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Elk Test Strikes Again!

Recently, the Moose Test, administered in Sweden by local publication Teknikens Varld, found another new SUV 4×4 to be wanting. I wonder what the equivalent Australian test might be? Maybe it would be the ‘Roo test’ or the ‘Camel test’ or the “Great Big Bullock test”. Maybe, the ANCAP crash lab might look at the new “Roo Test” as an interesting addition to their testing methods. Hey, it is a valid everyday test that provides a very clear yes-or-no, pass-or-fail result in an emergency situation that could jeopardise a family’s safety.

Unfortunately for Jeep, they were on the receiving end of a failed-to-pass mark. The new Jeep Cherokee was put through a sudden left to right turn at a speed of just under 64 km/h to simulate what a driver might have to do to avoid hitting an elk that might wander onto a country road in the Nordic countries. The Moose Test (or Elk Test) is standard practice in Scandinavia, and recreates a potential danger common in these Nordic countries. The Swedes found that the new Jeep Grand Cherokee failed the test. The new 4×4 nearly tipped over. Jeep’s parent company Chrysler contested the results, insisting that Teknikens Varld had tampered with the results by overloading the vehicle and switching the electronic stability program off.

To make sure that this wasn’t a mistake, Teknikens Varld went back and performed the test again. In fact, they tested the Jeep Cherokee seven times. What resulted was the Jeep Cherokee popped the left front tyre seven times in a row, and nearly toppled over.

Adding some balance, German magazine Auto Motor und Sport oversaw the same test with satisfactory results. Even at relatively high speeds, the new Jeep Cherokee did not tip over and passed the test with flying colours. So maybe Cherokee owners don’t have to panic if they spot a roo in the headlights. However, to be on the safe side, make sure you aren’t carrying half the house up top on the roof racks (it wrecks your aerodynamic efficiency, anyway) and keep the ESP switched on. And your speed down at night in rural areas where roos, camels and cattle are likely to think that the middle of the road is a nice place to rest.

Maybe Australian’s Wheels Magazine might be able to simulate a similar test at their yearly COTY testing. It would be amusing, to say the least. But what are they going to call it?