The 2019 Jeep Cherokee Gets a Better Face and a Turbo Engine

2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited Front Left Driving

Less "polarizing" headlights, but still some "weirdness" in the design.

Fiat Chrysler revealed its redesigned 2019 Jeep Cherokee with wider headlights and a fresh front-end look early Tuesday morning, January 16. It's still distinctive as a Jeep, but its more conventional styling should be a boon to its sales prospects versus the controversial older model, which sold more on the deal than on the appeal.

The facelifted 2019 Jeep Cherokee has just debuted at the Detroit Auto Show and as images released in December first showed, the design of the updated model is much more appealing than the outgoing crossover.

It worked, with Cherokee sales peaking at 220,260 in 2015.

The company has also been in the midst of major production changes, such as the move that shifted Cherokee production from Toledo to Belvidere, Ill., and the launch of the new Jeep Compass SUV past year.

"We know it was a very contested segment", says Jeep and Ram brand chief Mike Manley. "We needed that to get attention" after the lackluster success of the supremely forgettable Liberty.

Part of that is a step away from a headlight design that was somewhat divisive, for a look that is more wide open and more in tune with other parts of the lineup. But he also said, during a backgrounder on the new compact ute, that its beauty is more than skin deep and that there are other notable updates to the 2019 model.

Jeep's 4×4 systems get a bit of a tweak for the 2019 Cherokee.

Visually, the most immediately apparent update can be seen right up front. The 3.2-liter is still the towing leader, though, boasting a best-in-class 4,500-lb tow rating.

It's nearly as if designers took the headlights of the latest Compass and combined them with those of the 2018 Cherokee.

The aluminum hood, composite liftgate, lighter LEDs, new engine cradle and new suspension geometry contribute to a 200-pound weight loss.

Aesthetic updates include the use of high-gloss Piano Black and Satin Chrome accents on the interior. A welcome touch is the addition of more room for a phone near the charger and the addition of a rear USB port.

This includes the addition of a 7.0-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen with pinch and zoom capability, which is equipped with the fourth-generation Connect system which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Cargo space is up with the '19, and there are improvements to the cargo storage space layout.

The 2.4-litre four-cylinder, which now develops 180 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, remains the base powerplant.

A new 2.0-liter turbo four is added to the 2019 Jeep Cherokee's engine lineup, rated 269 horsepower and 295 pound-feet.

Under the hood you'll still find the same naturally aspirated 2.4 and 3.2-litre engine options, but both have been fettled for improved fuel consumption. A nine-speed automatic is the only transmission available.

The hardcore 2019 Cherokee Trailhawk variant receives unique features created to highlight its toughness.

In contrast to the outside, the Cherokee's interior carries over almost unchanged. It features unique front and rear fascia, as well as a one-inch lift, skid plates and "signature" front red tow hooks. Active Drive Lock adds a locking rear differential for gnarlier off-road conditions.

Three all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive systems are available, and all have been enhanced.

In recent years, Jeep has rolled out a number of new or updated models, including the little Renegade and the completely redesigned Wrangler that has always been the brand's icon.

Included in those features is adaptive cruise control, which FCA says can "bring the vehicle to a complete stop without driver intervention, in certain conditions".

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