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In the eyes of others. Test-drive Jeep Cherokee

Yes, he actually never been so like everyone else. Forty years ago, Cherokee just caused surprise and even ridicule. The two-door wagon with high ground clearance, a monocoque body and the first fully automatic all-wheel drive with limited slip differential does not fit into the usual canons of the automotive world.

But in spite of everything has become popular, and in ten years, 1984-m, received a completely new design and somehow suddenly appeared benchmark brutality.

The new generation of Cherokee, which we met during the test drive in Milan, changed as Randle Patrick McMurphy after lobotomy, which, incidentally, does not mean his failure at all. The inherent straight lines of the Cherokee, sharp corners, large headlights and aggressive looks disappeared. In their place came the smooth lines, grille with rounded "nostrils", a hood with a large "beak" and extremely narrow headlights. The rear looks less revolutionary, but confuses the "second chin" a la first generation Subaru Tribeca. When you look at all this triumph of design ideas, the last doubts disappear that Alfa Romeo experts have indeed made a hand in the design. That, by the way, allowed us to save a lot on the development of a new model.

As a result, many of my friends consider this car to be the ugliest created in the last two or three years. Let the head of the design division Jeep Mark Alain, says that this is exactly the image that can attract buyers even after five years, my friends and colleagues laugh at this machine. But the Americans, in whose market the car appeared last year, expressed their attitude to the novelty unequivocally - Cherokee in the US is in great demand. The car was even nominated for the "World Car of the Year" award. The winner was eventually a sedan Audi A3, but a failed car, obviously, would not have got on the 12 list of the best.

He's just not the same as before. What particularly do not like us, not like the others. And in assessing Cherokee Russian buyers are much more likely to come together in agreement with the Americans than the Crimean issue. In the Jeep, at least seriously expect success models in other countries. Not in vain in Toledo, Ohio, each year will collect about 250 000 Cherokee. This, for example, more than were sold Cherokee previous generation over the past three years.

Especially for Russia and the Middle East Jeep has prepared a four-cylinder petrol engine in the volume of 2,4 l (177 horsepower). He, according to the director of public relations "Chrysler Rus" Kirill Ustinov, is configured in such a way that he can calmly consume AI-92 Russian regional quality. In other markets, the SUV will be sold with a gasoline unit of 3,2 l (272 hp) and 2,0-liter diesel with two firmwares - 170 and 140 horsepower (the latter in our country will not be). Even in the line of engines - not a single coincidence with the predecessor. The old Cherokee had an 2,8-liter diesel with an output of 200 l. from. and 3,7-strong petrol unit (205 horsepower).

Alas, the event was organized so that the ride was only on 170-horsepower diesel engine. Be behind the wheel with the motor option 3,2 liters (2,4-liter version was not represented at the test drive) was only one Russian crew: the rest was not enough time and machines. So that all the conclusions of the car had to be done, starting from the nature of the diesel version.

And these conclusions on the part of the dynamics of disappointing. The two-liter diesel banal rides. He certainly is not as slow as Windows Vista, but while overtaking on the track felt lack of power. Yes there seems to be a place that the vehicle moves with difficulty. Then due to the big moment (350 Nm) it comes alive again ... and signs of life after losing 120 kilometers per hour. By the way, gasoline engine version with 2,4 liters documents even slower - it accelerates to 100 km / h on 0,2 seconds slower diesel (10,5 10,3 against seconds).

The matter is in the engine, because the box is absolutely good - 9-step "automatic" (first installed on a vehicle of this class). At the last Cherokee in ACT was only four steps. The current box works brilliantly: switched completely unnoticed, exactly, without jerks, does not think for a second. Plus has a manual mode honest: does not pass to the next stage until the driver presses the petal stalk.

On the road car, built on the same platform as the Dodge Dart and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, is very stable. In turns heel is not much and allows the driver to ignore the high center of gravity. Surprisingly, while the car is very comfortable: the suspension is not constricted and SUV moved almost imperceptibly small holes and bumps. But in Cherokee wheel stiffer than I would like: to force it artificially, informativeness is still not enough.

It turned out that on the 3,2-liter version we still drove. However, it was a variant of Trailhawk, on which it was possible to make a circle only on an off-road route. This car is Cherokee for those who are going to actively use the car outside the public roads. Outwardly from other trim levels, this differs with increased clearance, lower body protection and red towing hooks. In addition, only this version of the system is installed speed control on the rise and descent (analog Crawl Control from Lexus). It, by the way here works much quieter and less noticeably, than on all off-road cars, that I went. Other differences Trailhawk - a system of four-wheel drive Jeep Active Drive Lock (for Cherokee, depending on the configuration, there are three different all-wheel drive transmissions) and Selec-Terrain (adaptation of the car for road conditions), in which, in addition to the standard for all versions of the SUV modes ( automatic, snow, sports and sand / mud), there is one more - stones.

