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Jeep Cherokee 1994 Review

Monday is the official on-sale date for the Jeep Cherokee four-wheel drive, which is available in two models, Sport and Limited.

After an absence of almost nine years, Chrysler is back on Australian shopping lists with the Jeep - a legendary name in motoring.  Monday is the official on-sale date for the Jeep Cherokee four-wheel drive, which is available in two models, Sport and Limited.

Drivetrain

Both versions feature an overhead-valve 4.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine with a cast-iron block and cylinder head, described by Jeep engineers as "simple, not over-scienced".  Fitted with sequential multipoint fuel injection and using unleaded fuel, it delivers power of 136kW at 4750rpm and 290Nm of torque at 3950rpm.

The engine is driven through a four-speed electronic automatic transmission with two modes - comfort for normal driving, and power when extra acceleration and torque are needed.  Acceleration from 0-100kmh is sprightly - about 10 seconds - with a maximum speed of 180kmh and fuel economy of 14.4 litres/100kmh at a steady 120kmh.

The transfer case offers two-wheel drive for normal motoring, part-time 4WD for gravel roads, full-time 4WD when the going gets tougher, and low range for the really rough stuff.  You can switch between 2WD and 4WD any time at any speed, and the Jeep can be driven on any surface in full-time 4WD without excessive wear or damage to driveline components.

The vehicle must be stopped or almost stopped to shift into low range, which operates at a ratio of 2.72:1.  Jeep officials say an oil cooler is not needed for the engine, but there is an auxiliary transmission oil cooler.  Both models feature solid axles, even though Jeep has examined proposals for an independent front end.

Equipment

Standard features include air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, remote-control central locking, a 76-litre fuel tank, tilt-adjustable steering column, and power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes.  The Sport model gets all-terrain tyres, an off-road suspension package including heavy-duty springs and shockers, and a skid plate to protect the front suspension, fuel tank and transfer case.

The Limited is distinguished on the outside by body-colored bumpers, grille and front air dam, fatter tyres designed mainly for bitumen, and aluminium wheels.  Inside, it gets an overhead console which includes a compass and outside temperature readout, electrically adjustable seats covered in leather, and six instead of four speakers for the sound system. Anti-skid brakes are standard and the spring and shocker rates have been altered to produce a softer ride.

Driving

More than 600km of testing in central Australia this week showed the Jeep Cherokee to be a capable performer both on-road and off-road.  Although the rear tended to bounce around, the Jeep Cherokee handled the sandy and rough conditions with ease. 

Steering was too vague, but the production line in Toledo, Ohio, is now installing a 14:1 ratio which requires more effort instead of the 17:1 ratio offered on the test drive.

The interior does not have the most ergonomic lay-out of instruments, but the rectangular dash will be replaced in 1996 with a modern rounded unit.  Seats in the Sport model do not support the thighs properly, but this is overcome with electrical adjustment in the Limited.

Late next year a diesel version will be available in Australia with manual transmission only.  This will be followed in 1996 by the availability of airbags plus the introduction of the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler models.

1994 JEEP CHEROKEE

Body: Wagon
Transmission: Automatic
Model: CHEROKEE
Engine: 3 - 4
Variant: SPORT (4x4)
Fuel: Unleaded
Series: XJ
Power: 80 kW - 150 kW
Vehicle Segment: SUV MEDIUM
Torque:
290Nm

Pricing guides

$3,840
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$2,400
Highest Price
$5,280

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Limited (4x4) 4.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO 4X4 $3,100 – 5,280 1994 Jeep Cherokee 1994 Limited (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Sport (4x4) 4.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO 4X4 $2,400 – 4,070 1994 Jeep Cherokee 1994 Sport (4x4) Pricing and Specs