Want to see more? Download Driven App for FREE!

Jeep - 1997 Cherokee UK Version
Jeep - 1997 Cherokee UK Version

Jeep - 1997 Cherokee UK Version

1 0
Jeep Cherokee UK Version The new 1997 Jeep® Cherokee,which has undergone an extensive, $215 million redevelopment programme,goes on sale in the UK later this month. A quick gla... More »
Jeep Cherokee UK Version

The new 1997 Jeep® Cherokee,which has undergone an extensive, $215 million redevelopment programme,goes on sale in the UK later this month.

A quick glance at the new Cherokee willreveal a new grille, sculpted bumpers, flared wheel arches andnew alloy wheels. But beneath these subtle enhancements lie theresults of a painstaking enhancement programme, which has seenthe Jeep Cherokee undergo comprehensive changes designed to retainits position at the forefront of the 4x4 market.

"Chrysler is aware that the Jeepbrand is an American icon, recognised world-wide as the original4x4. We know that when we consider changes to a Jeep vehicle,we must assure our customers that we are not tampering with alegend."

That statement, made by Tom Gale, Chrysler'sExecutive Vice President - Product Development recently, encapsulatesthe thinking behind the changes to the Jeep Cherokee.

The Jeep Cherokee remains as rugged and dependableas ever, but has been given significant improvements designedto make it even easier to drive, more comfortable and more proficientboth on and off-road. Under the skin of the new vehicle, thereare a myriad of changes: outwardly, however, it retains strongvisual links with its predecessor.

"As we embarked on this new modelprogramme," continued Gale, "we questioned existingowners at length. They told us exactly where we needed to improvethe Jeep Cherokee...but they always added a rider: 'Don't mess withmy Jeep'."

The new Cherokee has been re-engineeredfrom inside out. Significant improvements include a totally newinterior with enhanced safety measures; a 43 per cent torsionallystiffer body and chassis for greater refinement, increased handlingprecision and a smoother ride; marked improvements to the heating,ventilation and electrical systems; and comprehensive measuresto reduce the effects of noise, vibration and harshness. In total,more than 50 per cent of the body-in-white parts are either newor substantially modified on the new model.

At the same time, changes to the manufacturingprocesses at the Toledo, Ohio assembly plant have helped the fitand finish of body panels to the benefit of overall quality. Changesto the exterior, however, have been kept to a minimum to allowthe new Cherokee to retain its distinctive Jeep look, underliningits claim to be a classic of contemporary American design.

It's a look that has enjoyed much successover the years. More than two million Cherokees have been builtand sold since it was launched in America in 1984, more than 19,000of them in the UK.

The UK is the best European market forthe Jeep Cherokee by some margin, where last year, almost 5,700 weresold, even though supply was restricted as the old model startedto run out. In 1996, Germany came closest to the UK with 1,647units. Last year, more Cherokees were sold in the UK than in Germany,France, Italy and Spain put together.

The Jeep Cherokee arrived here just overfour years ago, to spearhead the return of the Chrysler and Jeepnames to Britain.

It quickly established itself as a leadingplayer in the 4x4 market and soon became the best selling petrol-enginedoff-road vehicle in its sector. The arrival, in 1995, of a turbodiesel version further strengthened its position among 4x4 buyers,some of whom were by then enjoying remarkable secondhand resalevalues - there were many cases of Cherokees dropping less than£1000 in the first year, incredible in a car costing almost£20,000. Throughout that year Jeep dealers were reportingresale values better than published in the trader's bible, Glass'sGuide.

Today, the Jeep Cherokee still leads theclass when it comes to retaining its value - a fact which goesa long way to explaining the high level of customer loyalty enjoyedby Chrysler Jeep.

Richard Mackay, Managing Director ofChrysler Jeep Imports UK, said: "The Jeep Cherokee was the firstmodel we introduced to re-establish the Chrysler name in the UKand has been the mainstay of the range ever since.

"The changes made to the new Cherokeewill further enhance its reputation as one of the leading 4x4son the market at the same time as broadening its appeal to a newaudience.

"But best of all, despite all thechanges, it still looks like a Cherokee. The message that camethrough from customers as we were embarking on this new modelprogramme was that we could make improvements to the Jeep Cherokee'sdynamics but we shouldn't tamper with the looks of the car...the plan was to improve the Jeep Cherokee, not redefine the car.
Hide -
Share this with a friend who loves cars

You Might Also Like

Grand Cherokee UK Version
Jeep - 2001 Grand Cherokee UK Version

2001 Grand Cherokee UK Version

Compass Concept
Jeep - 2002 Compass Concept

2002 Compass Concept

Willys2 Concept
Jeep - 2002 Willys2 Concept

2002 Willys2 Concept

Cherokee UK Version
Jeep - 2003 Cherokee UK Version

2003 Cherokee UK Version

Grand Cherokee UK Version
Jeep - 2003 Grand Cherokee UK Version

2003 Grand Cherokee UK Version

Treo Concept
Jeep - 2003 Treo Concept

2003 Treo Concept