New Jeep® Cherokee and Cherokee Renegade Now on Sale in South Africa
Zwartkops, Pretoria – Less than a month after being shown to an eager public at Auto Africa 2004, the new Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Cherokee Renegade are in DaimlerChrysler dealer showrooms and available for sale. The first shipload of new Cherokees docked in East London from Toledo North Assembly Plant in Ohio, USA.
Since the introduction of the all-new Jeep® Cherokee mid-sized SUV in 2002, its excellent balance of on-road refinement and off-road ruggedness and capabilities have continued to push the range to become one of the brand’s best-sellers around the globe. That trend is set to continue with an expanded model line-up that proved its Africa-proof reputation on the Jeep Adventure Africa 2004 – the month-long international media launch of the new Cherokee held in Zambia and Botswana in late September.
Maintaining Jeep’s determined drive to deliver vehicles that surpass customers’ expectations, the strong Jeep Cherokee and Cherokee Renegade range introduces a new variable geometry turbo 2.8-litre common-rail diesel engine mated to a new six-speed manual transmission or highly responsive five-speed automatic transmission. The new Cherokee line-up also boasts a host of exterior, interior and technical improvements to stand it even further apart from the competition.
“True to its Jeep heritage, the Jeep Cherokee continues to give customers a sense of personal capability and freedom by offering the best four-wheel-drive line-up in the segment,” explains Trent Barcroft, Divisional Manager: Chrysler and Jeep at DaimlerChrysler South Africa. “Jeep Cherokee is uniquely positioned to deliver both the on-road refinement required by the mid-sized SUV market and the off-road capability for which the legendary Jeep brand is known.”
New 2.8 CRD Engine Leads Powertrain Range
Powerful engines with plentiful “low-end” torque and wide power bands are Jeep brand hallmarks, and both Jeep Cherokee and Cherokee Renegade come with a choice of power units that exemplify this philosophy. Three engines are available to buyers of the new Cherokee and Cherokee Renegade models.
Leading the range is the new 2.8-litre common-rail diesel (CRD) engine. With its variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and rapid throttle response, this engine enables the Jeep Cherokee to claim best-in-class torque of 400 Nm at 1,800 rpm, towing capacity of up to 3,500 kg and driving range of 725 kilometres.
Although a 2.8-litre diesel engine has been available in international markets for some time, the all-new 2.8 VGT CRD power unit replaces the current engine. This four-cylinder in-line, 16-valve turbocharged power unit delivers nine per cent more power and 11 per cent more torque as compared to the previous 2.8-litre engine, while bringing many noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) improvements. Maximum power is 120 kW at 3,800 rpm.
“Our new diesel engine provides the torque of a V-8, the performance of a V-6 and the fuel economy of a four cylinder,” continues Barcroft. “We always say Jeep is the go-anywhere, do-anything brand, and these features give our owners even more capability to do just that.”
The new 2.8 VGT CRD engine is mated as standard to a new NSG370 six-speed manual gearbox. Made in Germany, with hard-finished gears for improved gear-change quality and better NVH, this unit has a lower first gear for quicker take-off from standstill and brisker initial acceleration and a higher top (sixth) gear for reduced revs, lower noise and better fuel economy when cruising at speed.
Optional for this engine is the 545RFE five-speed automatic transmission. This unit offers fully automatic selection of gears. It is shared with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and improvements include quieter operation when shifting between Park and Drive and the fitting of a turbine damper to enhance NVH performance.
Two Petrol Engines Complete the Range
The choice of a newly improved 3.7-litre V-6 petrol power unit or a four-cylinder 2.4-litre petrol unit complete the three-engine range for Jeep Cherokee.
The 3.7-litre PowerTech™ V-6 features numerous improvements that enhance fuel economy, improve NHV and reduce operating noise, especially at idle. Maximum power for this engine is 150 kW at 5,200 rpm, while 307 Nm of torque is generated at 3,700 rpm. The compression ratio is also raised to 9.6:1.
The standard transmission for the 3.7L engine is the 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission. This unit now has automatic variable line pressure adjustment to enhance fuel economy.
The 2.4-litre I-4 petrol engine produces a maximum of 108 kW at 5,200 rpm and torque of 215 Nm at 4,000 rpm. The standard transmission for Jeep Cherokee models powered by the 2.4L petrol engine is the new NSG370 six-speed manual gearbox.
A choice of the 3.7L V-6 or the 2.8 VGT CRD units is offered to Jeep Cherokee Limited and Renegade customers, while buyers of the Cherokee Sport are offered a third unit as standard – the 2.4L four-cylinder petrol – with the 3.7L V-6 and 2.8 VGT CRD as options.
