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Pimped up with a 'trail rated' off-road package, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is great for the city, but happiest off the beaten track.

12 Mar 2015

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When we first reviewed the new Jeep Cherokee Limited Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) in September 2014, it took us quite a while to get used to a rather unusual front-end of triple-deck head lights and seven-slot grille. But on the road, the SUV proved itself to be a driver-orientated car, easy to drive, versatile and chock full of useful safety functions and convenience features that a new P-plate driver will thank the gods for. 

So what am we doing back in a Cherokee four months later?

The tow hook at the rear will readily lend assistance to cars


 
Well, given Jeep's heritage and panache as a manufacturer of fine off-road, trail-ready cars, there had to be a hardcore trail-bashing version of the Cherokee. And in the same way BMW's M models are reincarnations of the speed demon, Jeep's Cherokee Trailhawk is the jungle-bashing equivalent.

Up close and Personal

Equipped with Jeep's off-road package (a $10,000 premium), the Trailhawk is exactly why this Bear Grylls wannabe of a writer never quite fancied the kempt styling on the regular Cherokee. Distinctly rugged and alluring in the way some women go weak in the knees for men with facial hair, the Trailhawk sees the chrome bits like roof rails, badges and side-mirrors in a brushed down and finished matte-gray. It's definitely badass in the flesh.

Elsewhere, the car also receives larger wheel flares for its 17-inch aluminium alloys with off-road rubbers and skid plates in their original black colour to help it deal with the harsh off-road terrain.

Notably, the car has been given red 'Trail Rated' badges on its flanks to highlight its capabilities where the tarmac ends and nature's unpredictability begins. And in the event that Mother Nature prevails against Jeep's engineering prowess, the car has three red tow hooks (two in the front, one at the rear) for reinforcements to lend assistance to. Making way for this, the front and rear overhangs have been shortened, a change that also helps improve its ascent and decent angles.

The dashboard resembles the one in the Cherokee Limited's


 
On the inside though, the interior layout and features remain largely unchanged. Instead of leather, the upholstery in the Trailhawk features a fabric and leather combination with 'Trailhawk' embroidery. As 'sportier' siblings usually are, the interior finish receives an added zing-red contrast stitching.

Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line Multiair

Engine Cap

:

2360cc

Horsepower

:

130kW (174 bhp) / 6400 rpm

Torque

:

229 Nm / 3900 rpm

Transmission

:

9-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

-

Top Speed

:

-

Fuel consumption

:

11.4km/L

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