An updated version of the Jeep Cherokee SUV has been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, USA.
The new version of the brand’s mid-sized model, competing against rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport, is expected on UK sale before the end of 2018.
It will launch at a time when Jeep is struggling to hold onto sales in Britain. Registrations of new Jeep models totalled just 6,380 in 2017, less than half the 14,090 total of a year earlier.
Changes to the Cherokee include a new front-end design with the grille, LED headlamps and bonnet reshaped closer to the look of other recent Jeep models. The interior also undergoes a redesign with new Satin Chrome and Piano Black gloss detailing.
Technology upgrades include Jeep’s latest Uconnect infotainment systems, based around seven- or eight-inch touchscreens with pinch-and-zoom capability. They control communication, entertainment and navigation and include smartphone compatibility through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Detroit car is displayed with what Jeep describes as “one of the most technologically advanced engines in the automotive industry.” The new unit is a 2.0-litre direct injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with Start&Stop and Jeep says it will sit alongside 3.2-litre V6 and 2.4-litre 4-cylinder units, with all available with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Details of what powertrains will be available in the UK are yet to be announced though they are expected to be improved. Current Cherokees are offered with 2.0 and 2.2-litre diesel engines and the 3.2-litre petrol.
Not only is the Cherokee a ‘proper’ 4×4 off-roader, it offers three different all-wheel-drive transmissions, dubbed Jeep Active Drive I, Jeep Active Drive II and Jeep Active Drive Lock. All are said to have been improved, while retaining rear-axle disconnect technology to improve fuel efficiency when 4×4 capability isn’t needed.