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Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - MOTOR GUIDE -

Blue­tooth pair­ing is un­event­ful and sound qual­ity for calls is re­as­sur­ingly clear. For those who can’t do with­out their phone screens, there is Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto as well.

You also get four USB ports, a 12V out­let and in a nod to tech­nol­ogy proof­ing two USB-C ports as well. EN­GINES / TRANSMISSIONS The four-wheel drive Trail­hawk is pow­ered by a 3.2-litre V6 nat­u­rally as­pi­rated petrol unit that pro­vides 315Nm of torque and a use­ful 200kW of power. A nine­speed au­to­matic gear­box com­pletes the of­fer­ing and while it is quite ca­pa­ble, you can some­times hear it hunt­ing for gears es­pe­cially when you are go­ing up or down a hill.

As a point of dif­fer­ence in this ac­com­plished mid-sized SUV class, the Trail­hawk sports a proper 4WD driv­e­train with triple diffs, low-range trans­fer case and hill as­cent and de­scent con­trol.

The Select Ter­rain fea­ture al­lows you to choose from Auto, Sand/Mud, Snow and Sport set­tings with the abil­ity to lock all three diffs which makes its ex­cel­lent of­froad per­for­mance pos­si­ble. SAFETY Stan­dard safety in­clu­sions have stepped up across the Jeep Chero­kee range with the Trail­hawk fea­tur­ing many driver sup­port aids.

In ad­di­tion to six airbags, park­ing sen­sors and a rear view cam­era with guide­lines, you also get au­tonomous emer­gency brak­ing, ac­tive for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, rear cross traf­fic alert and blind spot mon­i­tor­ing.

There are three IsoFix points if you are car­ry­ing young chil­dren, although it is tricky to use all three at once. DRIV­ING Re­fine­ments to the sus­pen­sion, chas­sis and steer­ing equates to an all-round bet­ter per­for­mance for this lat­est Jeep Chero­kee.

On the road, it is eas­ily man­age­able, ac­cel­er­ates well, is happy to change di­rec­tion quickly and feels well bal­anced and re­laxed.

Given the con­straints of an SUV, the Chero­kee re­acts well when pushed into cor­ners, is de­ci­sive when fol­low­ing a line and never tot­ters around look­ing for its feet.

It is com­posed over poor ur­ban roads, is ma­noeu­vrable in tight con­fines and seems ea­ger to please. It can some­times take a tad long to get go­ing and the gear­box can miss a beat.

There are no dis­ap­point­ments to be had off the road ei­ther, with the Trail­hawk im­press­ing with its poise and fleet­ness of foot. The sus­pen­sion of­fers 221mm of ground clear­ance and the steel un­der­body skid plates com­bine with the Trail­hawk’s 4WD un­der­pin­nings to give it clear con­fi­dence when tack­ling all sorts of ter­rain.

While the course we tested the Trail­hawk on wasn’t dif­fi­cult, it was muddy and slip­pery and re­quired a bit of thought to nav­i­gate. The Trail­hawk just went about its busi­ness, crawl­ing and scram­bling with­out fuss and mak­ing it a truly fun ex­pe­ri­ence.

De­spite its charms, the Chero­kee is quite a thirsty unit. We strug­gled to get the of­fi­cial 10.2 L/100km and had to set­tle for 12.9 L/100km dur­ing our week in the seat. Jeep of­fers the Trail­hawk with a five year/ 100,000km war­ranty, a fixed-price ser­vic­ing pro­gram and free road­side as­sist if you ser­vice the car at a Jeep dealer. Ser­vice in­ter­vals are 12,000km or 12 months. SUMMING UP Jeep has upped its game with the lat­est Chero­kee range. It looks and drives bet­ter, has an im­pres­sive in­clu­sions list and in the Trail­hawk, you have a car that can in­tro­duce you to real off-road ad­ven­tures. How it fares against seg­ment favourites re­mains to be seen but at least it has a fight­ing chance.

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