The combination of engines with enhanced fuel economy, together with a five per cent larger (77.6-litre) fuel tank, gives increased range for all Jeep Cherokee models.
Fresh New Exterior Styling for All Models
The newest Jeep Cherokee is given a freshened exterior design with new front fascia, grille, fog lamps, fender flares, bodyside mouldings and new standard roof-rack rails and wheels.
Styled to highlight its on- and off-road suitability, the Jeep Cherokee Sport comes with a painted bodycolour front grille and a front bumper with “twin-tube” appearance for a customised accessory look.
The Cherokee Limited has a more upmarket treatment with chrome grille, body-colour painted fascias and wheel arches and five-spoke alloy wheels. Both the bodyside moulding and the roof-rack rails are chrome finished.
The restyled and repackaged Jeep Cherokee Renegade becomes the image leader for Cherokee and features a more rugged, classic Jeep appearance. The new Cherokee Renegade will now offer a distinct exterior when compared to the Sport and Limited models and will appeal to a slightly different buyer with its more rugged design.
Jeep Cherokee Renegade will feature a new flatter bonnet and taller grille, plus off-road fog lamps, taillamp guards, “bolted-on” wheel arches and large six-spoke alloy wheels. Renegade also features standard tow hooks, three skid plates (under the transfer case, fuel tank and front suspension) and an optional overhead light bar.
Visual enhancements that further distinguish the Renegade include roof-rack rails, functional side rock rails and skid plate appliqué below the front bumper, all painted a bright silver.
All Jeep Cherokee models have a wider, more stable appearance thanks to completely re-designed front grille, front fascia and corner fenders that follow the sweeping line of the wheel arches and mount the park/turn lamps in a higher location for better protection. This also results in a broader look, which retains its famous Jeep seven-slot grille, and now has room to accommodate a fog lamp below each headlamp.
In addition, all models have new, more protruding side sills and a crisper bodyside moulding. Two new pearl-coat exterior colours, Dark Khaki and Deep Beryl Green, are available on all models.
Interior Upgrades Complement the Exterior
All Jeep Cherokee models feature interior changes to enhance their comfort, practicality and appearance. They have a choice of lighter interior colours that accentuate their spacious cabins, new front seats for improved comfort, new rear seats which fold flatter and easier-to-use controls with improved ergonomics.
Jeep Cherokee and Cherokee Renegade have lighter coloured trim to highlight interior space, while the centre stack bezel and gear selector bezel are finished in Silver Mini Carbon (Renegade) and Satin Silver (Limited and Sport). Two new interior colours, Medium Slate and Khaki, are available on all models, while Renegade and Limited can also be ordered in Khaki/Light Graystone leather or Slate Gray/Light Slate Gray leather.
On-road refinement is assisted by new seats that are improved through the use of dual-density foam. In addition to being more comfortable and providing improved lumbar support, the seats have a more contemporary look with new contours, sew styles and fabrics, including a “diamond-plate inspired” seat fabric. The same type of foam is used for seats in the new Chrysler 300C models.
Front seats have cushions that are 5 mm longer and seat inserts that are 10 mm wider to accommodate larger occupants. The backrest is wider at shoulder height to ensure occupants do not feel “squeezed.”
Alterations to the profile of both the rear cushion and backrest have reduced the rear seat-fold angle, providing a flatter load floor for increased utility and improved cargo storage. The backrest and cushion split one-third/two-thirds and when folded. When all seats are in use, an optional cargo organiser can be fitted in four different positions to accommodate and locate a wide variety of loads.
For the first time, Jeep Cherokee offers a navigation radio available as factory-installed or through Mopar® as an aftermarket accessory. This RB3 navigation radio system contains a navigation computer with 12.4 cm diagonal full-colour display, tuner and CD player all in one unit. Features include turn-by-turn route guidance navigation with voice instruction, seven different user languages, automatic re-route calculation and memory to store 50 custom user destinations.
New instrument cluster graphics – white letters on a gray background – provide greater visibility at twilight and dusk and give a more refined look. Chromed bezels distinguish the Renegade and Limited models from the Sport.
Mounted on the centre stack, new heating/ventilation/air conditioning controls retain three rotary dials, but have separate AC and heated rear window select buttons.
On both manual and automatic transmission models, the power window switches have been relocated forward to a near-horizontal placement just behind the gear selector – greatly improving ergonomics and ease of operation.
Suspension, Drivetrain and Steering
The well-proven suspension, drivetrain and steering of the Jeep Cherokee is carried over for the new vehicle. Based on systems used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the suspension has a generous 20 cm travel to ensure hallmark Jeep off-road performance.
