Test: Jeep Cherokee Longitude 4 × 2

Jeep. One word and you immediately have a picture in your head. This is THE SUVs. The competence when it comes to off-road. An American icon. A beacon of traction, a hero off the beaten track. And then this front-wheel Cherokee comes to the test. The new Cherokee of all places. So far I have the optical qualification of a Quasimodo conceded. Well. Can it go well? A front-wheel drive jeep?

Because everything is different

In the test and driving report:

Jeep Cherokee 4 × 2 Longitude 140 HP Diesel

Who needs four-wheel drive? The majority of SUV buyers seem to be asking themselves this question, only to come up with the answer: Hardly anyone. And so the wave of SUV models rolls impressively, but only equipped with front-wheel drive, over the nation's daycare facilities. An SUV is needed. The rest doesn't matter.

And because customers really don't care whether it is all-wheel drive or not - because a compact Jeep no longer has to travel the distance from the surf line of Normandy to Berlin every day, without a motorway, a Jeep is now also a Jeep if it only has two driven wheels.

The new company from Fiat and Chrysler, the Jeep mom, wants to explain that to us in all seriousness. And you are probably right. And I investigated the question, can it really be like that?

Can a front-wheel drive jeep be a jeep?

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Two weeks in a Jeep Cherokee with 140 PS and front-wheel drive

I wrote enough words about the design of the new Cherokee, early, already at the premiere of the new model at the New York Auto Show 2013, With his I have the Cherokee at the European premiere 2014 in Geneva then be able to feel for the first time on the tooth. And had to experience, even with the Italian genes, the Cherokee has become a real Jeep. The design wasn't that wild anymore. You just get used to everything. Even this headlight design over three floors. When it went to the test center in Balocco in spring 2014, the design of the Cherokee was just one point among many. That's the way it is. Design is difficult to discuss anyway. There are also supposed to be people who thought the Fiat Multipla was chic. Swam over it. Much more important was the experience with the new 9-speed automatic transmission. And another excursion into the area. Offroad - the Jeep Cherokee can do that. You only have to click on the when ordering Trailhawk variant value lay.

But market research and, quite banally, the KBA say very clearly: A compact SUV is usually not delivered with an elaborate all-wheel drive. The test had to be mastered by the “narrow-gauge Indian” with front-wheel drive.

Day 1 - who needs all-wheel drive?

No all-wheel drive, no nine-speed automatic. 140 PS diesel and six-speed manual transmission. The jeep test car came to us on a Monday in January. The first snow of the year fell on the following day. Not much, but enough to be able to speak of snowfall. It seemed that the dear weather god wanted to make the test difficult for the Cherokee.

Get into the well-made interior, let it glow briefly, then press your finger on the start button and the Italo Diesel prompts you to work. The six-speed gearbox is easy to use, a soulful clutch delivers the first Newton meters of the day to Pirelli's winter rubbers. The Sottozero sniff the snow and completely stupid you think, hahah, now the front-wheel drive jeep has to give up here.

Not even close. The little chief is based on sensibly dimensioned winter tires in 17 inches. Looks slender in the wheel arches, but with a width of 215 mm the tire is a real all-rounder and a little snow doesn't itch. The Jeep Cherokee picks up the trail for the first time. A snow-covered road? You don't need a jeep and not even all-wheel drive. Would have been silly too.

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Day 2 - Nobody misses anything

The first motorway stage in the test shows the advantages of the concept. Anyone who can sit upright comfortably in a car, who then does not have to squat at the height of truck tires, who does not have to beg for sight from loopholes, simply drives more relaxed.

If you still don't understand why the general public loves SUVs, you should take off your own sports car glasses. Everyday life is not just taking the “Passo dello Stelvio” in third gear at the limit of the gasoline supply, no, everyday life leads from Uncle Erich to Grandma Hilde - and back. And the next day to work. With many others around it. You want one thing above all: comfort.

The Cherokee offers exactly that. Lots of space, good seating comfort, a great and comfortable sitting position behind the multifunction steering wheel and enough extras to make everyday life easier. The front-wheel drive was still not a problem.

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