The Jeep Avenger on test for Changing Lanes

Jeep Avenger Review

Read Caroline's Jeep Avenger review for everything you need to know about buying Jeep's new small SUV in Ireland.

Jeep is one of the world's most iconic car brands, famous for building tough off-road vehicles and the legendary Willys Jeep.

These days most Jeeps are more likely to find themselves on terra firma. But the lasting impression of Jeep's off-road expertise and iconic styling is what makes the brand stand out. You could say Jeep was building SUVs before the world knew what an SUV was.

Yet the years have not been so kind to Jeep. In the Irish market at least it's failed to capitalise on the appetite for SUVs that's seen sales of vehicles like the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson rocket.

Until now. Because with the Avenger, Jeep has a car that feels like one of its best yet.

Let's take a closer look.

The Jeep Avenger on test for Changing Lanes
The Jeep Avenger on test for Changing Lanes

What's so special about the Jeep Avenger?

Styled as a small SUV, the Avenger packages all the familiar Jeep design cues into something very good indeed. If you admire the rugged, chunky looks of the Jeep Compass and Renegade, but fancy something more modern and electric, then the Avenger is beckoning you down to your local Jeep showroom.

Priced from €35,995, the Avenger comes to market in Ireland powered by a 54kWh battery. It has an official range of up to about 400 kilometres on a single battery charge. Petrol versions are likely to arrive later.

That puts it squarely up against the likes of the Peugeot 2008 and Opel Mokka, which it shares quite a lot with, including the battery and underpinnings. But there's also a whole host of other small crossovers and SUVs to conquer like the Ford Puma, Hyundai Kona, Toyota Yaris Cross and the Volkswagen T-Cross.

But if you fall for the diminutive Jeep, that will be it and there's plenty to like about it. At the front, it gets Jeep's famous seven-slot grille, which somehow makes it look more authentic than any of its rivals. Clever features include slightly recessed headlights and plenty of plastic cladding to protect the paintwork from bumps and scrapes in the urban jungle.

The interior of the new Avenger
The interior of the new Avenger

16-inch alloy wheels come as standard on the entry level Longitude model (from €35,995). There's 17-inch on the mid-level Altitude (from €39,495) and 18-inch diamond cut on the top spec Summit (from €42,495).

Inside the Avenger

The cabin feels cool and contemporary, with a 10-inch touchscreen as standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as voice control that responds to 'Hey Jeep'. It is quite minimalist in its design but there are shortcut buttons under the touchscreen to adjust the fan speed and temperature, for example.

There is quite a lot of black hard plastic used in the doors and the dashboard, which is a little drab and uninspiring for a car that looks so cool from the outside. If you go for the mid-level Altitude model, there's a silver finished dashboard panel. Opt for the Summit model and this is painted the same colour as the car, which goes some way to brighten the atmosphere.

The Avenger has a lot of storage space up front for a small car including a large cubby where you might traditionally find a gear selector (this is done by a simple row of buttons instead).

The seats of the Altitude model are finished half fabric/half vinyl, but there is the option to upgrade to black leather.

The Avenger looks brilliant with all its classic Jeep design cues
The Avenger looks brilliant with all its classic Jeep design cues

Standard equipment includes automatic climate control, keyless start, cruise control, drive modes and a hill descent control. Altitude adds features such as wireless smartphone charging and a reversing camera. But for heated seats, you have to go for the Summit model!

Is it practical?

The Avenger is quite a small vehicle really. It measures just 4.08 metres in length and 1.78 metres wide. The back seat will be most comfortable for two people. Headroom is generous enough for even adults. But some rivals like the 2008 and the Kona offer more legroom and a greater feeling of space.

At 355 litres, the boot is on the smaller side among rivals though there's still space for a few bags or suitcases. Altitude and Summit models also come with a handy powered tailgate.

Driving the Jeep Avenger

The Avenger is designed and built in Europe. It marks the next phase of the electrification of the Jeep brand, which started with plug-in hybrid versions of the Compass and Renegade.

While petrol versions are likely to join the range later, the Avenger launches here with a 54kWh battery (51kWh usable) that gives up to about 400 kilometres of range depending on the model.

Boot space in the new Jeep Avenger
Boot space in the new Jeep Avenger

The battery is paired with a 156hp electric motor that sends power to the front wheels.

