Here comes unconventional. The Jeep Cherokee KL caused quite a stir when it was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show, and the effect is no less today at the new Jeep Glenmarie showroom, when it officially enters the Malaysian scene.

It’s available here in two trim levels, the Longitude and Trailhawk. The road-biased former gets chrome trim on the grille, lower air intake surround and side window frames, as well as bright silver roof rails. The polished aluminium wheels measure 18 inches in diameter.

The more rugged Trailhawk has different front and rear bumpers – with red tow hooks – that improve approach and departure angles. Dark neutral grey exterior accents replace the chrome bits on the Longitude, and the finish also appears on the wing mirrors and the rear skid plate appliqué, while the window frames are black. The 17-inch wheels are smaller on the Trailhawk, but are fitted with beefier tyres.

Length, width, height and wheelbase are 4,624 mm, 1,859 mm, 1,681 mm and 2,700 mm respectively on the Longitude. The Trailhawk is 51 mm taller at 1,732 mm (including a one-inch taller ride height from the off-road suspension), has a 19 mm longer wheelbase at 2,719 mm, and is 45 mm wider at 1,904 mm due to wider wheel arch extensions.

Standard on both models are self-levelling bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lamps and fog lamps. The Longitude also receives front cornering lamps, while the Trailhawk is the only one that gets deep-tint sunscreen glass, skid plates and a full-sized spare wheel. The power tailgate opens to reveal 506 litres of boot space; fold the 60:40-split back seats and you get 1,500 litres.

Inside, you’ll find an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen system with navigation, MP3 and USB, keyless entry and start, auto dual-zone air-con, auto lights and wipers, plus Selec-Terrain with four traction control settings. Choosing the Trailhawk also nets you leather upholstery with red accent stitching, Selec-Speed Control (basically hill descent control) and an additional Rock mode for Selec-Terrain.

Through the leather-wrapped steering wheel, which is tilt- and telescopically-adjustable, you’ll see a 3.5-inch TFT screen, or a seven-inch colour unit on the Trailhawk. Above your head is a dual-pane sunroof, and the driver’s seat is eight-way power-adjustable, with four-way lumbar adjustment.

Our Cherokees are powered by a 2.4 litre Tigershark MultiAir 2 four-cylinder engine that develops 174 hp at 6,400 rpm and 229 Nm of torque at 3,900 rpm. Transmission is a nine-speed auto. The Longtitude comes with Jeep Active Drive I permanent 4WD, while the Trailhawk adds Active Drive Lock with rear-axle disconnect – the system automatically switches between two- and four-wheel drive depending on conditions.

Suspension is handled by MacPherson struts up front and multi-links out back, and there’s electric power steering. Safety kit comprises seven airbags (including driver’s knee), ESC, Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control. The engine can even be started remotely. The Cherokee is available in no less than 10 exterior colour choices, the palette ranging from Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl and True Blue Pearl to Bright White.

Fully-imported (CBU) from the US, the Jeep Cherokee Longitude goes for RM348,889, while the Trailhawk is priced at RM378,889, OTR without insurance. A five-year/150,000 km warranty is included. See full specifications on