Italian automaker Fiat have garnished the Cherokee brand with more pizzaz, as the award winning warrior faces-off against aristocratic rival, the Range Rover Evoque and aerian stalwart, the BWW X3.

An amphibious looking frontal end, a unique design language that isn’t in anyway similar to other SUV’s of its class. The Trailhawk’s hawk-eye running daylights dominate the Cherokee’s rather combative exterior – bookended by the decisive relation of body to wheel proportion and the aerodynamic rake of the Daylight Openings, (the windows). The boot lid silhouettes the cargo area of the car, with the ever convenience of the remote activated automatic tailgate – that when opened provides a relative view of the interior seating arrangement.

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Firm leather upholstery offers plush comfort, indulged by heated front seats – with the passenger chair doubling as an in-seat storage bin – practical innovation that at the same time creates and saves space. The leather dashboard and contour stitching offers a more grounded, durable ambient feel, with an overtone of luxury indeed. The spectacular TFT display touch screen,(with ergonomic dial-switches) is graphic with an eye catching intrigue, of how easy accessing the uConnect infotainment system is – booting audio-music entertainment, Bluetooth and even your coffee making machine. The Trailhawk is well equipped with a SAT-Nav option, but without a reverse-camera as a standard option, is a bit of a turn-off for some. These functions are also controlled via the steering wheel buttons and visually monitored at the helm of the speedo-binnacle. This is a lifestyle vehicle, with the 60/40 splits providing enough body and legroom to avoid you visiting the Chiro after a long open road trip.

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The suspension, ride quality is so compliant, that even in an off-road setting – throwing grenades at the Cherokee wouldn’t mutter a moment’s complaint from fellow passengers. Steering is light and with a gentle hand the driver can etch the sharpest corner of any dirt road. The five mode selec-Terrain settings optimizes the four-wheel drive drivetrain, a trademark of Jeeps Active Drive I 4×4 system – and in the middle of it all, is a pedantic nine-speed automatic gearbox. Dovetailed to a 200kw, 3.2L V6 engine, notching this cruisers belt at 315nm of torque and 4300rpm’s later the Trailhawk reaches a top speed of 180km/h but that’s if you haven’t run out of petrol by then – because, sorry to say it, the Cherokee has a very expensive habit and on its most sober days manages a fuel economy of 15L/100km.

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The new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4, SUV is sweltering in the SUV 4×4 segment, appealing to a distinct Jeep enthusiast, its price of R654990 might raise an eyebrow or two, but the Fiat owned brand have thrown in more spec on the standard options.
So… Sit back and enjoy the drive.

Dean Joseph