Being a Jeep, there are a few tools and tricks that give the Avenger a little more capability than your average crossover. For a start, it has about 200mm of ground clearance, which is more than rivals. As well as standard Normal, Sport and Eco driving modes, there's Mud, Snow and Sand settings for a little extra traction on low grip surfaces. There's even a hill descent control to make it easier to drive down steep inclines, should you need it.

The Avenger feels nifty and agile from behind the wheel, as you would expect from a small SUV. There's plenty of performance for town and city driving, as well as motorways. The Sport mode makes the Avenger a little sprightlier. But it's fine to drive in the Normal, or even Eco mode, to encourage gentler driving and get the most out of the battery range. A 'B' mode increases regenerative braking.

It's built on the Stellantis Group's new e-CMP2 modular electric platform that underpins some other well-known crossovers like the 2008 and Mokka. But for the Avenger, it's been tuned with 60% Jeep-specific parts. There's also a flat underbody to protect the battery and improve aerodynamic efficiency. The specially tuned suspension gets increased damping force to make it more comfortable on- and off-road.

DC fast charging is possible up to 100kW, while AC charging is possible up to 11kW.

The Avenger is a stylish and comfortable small SUV
The Avenger is a stylish and comfortable small SUV

Did you like it?

The Avenger really excels in the sophistication of the drive it offers. It's very comfortable and refined at speed, not feeling too stiff or firm over Irish road surfaces. There's lots of grip in cornering and the steering is nicely judged for this size of car.

There's a heat pump as standard for more efficient heating of the car, especially in winter. The Avenger proves to be very efficient, particularly in suburban driving. Over a week of driving I averaged an impressive 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometres.

Jeep has committed to be a 100% electric car brand in Europe by 2030. Expect to see many new models arriving here over the next few years.

The Avenger feels like the right car at the right time. It's one of the brand's most competitive new models in quite a while, stacking up well against rivals - despite being on the small side. But with those charming good looks, it's definitely one worth considering.

So iconic - the new Jeep Avenger
So iconic - the new Jeep Avenger

Model tested: Jeep Avenger Altitude
Price: 
€39,495
Battery:
54kWh (51kWh usable)
Range: 394 kilometres (WLTP)
Power: 156 hp
Torque: 260 Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year


The Jeep Compass on test for Changing Lanes

Jeep Compass Review

Read Caroline's Jeep Compass review for everything you need to know about Jeep's mid-size SUV in Ireland.

The Jeep Compass first arrived in Ireland in 2018 as a new mid-size SUV from the iconic Jeep brand. Though Jeep has some very strong roots as an American, four wheel drive specialist brand, the Compass was the brand's most European model to date when it went on sale. With high demand for family SUVs, today the Compass accounts for over 40% of the brand's sales in Europe, alongside models like the Renegade and the Cherokee.

The Compass was certainly one of the brand's most competitive models in recent years, with trendy 4x4 looks and a range of engines to meet the market demand. But 2018 feels like a long time ago now in the motor industry. Much has changed in the intervening years in Ireland and Europe. Jeep is now part of motoring giant Stellantis, and in Ireland it's joined motoring distributor Gowan Auto, who also import Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Peugeot, DS and Opel.

The Jeep Compass on test for Changing Lanes
The Jeep Compass on test for Changing Lanes

Now the Jeep Compass returns with a bit more than just a cosmetic update. Pricing starts from about €43,995 rising to about €54,995. New engines include a 1.5-litre petrol mild hybrid and a new plug-in hybrid that can be charged and driven electric for up to about 50 kilometres and a first for Jeep. Times are changing, with many more exciting models on the way, like the first ever electric Jeep - the new Jeep Avenger.

But for now, it's the Jeep Compass that goes up against some of the country's bestselling cars like the Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4 and the Hyundai Tucson.

What's so special about the Jeep Compass?

The Compass literally 'squares up' to the competition with classic Jeep design cues that lend a rugged look that's full of character and frankly far more authentic than a lot of what is on the market in this segment. There's the boxy proportions, reminiscent of many Jeeps of old, that never take the brand too far away from its roots as one of the world's best manufacturers of tough off-road vehicles.

At the front the seven slat grille is a big statement of intent and makes the Compass unmissable as anything other than just one great big Jeep. Along the side, there are some fabulous squared off wheel arches.

