Jeep Horizons Forum
Jeep Horizons HomeForumJeep Horizons TechLinksLand use issuesJeep Horizons NewsContact

2008 Jeep Cherokee - As Capable On-Road as Off

2008 Jeep CherokeeJeep has taken its off-road icon - the Cherokee - and given it a complete makeover inside and out for 2008.

The all-new Cherokee takes on the rugged design people associate with the original Cherokee but brings it completely up-to-date. A new suspension and steering system help make the Cherokee more refined on the road, while on the inside, the Cherokee moves more upmarket with a leather interior, heated front memory seats, climate control, electric windows and cruise control all as standard.

Nigel Land, Marketing Director of Chrysler UK Ltd, said: "Current Cherokee owners won't recognise the interior of the new car - cargo and storage space have both increased and seat comfort has dramatically improved while the leather treatments to seats, handbrake and gear shifter, grab handles, door panels and centre console create a luxurious and refined feel."

A segment exclusive feature is the optional Sky Slider™ full-open canvas roof.  Two and a half times the size of a regular sunroof, this powered roof can be operated while driving and gives all passengers a unique open-air driving experience.

Jeep hasn't forgotten about the Cherokee's legendary 4wd ability. The new Selec-Trac® II full-time four-wheel-drive system is now standard across the range for the ultimate on and off-road driving experience.

Selec-Trac® II is a permanent, active on-demand system that helps anticipate and prevent wheel slip before it occurs, making it ideal for road driving and towing. Cherokee models with an automatic gearbox will also feature the new Hill Descent Control system which offers even more downhill control in low-traction conditions.

Nigel Land added: "Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge managed to avoid the decline in new car registrations in the first half of 2008 and produce one of our best ever results in the UK. The overall market was down 1.6 per cent and we were up 2 per cent - and much of this was driven by the continued success of our 4x4 vehicles.

"Even with tough economic conditions, if you are buying a car then value, price, practicality and great looks are still as important as ever. Our marketing effort for Cherokee will focus on customers who want to update their 4x4 with an authentic modern Jeep with a host of improvements including better fuel economy.

"This mid-sized 4x4 has the right look, is the right size and is the right price for customers in the UK. This is a thoroughly modern family car and the value for money this Jeep offers cannot be ignored."


The 2008 Jeep Cherokee will be available with a diesel engine only and a choice of manual and automatic gearbox. It will be available in only one equipment level - Limited. Right-hand drive models will be available from August 2008 and will be priced (on-the-road) as follows:
2.8-litre Limited manual £24,595
2.8-litre Limited auto £25,595

Standard specification includes:
Cherokee Limited
Safety and Security
Electrical features
Option prices
All Jeep models are covered by a comprehensive warranty scheme, which provides a three-year/60,000 mile mechanical warranty, seven-year anti-corrosion warranty and three-year European roadside assistance.


2008 Jeep CherokeeThe exterior design of the new Jeep Cherokee takes its cues directly from the Jeep brand's legendary 65-plus years of heritage. Familiar design characteristics, such as the clamshell bonnet, seven-slot grille, trapezoidal wheel openings and rugged stance provide the vehicle with its classic Jeep style.

Standard across the range is the signature seven-slot grille. A front-end module that spans across the vehicle houses the grille and headlamp system in a single unit. The structure is designed to meet pedestrian impact and other crash standards for all markets. Front lamp modules contain halogen headlamps and standard fog lamps. The front fascia is body colour.

At the side of the vehicle, deep body sections and a high beltline produce a tough, strong and capable appearance. A wheels-to-the-corner stance and dramatic trapezoidal-shaped wheel arches enhance the vehicle's side profile. Wheel arches are painted body colour while bright chrome side mouldings accent the Cherokee. The Cherokee name is distinctly stamped into the side mouldings. A mould-in-colour side vent featuring seven slots is placed at the side of the vehicle's elongated bonnet where it meets the wing, door and A-pillar. The spare tyre is now placed underneath the vehicle, allowing for increased interior space.


