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The Top Gear car review:Jeep Cherokee
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
There was a time when US cars in Europe were always getting panned for cheap interiors, with enough Bakelite plastic wood on show to keep a series of Mad Men in props. Well not anymore. The Overland spec does have a Zebrano wood-accented steering wheel, but it’s black so looks OK. Plus, it matches the decent piano black highlights elsewhere on the dash.
The interior isn’t Audi-esque, and it’s missing Volvo’s beautifully simple design language, but the plastics feel hard-wearing with quality touches that have been missing from Cherokees of old – Overland models even get a leather-covered dash. And at least the centre stack that’s dominated by the new sat nav doesn’t look like someone spilled a load of buttons all over it.
That’s because the nav is touchscreen, but Jeep has kept a smattering of knobs so at least the major controls are easy to work through. It’s largely easy to navigate, although some climate options, like the brilliantly powerful seat ventilation settings, are buried through a couple of different pages. But still, it reacts quickly and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, so it’s got all the compatibility you could want.
As you’d expect from the slightly boxy shape, the interior is spacious. Rear legroom is pretty good and your little darlings will sit up considerably higher than the front seats, so the view forward isn’t bad. The panoramic sunroof is good for letting in light, but it does eat into headroom.
There’s no seven-seat option on the Cherokee, so the boot isn’t as commodious as it is on cars like the Land Rover Discovery Sport. And it now has a foot-opening option, so we can all look like we’re auditioning for the Ministry of Silly Walks as we try to open the boot.