. It is good to know you have it though.

Front and rear Tru-Lok® electronic locking differentials lock power and distribute it evenly between the wheels for more traction. The instrument panel-mounted rocker switch can lock either the rear or both axles.

A six-speed manual transmission comes standard on Sport and Rubicon. The Wrangler Electronic Throttle Control system’s special off-road calibration is designed to help the driver “feather in” the throttle over uneven terrain, logs and rocks.

Wrangler’s hill descent control with grade sensing allows a smooth and controlled hill descent on rough or slippery terrain without the driver needing to touch the brake pedal. This system applies the brakes to each wheel individually when needed to reduce forward motion while negotiating down steep grades. Hill start assist helps when starting from a stop on a hill by maintaining the level of brake pressure applied for a short period after the driver’s foot is removed from the brake pedal.

Wrangler’s Tyre Pressure Monitoring System regularly checks inflation levels for optimal safety, security, performance and fuel economy. If the levels are off, a warning light will illuminate on the instrument panel.

The Wrangler deals with highways as easily as it does jeep tracks. Power steering and superb all round visibility makes parking a breeze.

Safety

Electronic Roll Mitigation uses innovative motion sensors that determine when a rollover may occur and applies braking force to the correct wheel or wheels to reduce the likelihood of such an accident. Other accident avoidance features include: all-speed traction control with special calibrations for driving in 4WD 4LO; antilock brake system with a unique rough road detection system; brake assist system, which applies maximum braking power during panic braking; and multiple available four-wheel drive systems.

Conclusion

The Rubicon3.6L V6 M6 (209kw and 347Nm) as tested is R416 910. The diesel Sahara 2.8L CRD A5 (147 kW and 460Nm) is R440 910.

The Long wheel base 4 door versions are about R22 000 more and may be the more practical options if you have a family.

Warranty against defects and faulty workmanship for 3 years or 100 000 km.

Wrangler-160