The Jeep Cherokee brings the open-air experience to all occupants with the industry-exclusive Sky Slider full-length open canvas roof. The Sky Slider roof can be moved to several positions, including full forward, full rear or partially open to any position in-between with a convenient express one-touch switch while driving.

The Sky Slider roof is made of a reinforced acrylic cloth, similar to a convertible top, which is weather-resistant and leak-proof. The top panel nests into a weather strip seal to help minimise wind noise. The roof utilises anti-pinch software that will prevent the roof from moving should it detect an object in its path. The Sky Slider roof is an optional feature.


The interior of the all-new Jeep Cherokee delivers simple, functional styling and provides customers with ample storage space.
Standard 60/40 split fold-flat rear seats and a fold-flat front-passenger seat are perfect for loading and hauling. The rear seats also incorporate a recline feature for more adjustment for passengers. The front and rear seats feature wide inserts and heavy bolstering designed to cradle occupants for a secure feeling. The seats have tall, square shoulders, and the bottom cushion has been lengthened for better thigh support. Leather heated seats with memory function are standard on the Limited model.

A four-spoke steering wheel provides the Jeep Cherokee with a generous tactile heft and feel. Standard is a leather-wrapped steering wheel with wheel-mounted Electronic Vehicle Information Centre (EVIC) on the face and audio controls conveniently located on the rear of the wheel.

A new two-tone instrument panel treatment gives the vehicle a feeling of spaciousness. The Jeep Cherokee features a four-gauge instrument cluster with clear white on black graphics with orange pointers and an integrated vehicle information centre.

The centre stack neatly houses the climate controls, vents, radio and switch bank. For the first time, Cherokee will now be available with the optional MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System and eight premium speakers and a subwoofer. Standard on all Cherokee models is an all-new automatic temperature-control system with cabin air filtration.

Also on the centre stack is an open bin with a rubber mat, perfect for placing mobile phones, hand-held PDAs or coins. A small enclosed storage compartment left of the steering wheel provides additional storage for the driver.

Cherokee customers will be able to order their new car with a choice of two interior colours - Pastel Slate Grey and Dark Slate Grey.


There are several storage and convenience features designed into Jeep Cherokee's spacious rear cargo area.

Both left and right trim panels have cargo tie-down loops for securing items to the load floor. The left trim panel houses a concealed compartment for jack storage and tools.

The load floor system has a reversible carpeted surface. Dual latches on either side release for access to a 10-centimetre deep waterproof storage bin beneath the lid - perfect for muddy boots.

The load area can be extended further by folding the front passenger seat flat in addition to the fold flat rear seats, offering a large and spacious cargo area.


The Jeep Cherokee is available with a variety of audio systems, and will offer the innovative MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System that features built-in navigation, audio, entertainment and communication systems as an optional extra. MyGIG allows customers to use touch screen or voice commands to control features, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive where music and photos can be stored. An integrated music jukebox supports Gracenote music-file management to add song, artist and album information to the music files automatically. Space is reserved on the hard drive for approximately 1,600 songs - more than 100 hours of music. The system also includes a voice-memo recorder feature and MP3 compatibility as well as the UConnect hands-free Communication System. This uses Bluetooth® technology to provide voice-activated wireless communication between the occupants' compatible mobile phones and the vehicle's onboard receiver.

The voice dialogue system recognizes more than 100,000 words. The navigation system features both 2-D and 3-D bird's-eye views of roads and multiple route calculation alternatives plus postcode recognition. Maps and guidance are displayed on a motorized, flip-down 6.5-inch thin-film-transistor (TFT) colour display. The TFT screen uses an active matrix for viewing from angles up to 180 degrees - perfect for the centre of an instrument panel.

All radio head units available in the Cherokee feature a 3.5 millimetre audio input jack for easy connection to an MP3 player. The Infinity® Premium Sound System offers a total of nine speakers, which includes one eight-inch subwoofer. It also includes an eight-channel amplifier producing 368 watts of power.


