Jeep brought a refreshed Cherokee to the Detroit auto show. It offers a new nose, new engine, and a revised interior with more cargo space.
The changes start up front, where the 2019 Cherokee drops the sharply bent-back grille and pinched headlights of the current model for a more upright grille and taller headlights. The new nose looks more like the rest of the Jeep family. The tail also sees newly expanded lights and now holds the licence plate. It breaks up what was previously a massive expanse of tail.
Behind the new front grille is a new engine, a 2.0-litre turbo-four that is also seeing duty in the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. The engine makes 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Big numbers for the compact SUV class.
The new engine overlaps the 3.2L V6 that carries over with a similar sounding 271 hp but only 239 lb-ft. Jeep points out that the V6 offers a best in class tow rating of 2,041 kg, which is why both engines stay on the list.
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Sitting below those is the 180 hp 2.4L MultiAir four-cylinder from last year. All three get a nine-speed automatic, but Jeep says it has new software for improved drivability. Turbo models get unique tuning to match that engine's performance.
To help reduce weight and save fuel, the Cherokee uses new materials like an aluminum hood and a composite tailgate. Models with Active Drive I all-wheel drive have a new transfer case that saves 7.2 kg over the old one.
Despite the overall footprint staying the same, Jeep has added usable cargo space inside. The rear cargo area is now 80 mm wider and is up 67 L from last year, now offering 764 L of space.
The inside has been updated with new materials. There is more piano black trim along with satin chrome accents, and the parking brake button has been moved for ease of use. The front storage pocket has been lengthened, adding more space for items like smartphones close to the USB port.
The interior is now available in lighter colours than before, to give it a more airy feel. Two new colour themes have been added for 2019. A Storm Blue on Sport models that uses dark blue and black colours inspired by the volcanoes of Iceland, and a Dark Sienna on Overland models that uses earth tones inspired by the outdoors.
Cherokees with the larger Uconnect 7.0 or 8.4-inch screens get an update that adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The Cherokee will be available in five trims, Sport, North, Limited, Overland and Trailhawk. Overland is the luxury model, and the Trailhawk is the off-road ready Cherokee. The 2019 model will arrive at Jeep dealers in the first quarter of this year.
New Jeep grows inside, not out 1/16/2018 5:27:10 PM 1/16/2018 5:27:10 PM