DETROIT—The 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit marked the public debut of the significantly refreshed 2019 Jeep Cherokee. A redesigned front fascia, newly available turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, and updated infotainment systems are the primary updates to this five-passenger compact SUV.
Jeep says that the 2019 Cherokee’s all-new front end styling is “consistent with classic Jeep design.” The fresh nose includes a lightweight aluminum hood and LED headlights. Out back, the tailgate has also been redesigned, and now features aluminum construction and a higher, easier-to-reach release handle.
A newly available hands-free tailgate is operated by making a kicking motion under the bumper. The rear cargo area itself has been widened by more than three inches, bumping cargo volume behind the rear seats from 24.7 cubic feet to more than 27.
The previous Cherokee’s 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 and 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder engines carry over, and are joined by a new direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. All engines are paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The new turbo four features fuel-saving engine stop/start technology, but Jeep hasn’t yet released estimated fuel-economy numbers.
The 2019 Cherokee gets Jeep’s latest Uconnect infotainment systems, which include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality, a 7.0-inch or 8-inch touchscreen, a customizable “drag and drop” menu bar, and remote connectivity features such as Send & Go navigation-system input and remote locking/unlocking.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is slated to arrive in dealerships in the first quarter of 2018.
The sharply raked nose and “squint-eyed” headlight arrangement of the 2014-2018 Cherokee was a bit too much for many Jeep shoppers, so stylists dialed things back a bit and went for a more traditional Jeep look for the 2019 Cherokee’s revamp. Beyond that, the biggest news here is the addition of the excellent new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. We sampled a version of this engine in our recent First Spin test drive of the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler and were thoroughly impressed with its impressive performance. Our only concern is how much cost the new turbo four will add to the Cherokee’s bottom line.