The Jeep Cherokee is only available with a new 2.8-litre DOHC 16-valve common-rail turbo diesel engine. With its Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) and rapid throttle response, this engine enables the Cherokee to claim best-in-class torque of 460 Nm (339 lb.-ft.) at 2,000 rpm with the five-speed automatic transmission, and best-in-class towing capacity of up to 2,800 kilograms and a driving range of 450 miles. Maximum power is 130 kW (174 bhp DIN) at 3,800 rpm.

The new 2.8-litre CRD engine also provides a weight saving of approximately six per cent, achieves increased cam belt life (durability now of 140,000 kilometres) and features Piezo fuel injectors and a 2000-bar fuel system to improve fuel-system speed and control.

A forged steel crankshaft now features eight counterweights compared to the prior crankshaft which had four. A structural oil pan assists in reducing noise, vibration and harshness on the new engine.

The VGT now has an electronically controlled actuator as opposed to a pneumatic actuator on the previous engine. This provides improved cold launch performance, and it also allows the turbocharger to spool up faster from idle, minimising turbo lag and providing good low-end and high-end torque.


There are two transmissions offered on the Jeep Cherokee - a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic.

The six-speed manual transmission provides optimal shift quality, quiet operation and high quality. All ratios are synchronised, including Reverse. Short throws are accompanied by low shift efforts through the use of multiple-cone synchronisers on First through Fourth gears, triple cones on First and Second gear, and double cones on Third and Fourth. The 3-4 synchroniser mounts with the cluster gear on the countershaft to minimise shift effort by lowering inertia. State-of-the-art synchroniser materials ensure a constant coefficient of friction throughout the service life with high-wear resistance. For precise shifting, a multi-rail shift system is used. Hard-finished gears allow for quiet operation. The two-piece aluminium case with integrated clutch housing contributes to powertrain stiffness and light weight.

The Jeep Cherokee is also available with the W5A580 five-speed automatic transmission. It is shared with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and improvements include quieter operation.


The new Selec-Trac II four-wheel-drive system is standard on all Jeep Cherokee models. The Selec-Trac II four-wheel-drive system is a full-time, active on-demand system that anticipates and prevents wheel slip before it occurs. It is ideal for a wide range of road settings, including dry pavement conditions not typically suited for conventional part-time four-wheel-drive systems.

This premium system offers a 4WD Auto mode that is just right for on-road driving. When driving in 4WD Auto mode, the system uses vehicle sensors to adjust and redirect torque between the front and rear axles based upon real-time driving conditions, providing the vehicle with responsive tractive performance.

For added capability when traversing steep grades, rough terrain or extremely poor traction surfaces, the transfer case includes a 4WD Low mode. This second speed gear multiplies engine torque 2.72 times and locks the clutch pack for maximum traction.

The electronically controlled wet clutch pack uses an electric motor to actuate a sector plate. The sector plate then actuates a clutch lever that applies normal force to the multi-disc wet clutch pack. The clutch discs are alternately splined to the front and rear driveshafts. When normal force is applied to this clutch pack, torque is transferred to equalize speed differences between front and rear axles.

Transfer of torque from one wheel to the other on an axle is accomplished by using Brake Traction Control. Under the right conditions the vehicle can be driven by just one wheel.

Electric shifting between 2WD, 4WD Auto and 4WD Low is accomplished with a console-mounted switch. A pushpin button is used to shift to Neutral mode.


The same Jeep-engineered Hill Descent Control system introduced on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee in early 2008 is now available on the all-new Cherokee (with an automatic gearbox only). The system was designed to mimic the downhill control and flexibility afforded by the ultra-low gearing found in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with its 4:1 ratio transfer case and six-speed manual transmission. This gearing provides for six speeds of controlled hill descent.