There are up to five trim levels in Ireland and each gives the Compass quite an individual look. Hybrids get a blue finish to the Jeep badge and the new '4xe' logo.

There are few brands quite as iconic as Jeep
There are few brands quite as iconic as Jeep

The entry into the range is the Night Eagle for example, which adds lots of gloss black trim to the exterior and 18-inch black wheels for a cool urban look. The Upland has bronze exterior trim and a black bonnet decal for a bespoke look. There's even a range-topping Trailhawk version, which maxes out the tough off-road look with special off-road bumpers and skid plate front and rear.

On test for Changing Lanes was the Compass S, which offers a clean, sporty look with 19-inch black alloy wheels, body coloured wheel arches and sills, and a black contrast roof.

Plug-in hybrid models are now exclusively four wheel drive, with a 1.3-litre petrol engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor to power the rear ones. It's the most powerful of the range with 240hp and includes a number of tools to assist drivers off-road. You can switch between modes like Auto, Sport, Sand/Mud and Snow and the car adjusts the settings for the best traction. There are also two different 4×4 traction modes for more advanced off-roading - 4WD Drive Lock and 4WD Low.

Inside the Jeep Compass

Having previously tested the Compass when it first arrived in 2018, it's clear that the interior has had a modern revamp since then. The quality of the materials has improved significantly with lots of soft touch materials as well as more modern digital features and more mature design. S models get leather upholstery for a high-end feel.

It's still not quite as stylish or high-tech as some of the best in class but a marked improvement. A new 10-inch touchscreen sits in the centre of the dash, with Apple Car Play and Android Auto integration. There’s also a new digital driver information display, though it's not the best designed when it comes to the size of the graphics and the way information is presented.

Latest Compass gets a high-end feel to the interior
Latest Compass gets a high-end feel to the interior

But all versions do come well-equipped with keyless start, parking camera, cruise control, climate control, and lots of safety features like lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. A wireless smartphone charger is also standard on all but the entry model.

Slip into the back and the Compass feels spacious for its size too. There are large footwells and headroom is good for adults. Like competitors, the middle seat is a bit on the small side but it is comfortable with a flat space in front for more legroom.

The boot is not the largest in the class at 438 litres but it's a bit more than a lot of hatchbacks. And the plug-in hybrid has the same amount of boot space as petrol versions of the Compass. A powered tailgate is also available on some trim levels as standard.

Driving the Jeep Compass

Jeep hasn't tweaked the driving dynamics for this version but they have updated the engine range. It kicks off with the 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine with 130hp and a manual gearbox priced from €43,995. There's also the new 1.5-litre petrol mild hybrid that's priced similarly and has the same amount of power but comes with an automatic gearbox instead.

On test was the new plug-in hybrid, which offers the boon of four wheel drive but must be charged regularly to really get the best from it. When the battery is fully charged, there is up to 50 kilometres of driving electric possible but that is still off the pace of some of the best like the Toyota RAV4 and the Kia Sportage plug-in hybrids.

Trailhawk versions max out on the tough off-road look
Trailhawk versions max out on the tough off-road look

On the road, the Compass is swift when you want it to be, but it's not the smoothest or most refined plug-in hybrid available and it can get noisy when you accelerate hard.

Steering is very light, which makes it easy to manouvre around town but out on bigger roads it won't really award the keenest driver. In fairness, as a brand with such a stellar name for making off-road vehicles, sharp handling would not be high up the list of priorities. The Compass suits a more relaxed pace of driving and it's comfortable too for a family SUV.

Did you like it?

The Jeep brand is iconic and the Compass is surely something different in its segment. It does fall a little short of the best in class in some areas. The standard in this segment is very high these days with lots of very capable competitors.

Good news is none of them can compete with the Compass for outright authentic style and desirability. The Compass truly stands out for its classic Jeep styling that looks like it might enjoy going off-road and look good while doing it.

Jeep has always been positioned as a high-end brand and the pricing of the Compass surely reflects that. It might be a bridge too far, but if you're looking for something a little bit different in the mid-size family SUV segment, the Jeep Compass still has plenty of charm.

The Jeep Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid is on sale now
The Jeep Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid is on sale now

Model tested: Jeep Compass S 4xe plug-in hybrid
Price: 
€54,995
Engine:
1.3-litre petrol electric plug-in hybrid
Power: 240hp
Top speed: 200 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.3 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€140 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year


The 2018 Jeep Renegade

Jeep Renegade Review

The 2018 Jeep Renegade
The 2018 Jeep Renegade

Caroline drives the Jeep Renegade.

