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Jeep Cherokee gets major refresh for 2019
17 January 2018, 01:58 | Gerardo Harmon
The refreshed Jeep Cherokee gets a smarter looking front end. FCA US LLC
Since bringing back the Cherokee nameplate, the brand has tripled its share in that fast-growing market segment, and it is looking to do even better with what Manley dubs "a more premium design". Like the previous models, the 2019 Cherokee has independent suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and an independent multilink suspension in the rear. Updated taillights complete the new look in the back. 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. 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.
Pricing has not yet been set, but the 2019 Jeep Cherokee will arrive in Canadian dealerships in the first quarter of 2018, available in Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland and Trailhawk trim levels. Better utilization of interior space provides four more usable cubic feet. There are new high-gloss Piano Black trims with Satin Chrome accents around the radio, vents, and gear shift bezels. Unsurprisingly, its very similar to what you'll find on the current Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Compass.
"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".
Other changes include an electronic parking brake that's now enclosed in the center shift bezel for easier operation and a repositioned center console.
Jeep points out that the nine-speed automatic transmission matched to all three engines has been upgraded with new software, and "delivers new benefits, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission".
Inside there's also more storage space in the rear cargo area, which is 3 inches wider. That might not sound like much, but the small changes make it look significantly better.
It's one of three engine choices in the new model. It's also equipped with start/stop technology to maximize fuel economy.
The 2.0-liter turbo, developed using Jeep's Global Medium Engine architecture, joins the Cherokee's two other engines: a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 that makes 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 that makes 180 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. Active Drive I is standard on four-wheel-drive Cherokees and functions as an automatic system, engaging the rear wheels when necessary.
Active Drive II is a recalibrated version of the existing four-wheel drive system in Cherokees, with a proper transfer case and low range gearing. The system requires no driver intervention, and it's an all-new design for the Cherokee. ADL now features a locking rear differential for the first time, and also sports Jeep's Selec-Terrain traction control system with five different settings. This system is standard on the Trailhawk trim, which is the most off-road focused Cherokee available created to appeal to the true enthusiast. The engine, also in the new 2018 Wrangler, becomes the new premium engine for the 2019 Cherokee.
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