The next Jeep Cherokee and a revised Grand Cherokee have broken cover at the New York motor show.
The new Cherokee is based on the same platform as the Dodge Nitro, but with tougher off-road driving options. It is also said to be more competent on-road, thanks to all-independent suspension and a new steering system.
Jeep claims it is roomier and more luxurious, too, with rain-sensing wipers, a memory function for the seats and mirrors, a full-length canvas sunroof and a touch-screen sat-nav, entertainment and communications system among the options.
It is available with full- or part-time four-wheel drive in America, but it has not yet been decided whether both systems will come to the UK. An improved 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine and a 3.7-litre petrol V6 provide the power, and there are six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. The car comes to the UK in the first half of 2008.
A few months earlier than that, probably by the end of this year, we'll get the revised Grand Cherokee, although the new 4.7-litre V8 engine announced at New York is unlikely to be offered here. It's likely we'll stick with the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel and the 6.1-litre V8 that's standard on the high-performance SRT-8 version.
There are changes to the exterior styling, and there have been efforts to upgrade the quality of the interior, while two-way steering column adjustment is now fitted.
New options include the same touch-screen multi-media package available on the Cherokee, incorporating a 20-gigabyte hard drive for storing music and picture files; brighter front lights with automatic levelling; and a rear-mounted parking camera.
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