When Jeep released the 2014 Cherokee, much of the automotive press panned its polarising appearance. However, the buying public disagreed and went on to buy 220k Jeep Cherokees in 2015, its second full year on sale.
For 2019, Jeep is updating the Cherokee to soften those polarizing looks and bring some new refinements to the Cherokee brand.
First up is the front facia; The headlight clusters have been moved higher, up and out of the bumper and into a more conventional location in the upper fenders. The pointy grille has also been softened into a more versatile piece. Around back, the liftgate has new contouring in contrast to the giant flat surface of the outgoing model. The tail lights have been revised as well. The interior of the Cherokee largely carries over with just some minor repositioning of the USB outlets. Jeep did manage to find another 3 inches of width in the rear cargo area bringing the total to over 27 cubic feet.
Jeep's UConnect system has been updated to the latest version and now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
As for motivation, the two existing power trains carry over and a new one joins the lineup. The 2.4 liter Tigershark multi-air produces 180 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. Jeep changed some components out for less weight and less NVH. Customers can also select the 3.2 liter Pentastar V6 with 271 horsepower and 231 lb-ft of torque. This engine gives the Cherokee a best in class tow rating of 4,500 lbs. Both engines include electronic start-stop for improved fuel economy around town.
New for 2019 is a 2.0 liter turbo direct-injected 4-cylinder that first debuted in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. In the Cherokee, the 2.0T is rated for 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and also features electronic start-stop. The engine features a twin scroll turbo with an electronically activated wastegate. Jeep saved 3 1/2 lbs of weight from the engine by using hollow camshafts.
All three of these engines are fitted to a 9-speed automatic transmission that has received additional software updates for 2019.
Naturally it would not be a Jeep without available off-road capability. The three 4x4 systems from the previous model carry over.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee will arrive at dealers in early 2018.
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