Auto-Biographies – New Jeep Cherokee 2.2 Diesel

Jeep is celebrating its most fruitful year in Britain ever. It is a vital market for the company because we Brits buy more Cherokees than anywhere else in Europe or Africa.

The American auto maker aims to echo this success in 2016. But how is it going to do it? Well, one way is to give the admired Cherokee line-up more ‘oomph’.

So, that’s why the good-looking Jeep is now obtainable with 185hp and 200hp outputs. It offers an appreciably wider spread of pulling power from low revs, giving greater bang for your buck. But it isn’t just about enriched performance, the 2.2 Cherokee oil-burner now offers better fuel economy than the departing two-litre 170hp automatic lump.

Available only with Jeep’s smooth changing nine-speed automatic gearbox, and paired to the company’s Active-Drive four-wheel-drive systems, the all new Cherokee 2.2 versions are inundated with equipment.

The range now has more spec as standard, including an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, an automatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror with built-in microphone and an electric tailgate. Perhaps more significantly, though, all Cherokees score highly with safety – achieving the maximum 5-stars in Euro NCAP’s tough tests.

But back to the new engine under the bonnet. It is assembled for our market in the Pratola Serra plant, near Avellino, Italy. Armed with the 4×4 Jeep Active Drive I system, the Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet II 200hp reaches a maximum speed of 127mph. It accelerates from zero to 62mph in 8.5 seconds, has a typical combined fuel consumption figure of 49.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 150g/km.

The Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet II 200hp with Active Drive II and low-range has a top speed of 126mph, 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds, and a combined fuel consumption of 46.3mpg, with 160g/km of CO2 emissions.

Finally, Longitude and Longitude+ trim levels are provided with a 2.2 MultiJet II 185hp variant, in combination with 4×4 Jeep Active Drive I and the nine-speed automatic transmission.

Prepared in this way, the Cherokee reaches a maximum speed of 125mph and gets from zero to 62mph in 8.8 seconds. Combined fuel economy and emissions are 49.5mpg and 150g/km.

Behind the wheel of the quickest diesel – the 2.2 MultiJet II 200hp Limited 4WD automatic with Active Drive I – I found everything rapid enough. Certainly, the more commanding motor is a real step-up from the unit it supersedes. You no longer have to work the engine like a dog to make spirited progress. It is even quite soothing when you’re not pushing the pace.

Undeniably, one of the Cherokee’s fortes is its ride. For a mid-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV) with off-road know-how, the Cherokee handles adeptly. The only time you notice the Jeep get a little unsettled is if you throw it in to a bend. Then there is perceptible body roll.

The new 2.2 MultiJet II engine certainly places the Jeep Cherokee towards the crest of the mid-size SUV class for pace, poise and proper efficiency. It is no BMW X3 but it brings the fight to the likes of Honda’s CR-V – and is sure to put the fabled motor manufacturer on track for even more success in the United Kingdom next year.

The Jeep Cherokee range starts at £26,095 for the 2.0 MultiJet II 140hp Longitude FWD manual, rising to £37,995 for the 2.2 MultiJet II 200hp Limited 4WD automatic.

 Equipment √
 Comfort √
 Automatic transmission √
 Efficient √
 Some body roll X

 Max speed: 127 mph
 0-62 mph: 8.5 secs
 Combined mpg: 49.6
 Engine layout: 2.2 turbocharged diesel
 Max. power (bhp): 197
 Max. torque (lb.ft): 324
 CO2: 150 g/km
 Price: £36,795