The refreshed, 2019 Jeep Cherokee mid-size crossover has debuted at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, premiering a tweaked exterior design, a turbocharged 2.0-liter I4, and a revised base 4×4 system.
Up front, the upper grille remains very much the same between the 2019 Cherokee and the outgoing model, but the lightweight aluminum hood is a new stamping, and the awkward sextuple of lights has been reduced to a quadruplicate, with bigger, taller headlamps with integrated DRLs, and round LED fog lights toward the bottom. The fascia has been restyled as well, looking decidedly more upscale now with more body-color surface area and a new lower grille.
At the rear, a new, lightweight composite tailgate brings the rear-end design of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee more in-line with the current Grand Cherokee. The tail lights have grown in size, again looking rather like the lenses on the larger Grand Cherokee, and the rear fascia is devoid of the old cheap-looking black plastic.
Returning this year is the familiar choice of 2.4-liter Tigershark I4 or 3.2-liter Pentastar V6, but a brand-new engine option is also premiering: a turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 with direct injection, Engine Start-Stop, and 270 horsepower / 295 lb-ft of torque. As with the outgoing Jeep Cherokee, each engine sends its torque through a 9-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, and four-wheel-drive will be available on every model from the Latitude up through the Overland. (4WD will come standard on the Trailhawk.)
The base 4×4 system, named “Jeep Active Drive I”, has been redesigned for the refreshed Cherokee with a lighter, more efficient Rear Drive Module. It’s seamless, fully automatic, and reduces low-speed system drag torque by 50 percent. If that’s not enough, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee continues to offer the more advanced “Jeep Active Drive II”, which has a two-speed Power Transfer Unit to deliver 4-High and 4-Low, and “Jeep Active Drive Lock”, which lumps in a locking rear differential with the other equipment of Active Drive II.
For safety and convenience, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee offers the latest iteration of Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment with either a 7-inch or 8.4-inch screen, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. It also offers an available ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist System, which uses ultrasonic sensors and clever programming to automate most of the parking task. Other available high-tech features include Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, and Lane Departure Warning-Plus.
“A stunning, more premium design and the addition of our new fuel-efficient 2.0-liter turbo engine make the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee even more desirable in the mid-size SUV segment,” says Jeep Brand Head Mike Manley. “In addition, Cherokee builds on its benchmark 4×4 capability and on-road dynamics with refinement and style, a host of new attributes, powertrains and the latest technology that is perfectly situated for consumers worldwide.”