Wins '4x4 of the Year' Hat-Trick
Jeep has won the top prize in
three categories of the UK's biggest on and off-road test of 4x4
reviewed 67 vehicles for
their annual '4x4 of the Year' test and awarded marks in 10 key buying
areas: on-road, off-road, comfort, safety, economy, loading, interior,
styling, towing and value-for-money.
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 Jeep brand seems 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. Priced
from under £16,000, Jeep has clearly got its sums right."
Patriot: winner of Budget 4x4 of
judges said: "The Patriot is a
huge step for Jeep - after all, the US brand built its reputation for
'proper 4x4s', with low range gearing and classic styling. However, in
today's green and cost-conscious climate, the Patriot opens up the Jeep
legend to a wider audience. This is primarily thanks to a VW-sourced
2.0-litre turbodiesel that stretches fuel economy to over 42mpg,
considerably higher than anything a production Jeep could muster in the
past; likewise, CO2 is well below average."
Cherokee: winner of the Mid-size
all-new Cherokee takes Jeep to a
new level. Few will quarrel with the new-look interior, which feels
both roomier and is decked-out with smarter materials and comfier
seats. Gone is the clumsy stable-door tailgate, replaced with a
top-opening one-piece item. The rear screen still pops open separately
while the boot space is more practical for loading too.
"An improved 2.8-litre turbo diesel provides torque aplenty with smooth
six-manual and auto shifters, plus a revised suspension set-up that
offers a better on-road drive. Best of all, though, is the Selec Trac
II adaptive 4WD system with low range and hill descent control,
cementing Jeep's off-road advantage in this sector."
Wrangler: winner of Extreme 4x4
descendant of the original 4x4
comes out on top as an extreme plaything and lifestyle vehicle. 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; the Americans will be wondering why they didn't
have a diesel rock-crawling Wrangler sooner. The interior is
comfortable and roomy for the driver and front passenger, compared with
the Defender's, and the Wrangler is faster and smoother on-road than
the Land Rover. It's more nimble off-road than the Patrol and doesn't
have that laboured on-Tarmac feel that seems to plague the big Nissan.
"The Jeep is well appointed, with airbags (which the Defender doesn't
offer) and optional sat-nav, automatic gearbox and a soft-top. Price is
a plus. It's a deserving winner."
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