With the unthinkable happening – Jeep Grand Cherokee outselling Toyota’s Prado – Jeep has thrown another weapon at the lucrative grey nomad towing market in the form of the new Cherokee Limited turbo-diesel.

The Cherokee is Grand Cherokee’s smaller sibling and the new diesel Cherokee carries a towing capacity of almost 2.4 tonnes – ideal for those who want to tow camper trailers or caravans under two tonnes, with the fuel consumption benefits that come with diesel engines.

Before adding any weight to the towbar Jeep claim the new Cherokee Limited 2.0-litre turbo diesel has an officially measured combined fuel consumption of just 5.8 litres per 100 km.

The vehicle comes only in the Limited luxury trim and boasts a nine-speed auto transmission and is fitted with Jeep’s latest off-road technology, Active Drive II 4WD with a low range transfer box.


The only downside is that the vehicle comes with the SUV-style body fitted to 2WD and AWD Cherokee models, rather than the Cherokee Trail Hawk body that has shorter overhangs for off-road work. If you are not into rock-hopping this body style will not be of any concern.

Jeep launched the new Cherokee Limited near Bright in Northern Victoria on a combination of tarmac and stunning, but not difficult, bush trails around Mt Porepunkah. The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel comes courtesy of Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta – that platform on which the Cherokee is based – even though the Cherokee and Giulietta could never be confused for distant cousins. This connection comes via Fiat’s ownership of the Jeep brand.

Our first driving impressions of the Cherokee Limited diesel are that this is a great package. The 2.0-litre turbo diesel belts out 350 Nm of torque and combined with the nine-speed auto feels fairly potent and particularly unstressed. Despite trying we could not detect any turbo lag on or off-road and the engine/transmission was willing both in acceleration and at passing speeds. This transmission helps the vehicle to achieve two ends: economy and power on tap when required.


In normal running the diesel Cherokee uses 2WD with the industry-first rear axle disconnected until the need for 4WD is necessary. This means greater fuel economy as the rear wheels are not being driven unless required. The transfer between 2WD and 4WD is seamless as far as the driver is concerned with no hint of torque transfer.

Jeep Cherokee Limited diesel comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery with heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors with reversing camera, nine-speaker surround system and Uconnect 8.4 inch touchscreen with navigation. Like the rest of the new Cherokee range the Limited diesel has a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

It comes standard with seven airbags and stability control, traction control and should you wish to upgrade even further to the latest safety innovations Forward Collision Warning-Plus, park assist, adaptive cruise control, land departure warning, blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection are all optional.

The Limited diesel Cherokee completes the new Cherokee stable that includes Cherokee Sport with a 2.4 litre petrol engine and Longitude, Limited and Trail Hawk, all with Jeep’s 3.2-litre petrol Pentastar V6 engine.

The Cherokee line-up is now a mixture of 2WD, AWD and 4WD options. Sport is 2WD only, Longitude and Limiter are AWD SUVs with no low range transfer box, while Trail Hawk is a 4WD with low range and a body style better suited to off-road work and fun with reduced overhangs.

With its 2393 kg towing capacity, low range option and luxury trim the new Jeep Cherokee Limited diesel looks to be aimed squarely at those towing smaller vans and camper trailers.

Jeep Cherokee range and pricing
Sport 2WD 2.4-litre petrol: $33,500 (automatic)
Longitude AWD 3.2-litre petrol: $39,000 (automatic)
Limited AWD 3.2-litre petrol: $44,000 (automatic)
Limited 4WD 2.0-litre diesel: $49,000 (automatic)
Trail Hawk 4WD 3.2 auto $47,500 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Jeep dealer for drive-away prices.

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