The Jeep Renegade arrived in Ireland in 2015 as Jeep’s first entry into the small SUV segment. The Renegade fitted the brief perfectly for the smallest Jeep of all: it's compact, boxy perfection bearing all the classic hallmarks of Jeep design. With pricing starting from €21,950, it's positioned among an ever-growing list of similarly sized crossovers and SUVs.

But on looks alone, the Jeep Renegade sure brings kudos to this segment. It's the boxy antithesis to all those curvy crossovers like the Renault Captur and Opel Mokka X. Jeep's seven-bar grille is prominent at the front framed by two round headlamps, while the squared-off wheel arches and boxy rear pay homage to the classic Jeep Wrangler.

Thankfully the Renegade is a much more market-friendly product than the Wrangler. The Renegade is the first Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) car to be jointly developed by Italian and American engineers and the first Jeep to be built in Europe.

This means that inside, there is a distinct European flavour to the fit and finish of the car and it's certainly a nice interior to interact with. The Renegade has seating for five but like a lot of its competitors, realistically four will be most comfortable and there is a 351 litre boot. Anyone looking for something larger, should consider the new Jeep Compass.

The interior of the 2018 Jeep Renegade
The interior of the 2018 Jeep Renegade

Equipment and engines for the Jeep Renegade

Jeep Ireland markets three trim levels: Sport, Longitude and Limited. Standard equipment on the entry Sport model includes the UconnectTM infotainment system with 5″ touchscreen, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels, multifunction steering wheel with audio controls and air conditioning.

Longitude models are available from €25,800 and add 17-inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, front fog lamps, dual zone air conditioning, rear park distance control, cruise control, and UconnectTM 8.4-inch infotainment/navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Limited models start from €28,300 and add 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, forward collision and lane departure warning, front and rear park distance control, chrome exterior pack featuring chrome front grille, exterior mirrors, exhaust tailpipes and roof rails, and a premium 7″ TFT colour cluster display.

The engine line-up for Ireland includes a 1.6-litre e-torQ petrol (110hp), 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo petrol (140hp), 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel (95hp and 120hp) and 2.0-litre MultiJet (140hp). There are manual and automatic gearbox options. Renegade is front wheel drive as standard but 4x4 is also available.

On the road in the Jeep Renegade

My test car was a 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 140hp in Limited trim with a list price of €28,300. On the road the petrol Renegade is smooth and refined but feels a little bit gutless. The on the road driving manners are good, and though the steering is not the most communicative of units, the Renegade stays composed through corners and is fun to drive in its own way. The ride is a little on the firm side so the suspension picks up more of the changes in road surface.

The 2018 Jeep Renegade
The Jeep Renegade is the smallest SUV in Jeep's range, priced from €21,950 in Ireland

The Jeep Renegade can get very expensive for what is still a relatively compact vehicle so be careful with your engine and trim choice. Along with the larger Jeep Compass however, the Renegade is a step in the right direction for Jeep if they are to conquer European hearts and minds with competitive compact SUVs. It's impossible not to be enamoured by the Jeep Renegade's rugged charms and character!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Jeep Renegade 1.4 MultiAir Turbo 140hp FWD Limited
Price: 
€28,300 (Available from €21,950)
Engine: 1.4-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
140hp
Torque: 230Nm
0-100km/h: 
10.9 seconds
Top speed: 180km/h
Claimed Economy: 
6.0l/100km
CO2 emissions:  
140g/km
Motor tax: 
€280 per year


The 2018 Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass Review (2018)

The 2018 Jeep Compass
The 2018 Jeep Compass

Caroline drives the new Jeep Compass.

Jeep has long been the maker of tough off-road vehicles and SUVs. As SUV sales continue to grow, you could say that there has never been a better time to market a Jeep. The brand is starting to get its house in order again with the launch of some market-friendly products like 2015’s compact Jeep Renegade and the new Jeep Compass.

Priced from €27,995, the new Jeep Compass goes squarely up against the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Opel Grandland X and Kia Sportage. These soft-roaders are hot property these days but on looks alone the Jeep Compass holds a lot of promise. The Compass is an ideal product for this market mixing modern kerb appeal with classic Jeep styling cues like the famous seven-bar grille and squared-off wheel arches.

