Don’t call it a mistake but a mulligan.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is the brand’s second take.
Jeep had a simple brief with the new Cherokee, with designer Mark Allen telling us that his team didn’t want to take all the weirdness out of it. The result is a blend of the Cherokee’s polarizing design with the much more attractive looks of the redesigned Jeep Compass. Replacing the three-tiered fascia of the 2018 model, the updated Cherokee reintegrates the headlights with the running lights and turn signals. The “eyes” of the Cherokee are the result, featuring a more emotive design with attractive, unbroken LED ribbons replacing the segmented design of last year’s model.
In back, designers moved the license plate and liftgate opening into the actual gate itself, shifting visual weight up above the bumper. This automotive butt lift, combined with new LED taillights that mimic the light ribbon in the headlights and draw inspiration from the Compass, bring the Cherokee more in line with the rest of the Jeep lineup.
Under the hood, Jeep is retaining last year’s 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and 3.2-liter V-6 while adding a 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder pilfered from the new Wrangler. This engine produces 270 horsepower, just one less than the V-6, while its 295 pound-feet of torque is the strongest pull in the Cherokee lineup.
Each engine works alongside a 9-speed automatic transmission for better or worse. We’re driving the 2019 Cherokee on January 24, and sincerely hope Jeep has ironed out this transmission’s many idiosyncrasies.
By the time we drive the 2019 Cherokee, we should also have an idea of how much it will cost and what kind of fuel economy its new four-cylinder engine will return.