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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.

A new generation of Cherokee, with whom we met during a test drive in Milan, changed Randle Patrick McMurphy as lobotomy after that, however, does not mean it is a failure. Inherent in the old Cherokee straight lines, sharp angles, large headlights and aggressive appearance disappeared. In their place came flowing lines, grille with rounded "nostrils", with a large hood "beak" and extremely narrow headlights. The rear end looks less revolutionary, but confuses the "second chin" a la the first generation Subaru Tribeca. When you look at all this triumph of design ideas disappear last doubts that to really design a hand specialists Alfa Romeo. Which, incidentally, has allowed many to save on development of a new model.

As a result, many of my friends think this car is the ugliest of created over the past two or three years. Let the head of design department Jeep Mark Allen, said that this is the image that will attract buyers even five years later, my friends and colleagues laugh at this machine. But the Americans, in the market where the car appeared in the last year, his attitude is uniquely expressed in the novelty - Cherokee in the U.S. has been an enormous demand. The car was even nominated for "World Car of the Year» (World Car of the Year). Winner eventually became sedan Audi A3, but a failing machine obviously did not get to the list of top 12.

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 prepared four-cylinder gasoline engine volume 2,4 l (177 horsepower). He, according to Director of Public Relations "Chrysler Rus' Kirill Ustinov, configured so that could easily consume AI-92 Russian regional quality. In other markets, the SUV will be sold with petrol unit volume 3,2 l (272 l. with.) and 2,0-liter diesel with two firmware - 170 140 and horsepower (the last in our country will not). Even the engine range - no match to its predecessor. On the old Cherokee were 2,8-liter diesel engine 200 l. with. and 3,7-strong petrol engine (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 so happened that on 3,2-liter version, we still drove. However, this option was Trailhawk, which could only make a circle-road track. This car - Cherokee for those who are going to actively use the machine outside of public roads. Externally from other complete sets this differs increased ground clearance, under body protection and red tow hooks. Furthermore, only this version is installed speed control system for traffic going up and down (analog Crawl Control from Lexus). She, by the way here is much quieter and less noticeable than all SUVs, I drove. Other differences Trailhawk - it's all-wheel drive Jeep Active Drive Lock (for all Cherokee, depending on the configuration, there are three different four-wheel drive transmission) and Selec-Terrain (an adaptation of the car under road conditions), in which, besides the standard for all versions of the SUV modes ( automatic, snow, sports and sand / mud), there is another - stones.

This version of the creators call the machine with the high traffic in the segment of medium-sized SUVs. Route thesis partially proven by the fact that there was a difficult standard for cars in this class: more acute angles of arrival and departure, riding downhill diagonal hanging. The last element is particularly surprised: suspension machine has a large vertical movement - front MacPherson - ranging 17 cm; independent multi-link rear - 19,8 centimeters. Unchanged throughout and is becoming dissimilar in appearance to the conqueror of mud SUV nevertheless retained a high cross.

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.

Completely new interior already appreciated by specialists. Publication Ward's Auto recognized as the best in its class in 2013 year. The list of winners name is listed next door SUV with Mercedes-Benz S500 and Rolls-Royce Wraith, for example. And this is not surprising. Yes, materials and finishes much worse than the premium sedans, but in comparison not only with the old Cherokee, but with most American cars their quality has increased significantly. Plastic has three degrees of softness: the doors the most pleasant to the touch, a little tougher on the dashboard, on the edges of the dashboard quite hard, but it is not enough. Some trim present tasteless wood decoration in the style of Camry, but Cherokee from her, thank God, you can not 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.

Here we must note two things. First, for such a price Cherokee - a lot, but it is the reality of the Russian market. For the money they ask for the most accessible version of the SUV, you can buy other fashion crossovers: Peugeot 4008, for example, or Mazda CX-5 (both - in versions close to the maximum), but from the models of similar behavior on the roads, - only Land Rover Freelander or Subaru Forester (in simple trim). Well, fans of brutality remains Defender, Cherokee inferior in everything except terrain and the number of sharp edges on the body. Second, much cheaper novelty previous version. She was sold in Russia no less than 1 727 000 rubles. Bestseller, despite the fact that the Jeep in Russia is gaining popularity (+ 31% per year 2013), Cherokee, most likely will not, but has the potential 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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