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green carLet’s get straight to the point. Historically, 4×4 vehicles have never been the most environmentally friendly and efficient cars. However, with the release of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, it appears attitudes have changed with greener SUVs now a more common sight.

Jeep is one of the manufacturers spearheading the move – and where they go, other manufacturers usually follow.

How are 4x4s going green?

Traditionally 4x4s have been used by people who need tough, rugged and strong cars that aren’t afraid of putting in a hard shift. Unfortunately, the technology just didn’t exist to marry this with any kind of engine efficiency or green credentials. Until now, that is.

As usual, Jeep is pioneering new 4×4 technology and driving the market in the direction it wants to go. The new 2014 Cherokee may not be the most energy efficient car in the world, but considering the engine size, horsepower and practical uses, it makes a considerable improvement on previous options.

The new 2.0 liter turbo diesel engine features all-new Multijet II technology. This contributes to a reduction in fuel consumption by 30% versus the previous 2.8 liter turbo diesel on older models. As well as this, the CO2 consumption is also down by a large margin at around 139 g/km on the front wheel drive models and 147 g/km on four-wheel drive manual models. This is a significant move in the right direction and shows just what is capable with exceptional engineering.

The 2.0 liter Multijet II also delivers 140 horsepower with excellent balance between power, fuel consumption and emission reduction thanks to 350Nm of torque available from as low as 1,750 rpm.

Why will other manufacturers follow Jeep?

Jeep might not be the first brand of car you think of when considering green potential but as we’ve mentioned, if they’re starting to move in that direction you can be sure others will follow.

Jeep has always been a market leader and pioneer – you need only look back at their history for evidence of that.

The first Willys MB Jeeps were produced in 1941 during World War II. Designed to be a rugged combat vehicle that could stand up to any conditions, they were the first ever, specifically designed, off-road vehicles. After the war, civilian models were manufactured from 1945 onwards and it was quickly realized that these kinds of machines had plenty of peacetime potential.

Jeep quickly established itself as the car brand of choice for farmers and other rugged professions. Of course, its success spawned a number of competitors around the world.

In the UK, Jaguar launched the Land Rover, a similarly tough agricultural and military style vehicle built in the Jeep mould. Japanese manufacturers like Toyota and Nissan started to get in on the act too, producing their own rugged models.

Efficiency and green credentials were usually at the bottom of the list of desirable qualities in these off-road monsters, with the emphasis being largely on power and durability. Off-roading even developed into a sport in its own right, with competitors testing their vehicles and driving prowess in incredibly tough conditions.

However, despite the competition, Jeep always maintained its position as the original and best off-road 4×4 vehicle. Its landmark models, including the Wrangler and Cherokee, were developed and upgraded over the years, adapting to changing conditions and desires of the consumers.

As off-road vehicles began to be used more and more as practical on-road cars, the designs changed to mirror this. It is this ability to adapt and pioneer that has always made Jeep the manufacturer to watch where new automotive trends are concerned.

So, when in recent decades the world began to finally notice the need to develop more ecologically friendly cars with lower emissions and better fuel efficiency, Jeep began to take notice.

How green is the new Jeep?

There have been a number of studies into the greenest 4×4 cars in recent years as consumer responsibility starts to play a bigger part in car choice. Models such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Lexus RX450h have been praised by What Car? magazine for their focus on efficiency.

2014 Jeep Cherokee

However, despite some cars being greener in certain respects, few were able to balance this with the same high levels of power and performance as Jeep. Now the new Cherokee seems to have set the standard for delivering both lower emissions and driving pleasure. There has been no real compromise in its design; it’s a car that should delight the purists and also those who really want to see the motor industry pushing for greater efficiency.

As you would expect, the 2014 Cherokee also comes with the usual high standard of interior and design features that have made the Jeep brand so famous. Soft touch materials, keyless entry and a whole host of other design features make this model unmistakably Jeep.

Over 60 standard and available safety features also make it a top choice for drivers concerned with looking after their most precious cargo: passengers.

All in all, the new Cherokee is a great leap forward in terms of green 4x4s – we just hope other manufactures are hot on their tow-bar when it comes to implementing similar improvements!

Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.