New Jeep Compass is a very European SUV

Jeep's parent company is Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and the Compass is built in Europe. Slip inside and it's clear that while Jeep is still thought of as a very American brand, the new Compass is a very European SUV. The interior is lacking the character you might expect of a Jeep, but the build quality is good and there are soft touch materials to add aesthetic appeal. The Uconnect infotainment system is mounted in a trapezoidal shaped surround, a characteristic Jeep design cue, and there are plenty of other convenience features on board too.

The interior of the 2018 Jeep Compass
The interior of the 2018 Jeep Compass

On a practical note, the Compass has a very roomy cabin, particularly in the rear, and families will love the generous accommodation for three. My test car had a spare wheel that eats into the boot space a bit, though with a tyre repair kit, it’s a more competitive 432 litres.

The Jeep Compass range in Ireland

In Ireland there are three trim levels for the new Jeep Compass: Sport, Longitude and Limited. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED tail lights, leather steering wheel with audio controls, air conditioning, cruise control, forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

Engine options for Ireland include a 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo petrol engine (140hp), a 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel (120hp) or a 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel with 140bhp or 170hp. A six speed manual comes as standard but there is an auto option. There are 4x4 models available too, though in standard form the Compass is front wheel drive.

Rear legroom in the Jeep Compass
There is good rear legroom in the Jeep Compass

My test car was a Jeep Compass 1.6-litre diesel in Limited trim with a list price of €34,695. This high spec model includes 18" alloys, front fog lamps, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, heated steering wheel, a 560W BeatsAudio infotainment/navigation system, dual zone air conditioning, reversing camera and parking sensors, power folding exterior mirrors, 8.4″ infotainment/navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry/go, blind spot monitoring with rear cross path detection, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

Is it nice to drive?

On the road, the Jeep Compass does well with the 1.6-litre diesel and manual gearbox. The engine never gets too raucous and it has plenty of power and torque, while being efficient also. The steering and gearing all feels cohesive and the car handles confidently for a family SUV of this size. It fits the requirement for being comfortable though I did note some road noise at speed out on larger roads.

The Compass is a great addition to Jeep's portfolio, allowing the SUV manufacturer to tackle a very lucrative segment with a competitive product. While the Compass lacks some of the character of the smaller Renegade, it makes up for it with a more practical size, extra comfort and refinement.

Competition is fierce in this segment and there are a few major players. But the Jeep Compass feels like a bit more of a novelty with its roots. Welcome back Jeep!

The Jeep Compass is an alternative family SUV
The Jeep Compass is an alternative family SUV

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Jeep Compass 1.6 Multijet 120hp FWD Limited
Price: 
€34,695 (Available from €27,995)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
120hp
Torque: 320Nm
0-100km/h: 
11 seconds
Top speed: 185km/h
Claimed Economy: 
4.4/100km
CO2 emissions:  
117g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


Jeep Cherokee Ireland review

Jeep Cherokee Review

Jeep Cherokee Ireland review
The Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep brand is synonymous with tough, off-road vehicles, with a history stretching back to the Willys Jeep used by the Allied Forces in World War II. The famous Jeep name has become a generic name for a 4x4 and these ‘jeeps’ have since broken through into the mainstream - you’re now just as likely to see one on the school run as you are on a farm.

But among the many soft roaders and faux-SUVs, the Jeep brand, just like Land Rover, has instant credibility. Depending on your social conditioning you will think Jeep are cool because a) the Willys Jeep helped win the war for the Allies or b) Alicia Silverstone’s character Cher drove a Jeep Wrangler in Clueless and it was like, OMG, so amazing.

I fall into the latter camp but even I couldn’t probably stand the rough and tumble of a soft-top Wrangler on a damp Irish commute.

Of far more relevance to the Irish market is the Jeep Cherokee, which these days is sporting ruggedly soft roader/crossover looks, yet in 4x4 guise it still has the guts to take you off road.