The four-link front suspension has double wishbones (A-arms) with coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar. The three-link rear suspension of the live axle is by an upper A-arm and dual lower trailing arms, also with coils springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar. The Jeep Cherokee offers two four-wheel-drive systems, proven over millions of kilometres by Jeep engineers and by thousands of customers all around the world.
Command-Trac® is a part-time 4x4 system that allows drivers to engage four-wheel drive whenever necessary to obtain extra traction on wet or snow-covered roads and backcountry roads with sand, gravel or mud surfaces. Normal driving is conducted in two-wheel drive in high range, with power going to the rear wheels.
Selec-Trac® is a full-time 4x4 system that drivers can either “select-and-forget” and benefit from fourwheel drive on any road surface, in all weather conditions all year ‘round… or remain in two-wheel drive, with power going to the rear wheels.
Both systems have a transfer case that offers a choice of high range or low range gears. Selecting low range sends the engine’s power through another set of gears that multiplies torque – for optimum performance crawling over rocks or towing a boat out of the water – while also giving the driver maximum control in severe conditions.
Both the Command-Trac and Selec-Trac systems also have a “shift-on-the-fly” feature that allows drivers to shift from two-wheel drive (high) to four-wheel drive (high) while the vehicle is moving.
The Trac-Lok™ limited-slip rear differential senses when a rear wheel starts to spin and automatically distributes available torque to the other rear wheel, providing the best possible traction.
Powered rack-and-pinion steering, geared for 3.6 turns of the steering wheel lock to lock, provides the ideal balance between on-road precision and off-road freedom from kick-back over rough surfaces.
Brakes, Wheels and Tyres
All Jeep Cherokee models come with a high-performance braking system with large diameter 288 mm ventilated front disc and 284 mm solid rear disc brakes, backed up with an antilock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD).
For Jeep Cherokee Sport models, the standard wheels are 16-inch diameter “Full Face” five-spoke steel, and optional wheels are 16-inch “Mechanica” painted alloys. New 16-inch “Icon” painted fivespoke alloys are standard on Renegade models. Standard on Limited models are 16-inch “Mechanica” five-spoke machine-face alloy wheels, while new, larger 17-inch diameter wheels will be optional for Limited models, available at a later stage.
NVH and Refinement
To keep ahead of customer expectations, the new Jeep Cherokee and Cherokee Renegade incorporate a host of measures to reduce NVH and enhance refinement across all aspects of the vehicle’s operation.
To ensure that models powered by the new 2.8 VGT CRD engine match the very best-in-class for refinement, a total of 41 measures were undertaken in three noise areas – source, structure and acoustics. As well as structural items, such as improved isolation engine/transmission mounts and a stiffer cross-member supporting the drivetrain, a total of 25 acoustic components absorb and subdue noise. These include an acoustic engine cover, belly pan, bonnet liner and transmission tunnel liner outside the cabin and new noise-absorbing carpets inside the cabin.
The 3.7L V-6 engine features a new “thick” wall composite intake manifold, an acoustic foam pad in the valley of the engine block’s V, two fully isolated composite cylinder head covers, plus camshaft profile and valve-train modifications for quieter operation and a smoother idle. The new six-speed manual transmission has better meshing, quieter running gears.
A higher level of safety features was introduced for the Jeep Cherokee in 2004, and this comprehensive passive safety package is carried over to the new models. Multi-stage driver and front passenger air bags are standard, with side curtain air bags optional or standard – depending on model.
Front seat belts have constant-force retractors, with a pre-tensioner on the driver’s belt. The BeltAlert™ reminds occupants to buckle up, and the Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS) shuts off gasoline immediately after an accident and automatically unlocks doors and illuminates interior lights five seconds after deployment of any air bags. The Jeep Cherokee has a four-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests.
|Jeep Cherokee 2.4L Sport||6-speed Manual||R255,900|
|Jeep Cherokee 3.7L Sport||5-speed Automatic||R284,900|
|Jeep Cherokee 2.8L CRD Sport||6-speed Manual||R304,900|
|Jeep Cherokee 2.8L CRD Sport||5-speed Automatic||R315,900|
|Jeep Cherokee 3.7L Limited||5-speed Automatic||R324,900|
|Jeep Cherokee 2.8L CRD Limited||6-speed Manual||R339,900|
|Jeep Cherokee 2.8L CRD Limited||5-speed Automatic||R352,900|
|Jeep Cherokee 3.7L Renegade|| 5-speed Automatic||R334,900|
|Jeep Cherokee 2.8L CRD Renegade||5-speed Automatic||R362,900|