The Cherokees are on the march – and it should be welcome news for Jeep fans.
A defining moment in the history of the Cherokee native Americans was in 1838 when gold was discovered in the Appalachian mountains and the tribes were rounded up and forcibly sent on what became the Trail of Tears.
It was a painful trek of 1,000 miles to Indian Territory, which is today part of the state of Oklahoma, and thousands died along the trail.
The latest march has a more pleasant outcome and sees the arrival of a new 2.2-litre MultiJet diesel engine joining the Jeep Cherokee off-roader range, with the promise of better fuel economy and greater pulling power.
The higher power variant is available on Limited specification models while the 185bhp is fitted on Cherokee Longitude and Longitude+ variants.
Available only with Jeep’s nine-speed auto gearbox, and matched to the Active-Drive four-wheel-drive systems, new Cherokee 2.2 versions boast an extensive kit list.
Even from entry grade the line-up now has extra kit as standard like an electric tailgate, windscreen wipers with rain sensor, dusk sensor, eight-position electrically adjustable seat and automatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror with built-in microphone.
Active Drive I offers Jeep’s original rear-axle disconnect system which improves fuel economy, while Active Drive II adds a two-speed power transfer unit for ‘low range’ capability and hill-descent control. Both versions carry a towing capacity of 2.5 tonnes.
Performance sees the 2.2 MultiJet II 200bhp capable of a 127mph top speed, with acceleration from 0-62 in 8.5 seconds and an average combined fuel consumption figure of 49.6mpg. CO2 emissions are 150g/km.
With Active Drive II and low range the top speed is 126mph, 0-62mph time 8.7 seconds and combined fuel consumption at 46.3 mpg. CO2 emissions are 160g/km.
Prices start at £26,095 for the 2.0 MultiJet II 140bhp Longitude FWD manual model rising to £37,995 for the 2.2 MultiJet II 200bhp Limited 4WD automatic.