Jeep Cherokee Ireland review
Jeep Cherokee: The new range topper is a 9 speed automatic 2.2-litre diesel with 200hp

The current Cherokee has been in Ireland since 2014 but the addition of a new 2.2-litre diesel means it’s up for review again. This car has a lot of presence, and it looks quite upmarket and premium, especially in darker colours. There is just enough chrome to be tasteful rather than tacky, some fabulous bling bling polished chrome 18” alloys, and the striking light signature and classic Jeep seven slot grille at the front ensure it stands out from the crowd as something a bit different. The same can’t be said for the styling of the rear, which is much more generic, but overall I think the Jeep’s distinctive looks are one of its biggest assets in this crowded SUV market.

We have to talk about pricing very quickly in this review because in those terms the Cherokee sits at the more premium end of the market, though it would be more comfortable compared to more mainstream rivals. Entry into the range is at €38,350 for a front wheel drive model with a 2.0-litre diesel producing 140hp with motor tax of €280 per year.

Four wheel drive models start at €48,350 with a 2.2-litre diesel with 185hp and a 9 speed automatic gearbox. A higher powered 2.2-litre diesel (200hp) automatic now sits at the top of the range with a list price of €55,850 and motor tax of €390. There is not much between the engines in terms of fuel economy with the FWD diesel manuals claiming 53 mpg and the 4x4 diesel automatics claiming 50 mpg.

The interior has a tough, durable look with some soft touch materials at the top of the dash but too many hard plastics to live up to the premium pricing. It does well in terms of technology – there is a colour TFT digital display with driver information positioned between the rev counter and the speedometer, and a large touchscreen for infotainment and navigation in the centre of the dash. The seats in the Limited trim on test are a highlight - large, comfortable, finished in soft nappa leather, electrically adjustable and with a heating and ventilating function. You couldn’t ask for much more!

Jeep Cherokee Ireland review
The interior of the Jeep Cherokee

There is space for five in the cabin though the transmission tunnel for the 4x4 does protrude into the middle passenger’s legroom. But the footwells are large and the squared off roofline offers good headroom. The boot is a generous 591 litres and an electric tailgate comes as standard.

There are three trim levels for the Irish market – Longitude, Longitude + and Limited – and standard equipment is good from base including alloys, front fog lights with cornering function, silver roof rails, dual zone air con, auto lights and wipers, rear park assist, cruise control, electric windows and mirrors, and electric parking brake.

The test car had the 200hp diesel mated to the 9 speed automatic, and no surprises the Cherokee can move pretty niftily with 440Nm of torque available and 0-100kmh taking just 8.5 seconds. You can hear the engine gurgling away at idle though it never gets too raucous in the cabin out on the open road, and the car is well insulated from road and wind noise. This is a comfortable car for the long haul, though the ride can get choppy and less smooth off the beaten track when encountering rough/uneven surfaces.

Refinement is good, but the Cherokee does fall short of the idea of a ‘premium driving experience’. There is always a shadow of the off road to the on road driving manners, like the Cherokee really just wants to get on with the tough stuff. The steering is heavy which makes it less of a breeze for town driving and parking, though it’s direct and good for the turn in during out of town driving. It doesn’t feel very dynamic when presented with a series of corners, and the body lurches quite stodgily should you try to take these cornering manoeuvres on with a bit more zest, yet the grip of the 4x4 system masks most of these ills to a point where the Cherokee gets by as large, comfortable transport for a family with attitude.

Jeep Cherokee Ireland review
Jeep Cherokee: The big car with attitude

4x4 Cherokee’s come with Jeep Active Drive I which is billed as an efficient four-wheel drive system that can automatically switch between front and all-wheel drive when required. The Selec-Terrain system offers different four-wheel drive modes for different surfaces like snow, mud and sand, so you can find the setting that best suits the conditions in front of you and the car will do the rest.

The Cherokee is not cheap. It performs well, if not brilliantly, for a modern SUV. It would be easier to forgive the Cherokee its shortcomings if it wasn’t priced as a rival to the likes of Land Rover, Audi, BMW et al, which have more the aura of refinement and luxury to them. Yet it’s hard not to like this Jeep, it’s well equipped, it’s capable, it looks good, it’s different and it’s a Jeep. An actual Jeep. Like, totally cool.

Caroline Kidd

Model Tested: Jeep Cherokee Limited 2.2l 200hp 4WD
Price: 
€55,850 (Range starts €38,350)
Engine: 
2.2-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
200hp
0-100km/h:
8.5 seconds
Economy:
50mpg
CO2 Emissions: 
149g/km
Motor Tax: 
€390 per year