Test drove one yesterday. Well, actually two as the first one had some odd rotational knocking coming from the front right and left rear when I drove it over about 40 (not a good start)
Based on pics, I wasn't sure I'd actually like the front but I must say, they look much better in the flesh and dare I say it, dates the GC a little. I viewed the sport and two longitudes angled parked next to a new GC Larado which made it quite easy to compare front/rear and sides after I drove one out. I couldn't say the Cherokee looked like a baby GC, it has it own rear and distinct front but on side profile, resembled a GC.
Interior wise, the dash is baby GC but looks more upmarket with the stitching across the dash top even on sport model although the standard centre screen is a little small/low rent, door trims and seats are more in keeping with funkier SUVs but still have nice wood like trim and of course, the front passenger seat has the storage underneath and folds down.
Spec wise some oddities, I'm only bothered with the longitude though. Push button start is an option and appears to be part of a whopping $3k tech pack, does give remote start though. Electric tailgate is standard, I'd prefer push/remote start over electric tailgate like Laredo myself. Reverse sensors and a dealer fit (I suspect dodgy) reverse cam. Was told it had heated mirrors too but not sure on that, it did have a button to fold mirrors in when parking. Not sure what is and isn't correct though as the two sales people I spoke too didn't appear to be up to speed on the specs and had only just come back from the sales familiarity course in Melbourne which seemed to consist of driving the trail hawk through muddy tracks!
Took a second latitude for a test drive, first thing I noticed was the footwell was fairly small, no foot brake as it's electric, but also no room for one and I don't recall a foot rest. Can't say much about how it drives, but for 200kw, it's fairly docile but what did surprise me was the lower gear shifts were quite noticeable. Ride was reasonably firm, but not unnecessarily so and On par with a new RAV4 I had for two days.
So, what I did next was drove a GC Laredo for comparison purposes , apart from the immediately noticeable size difference, the GC gave a more commanding view of the road, it's trans was way smoother (it was a demo with 2k on the clock so run in nicely) and the ride were appreciably more refined in my view.
Two things that I was a little surprised by was its fuel economy, only .4/litre less than a petrol GC and secondly the price, quoted $43k drive away for a latitude, I'm sure they can improve on this a fair bit though but it's not far off base GC pricing.
I walked away still preferring the GC but Cherokee is a nice compromise if you like the handsome Jeep look but the wife likes a smaller vehicle