Jeep’s heritage in building 4x4s stretches back over 60 years, and it shows if you ever get the chance to try the Cherokee off-road. Driven on Tarmac, though, it’s far from perfect. The engine groans and clatters and the ride feels unsettled.
Hitch up a van and the ride improves a bit, but the engine struggles to haul close to four tonnes of car and caravan with any urgency, moaning its way from 30-60mph in 18 seconds.
The Cherokee was one of the worst cars in any class in the emergency lane-change test, lurching from side to side and struggling to keep control of the van. Even when driving in a straight line, frequent steering corrections were necessary. The brake pedal felt wooden, and the Jeep took 2.2 metres longer than the Audi Allroad to stop from 30mph.
To be fair, the Jeep took the hill start in its stride. The handbrake needed a firm pull, but it tackled the slope easily in two- and four-wheel drive.
The Cherokee comes with a long list of standard equipment, and 31.4mpg isn’t too bad for a big, automatic 4×4. But don’t expect to get back over 36% of the original price after three years.