Pukka Pikkie

Words by Jess Fogarty. Pictures by Jeep. Words by Jess Fogarty. Pictures by Jeep.

The Jeep Cherokee has seen several revolutionary designs during the course of its history, and its latest transformation is no exception. The newgeneration Cherokee (dubbed the KL model) re-invents the mid-sized SUV segment by offering a uniquely sleek and athletic design, along with a few industry firsts in its segment.

According to Jeep, the Cherokee is the first mid-sized SUV to feature rearaxle disconnect – an all-new system that reduces friction, energy loss and fuel consumption by uncoupling the rear axle when 4x4 capability isn’t required. The rear-axle-disconnect system is able to switch seamlessly between 2WD and 4WD without requiring input from the driver.

Along similar lines, the latest Cherokee now offers the choice of two innovative four-wheel-drive systems: Jeep Active Drive, and Jeep Active Drive Lock.

The more capable of the two, Active Drive Lock, consists of Jeep’s Selec- Terrain system and a rear diff-lock. The Selec-Terrain system allows drivers to adapt the vehicle’s traction control system to a wide range of terrain types; while the rear diff-lock is either driver selectable (in low-range), or automatically engaged when certain Selec-Terrain modes (such as Rock mode) are chosen.

The Cherokee’s engine offerings are restricted to two petrol burners: the allnew 3.2-litre Pentastar V6, and the 2.4-litre Tigershark straight four. Both power plants come mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission – another industry-first in the mid-size SUV segment.

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