This version is called the creator of the machine with the highest passability in the segment of medium-sized SUVs. The route of the thesis was partially proved by the fact that it was more difficult than the standard for cars of this class: more acute corners of arrival and departure, driving under a slope, diagonal hanging. The last element surprised especially: the suspension of the machine has a large vertical stroke - the front MacPherson - in the range of 17 cm; rear independent multi-link - 19,8 centimeters. Changed in everything and becoming absolutely unlike externally to the conqueror of dirt, the SUV still retained high cross-country ability.

Any idea about how to behave Cherokee c 3,2-liter engine on the public roads driving on rough terrain has not given: speed does not exceed 30 kilometers per hour. However, this part of the test drive showed good sound proofing machine (only sound engine, even from the wheel arch on the cover does not go bad noise) and build quality Cherokee. How would a car or shaking on the gravel road, no matter how the wheels and hung like an SUV or waddled from side to side - in the cabin no extraneous sounds, no squeaks and "crickets".

Interior, by the way, compared to the previous generation has changed even more looks. There are narrow headlights when replacing the typical American lounge chairs with shapeless, "wooden" plastics and almost monochrome display came two color screens (8,4-inch on the center console and 7-inch on the dashboard), comfortable seats and even unusual gadgets like wireless charging for mobile phone. In fairness, charge your iPhone with this stuff did not work: after an hour's drive battery indicator has not increased either by a percentage.

A completely new showroom has already been appreciated by specialists. Ward's Auto recognized it as the best in its class at 2013. In the list of winners, the name of the SUV is listed next to Mercedes-Benz S500 and Rolls-Royce Wraith, for example. And this is not surprising. Yes, the finishing materials are much worse than in premium sedans, but compared to not only the old Cherokee, but also with most American cars their quality has grown at times. The plastic has three degrees of softness: the door is the most pleasant to the touch, the torpedo is slightly stiffer, the edges of the dashboard are quite stiff, but it's not enough. In some cases, there is a tasteless finish for a tree in the style of Camry, but on Cherokee from her, thank God, you can refuse.

Location of instruments and controls entertainment system is focused on the driver. Digging are exactly where they are looking for. While rear passengers do not feel too redundant here: the place to head very much for feet - enough for a person growth 183 centimeters. Of the minuses inside - only strange landing behind the wheel. "Donut" as if slightly inclined not so much as a minivan, but more than all sedans and crossovers.

All changes Cherokee would have for the Russian buyer irrelevant ups on new standards and the price for it. Already it is clear that for 1 048 769 rubles (the current exchange rate of the dollar), which Cherokee worth in America, we will not get it. The minimum cost of a novelty in Russia - 1 390 000 rubles for the version with monodrive and 2,4-liter engine. Pricelist for other versions is not approved, but the assurances of the Russian branch Jeep, a top option with the unit liters 3,2 will not cost more 2 000 000 rubles.

There are two points to note here. First, for Cherokee such a price - a lot, but this is the reality of the Russian market. For the money that is asked for the most affordable version of the SUV, you can buy other fashionable crossovers: the Peugeot 4008, for example, or the Mazda CX-5 (both in versions close to the maximum), but from models that are similar in off-road behavior, - only Land Rover Freelander or Subaru Forester (in simple complete sets). Well, the fans of brutality are Defender, inferior to Cherokee in everything, except for the patency and the number of sharp corners on the body. Secondly, the novelty is much cheaper than the previous version. That in Russia was sold no less than for 1 727 000 rubles. Bestseller, despite the fact that Jeep in Russia is gaining popularity (+ 31% for 2013 year), Cherokee, most likely, will not, but has every chance to fall in love with an unusually large number of buyers.

In the first place, for the same reason that many of them laugh - Cherokee quite different. Everything is changing. And if the first serial 1945 Jeep - Willys, which in Cherokee many references (of the form of the center console in the style of the grille of the machine to a small drawing of the model, indelible fly adhered to the inside of the windshield of each instance of a car) being still half the army, served as a reflection of generation that had just survived a terrible war, this - face of modernity. In particular due to the politically correct narrow slit headlights.

Author: Nicholas Zagvozdkin
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