Back in 2015, the new Jeep Cherokee won our Four Wheeler Of The Year test. Now Jeep has revealed a new motor, updated styling, and a heap of new features for the 2019 Cherokee, and it’s looking pretty impressive. Beginning with styling updates, the Cherokee design team looked to bring more iconic Jeep styling back to the Cherokee. The updated Cherokee features a new front fascia, lightweight aluminum hood, Bi-LED projector headlamps, daylight-running lamps (DRL), and LED foglamps, while maintaining the signature waterfall hood mated to the seven-slot grille. Adaptive Cruise Control sensors are hidden up in the front bumper around the new foglights.
In the back, the new Cherokee’s tail includes a signature red “Feature Light”—a thin, homogenous LED light strip that wraps individual stop, turn, and reverse taillamp applications. A redesigned lightweight composite liftgate includes an integrated lightbar, with release handle repositioned higher for added customer convenience, and a hands-free liftgate sensor is optional.
The new Cherokee Trailhawk features an improved approach angle, anti-glare hood decal, standard red tow hooks, protective steel skidplates underneath, higher fender flares and higher ride height, plus dedicated off-road tires. Jeep keeps the Cherokee true to their open-air feel with a dual-pane sunroof and motorized sunshade that minimizes glare. Five new wheel options are now in the Cherokee portfolio, including 19-inch premium polished-aluminum wheels on Overland models. And consumers will have a choice of 12 different exterior colors: Blue Shade, Sting-Gray, Velvet Red, Firecracker Red, Olive Green, Hydro Blue, Light Brownstone, Granite Crystal, Billet Silver, Diamond Black Crystal, Pearl White, and Bright White.
Inside, eight standard airbags keep passengers safe, while more than 80 available safety and security features keep the vehicle safe. The design of the interior is freshened up, and materials and colors are updated. Ergonomically designed seats are trimmed with premium cloth or quality Nappa leather and come optional with heat, ventilation, power controls and memory. Rear cargo capacity has been increased over 3 inches in width and now totals more than 27 cubic feet, adding practicality to Jeep’s go-to midsize.
In addition to the 271hp 3.2L Pentastar V-6 available across the Cherokee line and 180hp 2.4L MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 that’s standard in the 2019 Cherokee, Jeep has released a new 2.0L direct injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with engine stop-sart (ESS). The new I-4 makes 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an updated high-efficiency nine-speed automatic transmission. It also features double overhead camshafts (DOHC), dual independent camshaft timing, and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (C-EGR) system. This is the first time that the combined use of a twin-scroll turbocharger, C-EGR system, central direct injection, and the independent liquid cooling air intake, throttle body, and turbo have been employed together. Combining these technologies enables high levels of performance and reduces fuel consumption.
The 2019 Cherokee comes with available Jeep Active Drive I, Jeep Active Drive II, and Jeep Active Drive Lock—these are the four-wheel-drive systems that control which axles are driving the vehicle. Jeep Active Drive I is your standard shift-on-the-fly 4x4 system, while the Active Drive II provides a 4-Low range with a 2.92:1 gear reduction, making for exceptional crawling. Active Drive II also includes a neutral setting for flat-towing. Jeep Active Drive Lock, standard on all Trailhawk models, includes all the features of Jeep Active Drive II and adds a locking rear differential for superior low-speed traction for severe off-road conditions. Cherokees with Active Drive II and Active Drive Lock also gain an inch in ride height. All Cherokee 4x4 options come with Selec-Terrain traction control, which features five customized settings: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, and Rock. Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates and optimizes up to 12 systems on any terrain, providing enhanced vehicle control including: drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control (ESC), transmission controller, powertrain controller, and Selec-Speed Control (Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control).
The Trail Rated Trailhawk featuring Jeep Active Drive Lock also has increased approach and departure angles. An approach angle of 29.9 degrees, a departure angle of 32.2 degrees, and breakover angle of 22.9 degrees make the Trailhawk very capable for its class of SUV. The Cherokee has been known for its nimbleness and ability to squeeze into tight spaces, which makes it ideal for off-roading on tight trails. Also helpful off-road is its advanced electronic power steering system (EPS) that allows for a turn radius of 37 feet in 4x2 models and approximately 38 feet in 4x4 models. This technology also enables active safety features, such as LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist and ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist. Other cool new features on the 2019 Cherokee include a push-push fuel door with capless fuel fill and an available heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel. Jeep has done a pretty good job improving upon their Cherokee, consumers get more cargo space, a new engine, better technology, and an overall improved look. We’re excited to drive it soon and see for ourselves how improved it really is.