Operational in the 4WD Low position, Hill Descent Control provides downhill assistance at a controlled rate of speed with more precision and smoother operation than simply using the brakes. By means of electronic brake control, Hill Descent Control supplements the gear reduction and engine braking that a traditional mechanical low-range transfer case provides. The new Jeep Cherokee with Hill Descent Control offers extremely smooth transitions between speeds and allows the driver to use the throttle and brakes without turning the system off, with a smooth and controlled return to the preset speed after the driver releases the throttle or brakes.

Hill Descent Control is activated with a push of a button in the centre stack. For ease of operation, after the Hill Descent Control button is engaged, Cherokee's Hill Descent Control is activated and deactivated automatically, as the system senses changes in topography. The system works whether the vehicle is driven in forward or reverse and preset speeds can be selected by using the transmission shifter.

The preset maximum speeds are:
1st gear:  1.6 km/h
2nd gear:  4 km/h
3rd gear:  6 km/h
4th gear:  9 km/h
5th gear or D:  12 km/h
Reverse (R):  1.6 km/h
Neutral (N):  4 km/h
The system is active in all gears.

Once the conditions for activating Hill Descent Control are met the HDC lamp in the instrument cluster will illuminate, indicating that HDC is operating. The system determines when the vehicle is on a slope or level terrain by input from the sensor cluster.

As the vehicle crests a hill, the brakes will automatically adjust the brake pressure to maintain the vehicle at the driver requested set speed - based upon transmission lever position. The vehicle speed can be adjusted up or down by the driver by shifting the transmission between the available gears. Lower gears are slower speeds, higher gears are higher speeds. In addition, the vehicle speed can be reduced by applying the brake, or raised by applying the accelerator pedal to provide a controlled descent down a hill. Once the driver releases the brake or the throttle, vehicle speed will ramp up or down to the pre-determined Hill Descent Control (HDC) limit speed, according to the transmission lever position.  Should a driver decide to back down a hill, HDC will limit speed to 1.6km/h, and the driver can modulate this speed by using the brake pedal and accelerator pedal.

Hill Descent Control was engineered to provide the smoothest transitions possible, even from a complete stop on extremely steep and slippery surfaces.

Hill Descent Control is standard on all Jeep Cherokee models with automatic transmissions.


A Hill Start Assist system is new for Jeep Cherokee. It provides the driver time to transition from brake to throttle to achieve a smooth launch on a slope. The system will hold brake pressure for two seconds upon the driver's release of the brake pedal. The Hill Start Assist system decreases wheel pressure in response to increasing throttle to provide a smooth launch. This system is extremely helpful when driving in urban as well as off-road areas with steep hills.

Hill Start Assist is standard on all Jeep Cherokee models.


An all-new independent front suspension, all-new five-link rear suspension and a power rack-and-pinion steering system contribute to the all-new Jeep Cherokee's blend of on-road ride comfort and nimble, confidence-inspiring handling.

The independent short- and long-arm coil spring front suspension provides drivers with an optimum combination of ride, handling and a steering feel that is unattainable with typical strut-type suspensions. A link-type stabiliser bar helps control body lean in cornering and lane-change manoeuvres. Ample wheel travel and tuned jounce bumpers help maintain the vehicle's consistent ride quality. A low-arm design mounts the upper control arm on the longitudinal rail of the front body structure for optimum stiffness to minimise noise, vibration and harshness.

A new five-link rear suspension, including upper and lower trailing links and a track bar, provides greater lateral stiffness, making the vehicle feel more responsive. The solid axle delivers uniform handling and stability when the vehicle is loaded or towing a trailer.

To help create a premium on-road driving experience and confident road feel, Jeep Cherokee engineers focussed on the vehicle's steering. The power rack-and-pinion steering imparts a precise feel and provides a turning circle similar to vehicles with a shorter wheelbase.


The Jeep Cherokee offers 30 safety and security features including:

Discuss this article in the Jeep Horizons Forums

Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Commander and Compass are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler LLC. is not in any way associated with or endorsed by Chrysler LLC.
All other content is copyright Jeep Horizons 2004-2008.

Tech write-ups Links Land use Discussion board News Terms of Use