Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jeep wins 4x4 hat-trick

Written by Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Jeep has won the top prize in three categories of the UK's biggest on and off-road test of 4x4 vehicles.

Specialist publication '4x4 Magazine' reviewed 67 vehicles for their annual '4x4 of the Year' test and awarded marks in ten key buying areas: on-road, off-road, comfort, safety, economy, loading, interior, styling, towing and value-for-money.


Jeep secured a hat-trick result in the latest 4x4 awards for the Patriot, Cherokee and Wrangler models.

John Carroll, Editor of 4x4 Magazine, said: "This test aims to put the latest vehicles through a rigorous test and measure them in real world on- and off-road situations. In a market swamped with new 4x4s, Jeep has retained its mastery in three key segments - Budget, Mid-size and Extreme - with the Patriot, Cherokee and Wrangler.

The magazine claimed that the Jeep brand seemed to offer something for everyone – a Defender-beating Wrangler for the hardcore off-roader who wants a vehicle with better road manners and interior comfort than the competition. For family buyers, the new Cherokee was a revelation to our judges. It is a vast improvement over the previous model – although better road manners are not at the expense of its mastery off the Tarmac. The fuel efficient Patriot is a deserving winner for Budget 4x4 - on-road dynamics are excellent, with good handling and pleasant ride quality allied to a practical and surprisingly roomy interior. This is primarily thanks to a VW-sourced 2.0-litre turbo-diesel which the judges felt stretches fuel economy to over 42mpg, considerably higher than anything a production Jeep could muster in the past; likewise, CO2 is well below average.

The new Cherokee was awarded the Mid-Size 4x4 award as it has a new-look interior, which feels both roomier and is decked-out with smarter materials and comfier seats. The judges felt that the more practical boot space and the improved 2.8-litre turbo diesel which provides torque aplenty with smooth six-manual and auto shifters, plus a revised suspension set-up all combine to give a better on-road drive. And the Jeep Selec Trac II adaptive 4WD system with low range and hill descent control, cementing Jeep's off-road advantage in this sector.

In the Extreme 4x4 group the Jeep Wrangler, a rival for the Land Rover Defender came out on top. The judges felt that it rivals the Defender for showroom-spec, off-road ability and the low-down torque of its 2.8-litre diesel means it comes pretty close to the Land Rover on rough terrain. This new Jeep Wrangler is well appointed, with airbags and optional sat-nav, automatic gearbox and a soft-top.

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