Chrysler is keeping things simple with the facelifted Jeep Cherokee.
There’s just one engine – 2.8-litre diesel – and one equipment level, called Limited.
The new Cherokee is aimed at high-end 4x4 buyers and, accordingly, is well equipped.
The only additional options are an open canvas roof, infotainment system, special paint and deep-tint sunscreen glass.
Chrysler hopes to sell 500 by year end but says this is a “modest” figure.
No target has been set for next year, but considering the old model sold between 2,000-3,000, with a top year of 4,500, Chrysler must be hoping for similar figures.
Priced from £24,595 for manual transmission, and £25,595 for auto, Chrysler is keen to highlight its reasonable price compared to competitors with similar specs.
A more-or-less equivalent Freelander comes in at £30,697 and a BMW X3 at £33,105.
To be fair, build quality is likely to be better on a Land Rover or BMW, but the Cherokee will appeal to customers who like its American ruggedness and want to revolt against the obvious 4x4 choices.
Chrysler wants to appeal to core 4x4 buyers, those that actually need the off-road capability, rather than customers buying into a fashion trend.
It will “focus on customers who want to update their 4x4 with an authentic modern Jeep”.
The good news for dealers, then, is that the Cherokee excels off–road, contorting itself brilliantly to the terrain. On road, its unremarkable, but inoffensive.
The update includes a new suspension and steering system and permanent full-wheel drive.
Inside, there’s leather seats, climate control, heated front seats and wheel-mounted audio controls.
In theory, the interior is luxury. In reality, it’s a bit shoddy with flimsy plastic.
It does well though to echo the manly shapes that the exterior showcases.
The full-open canvas roof – a £950-extra – is more than twice the size of a normal sunroof and is a nice touch. It can be opened and closed on the move.
In automatic form this 2.8-litre diesel pumps out 242g/km CO2 – putting it in Band G for VED.
It returns average fuel consumption of around 31mpg, down 9% on the previous model.
Dealers will work hard to sell any 4x4 in the current climate, but there will be a select bunch of Jeep fans who will return to the Cherokee and be pleasantly surprised.
Price £24,595 - £25,595
Engine 2.8-litre diesel:174bhp
Transmission 6-sp man, 5-sp auto
Performance 0-62mph: 10.5sec:
top speed: 111mph
Efficiency 31.4mpg; 242g/km CO2
Cap RV 3yr/30k N/A
Rivals BMW X3, Land Rover Freelander, Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai Santa Fe