Jeep unveils new look and engine for 2019 Cherokee

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. — Handout via AFP
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. — Handout via AFP

DETROIT, Jan 16 — When Jeep resurrected the Cherokee back in 2013 as a replacement for the little-loved Liberty, it’s fair to say the styling wasn’t exactly universally appreciated. It did have the Jeep signature features of a seven-slot grille, squared wings and the rest, but the front fascia was just a little too “out there” for some tastes. Now Jeep has gone some way towards taming the look of the Cherokee with the unveiling of a refreshed 2019 model at this week’s Detroit Auto Show.

As this is a mid-cycle refresh and not a whole new generation of the Cherokee, the changes to the styling are relatively modest, and the Cherokee is still instantly recognisable as a Cherokee. Even so, this is definitely now an altogether more conventional and conservative look than the current Cherokee boasts. The current model’s split lights have been abandoned, so the headlights and driving lights are now pushed back into more traditional positions, which now brings the new Cherokee more in line with other Jeep models such as the Grand Cherokee and Compass.

There’s a considerable redesign at the back of the Cherokee too, so the tail lights now have LED accents, a new design of tailgate houses the number plate, and the overall look is less bottom-heavy than it is at present.

While there’s virtually no change whatsoever to the Cherokee’s interior, there is a notable change in the engine department as a new 2.0-liter turbo-four has been added to take the number of available engine options to three. The additional powerplant really is all-new, and it develops an impressive 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque that begs the question of what the point of the 271 horsepower, 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 is now. The third engine is still the 180 horsepower Tigershark inline-four, and all three engines use the same nine-speed automatic gearbox that’s also been refreshed for 2019.

Pricing for the new Cherokee has yet to be announced, but they’ll start landing with dealerships within the next few months. — AFP-Relaxnews

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