Dormant till its 2014 revival, Cherokee is a reputation that has a particular place in Jeep historical past because the vehicle that primarily launched the game-utility growth again in 1974. Previous to the Cherokee most SUVs have been both Jeeps (CJ5, CJ7) or rugged wagons designed to carry out in unpaved terrain (think Ford Bronco).
The unique Cherokee was a recreation-changer. Cherokees started displaying up in suburban driveways and grocery store parking tons, owned or at the least pushed by ladies. The phenomenon didn’t go unnoticed by the remainder of the business. Chevrolet quickly responded with the Blazer II, Ford with the Bronco II, and it was recreation on.
For 2019, the latter day Cherokee will get an in depth refurbishing. Although the updates don’t prolong to the basic structure (chassis dimensions carry over from the 2014 revival) the exterior has been restyled, the interior is a bit more upscale, cargo capability makes an incremental achieve, the engineers have pared as a lot as one hundred fifty kilos from curb weights (relying on mannequin), there’s a brand new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine choice, and a brand new turbodiesel on the horizon.
Fundamentals: like each Jeep however the Wrangler, the Cherokee is a unitbody (the body and physique are unitized), principally a entrance-wheel drive design with the choice of 4-wheel drive. It competes with compact crossovers such because the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape.
And naturally as with all Jeep, off-street competence is a part of the deal, notably within the path-rated Trailhawk mannequin.
The standard engine continues to be a 2.four-liter SOHC 4-cylinder, one hundred eighty horsepower, one hundred seventy pound-ft of torque, and the normal improve continues to be the equally acquainted three.2-liter V6 (271 hp, 239 lb-ft). Shared with the brand new Jeep Wrangler, a turbocharged 2.zero-liter 4 (270 hp, 295 lb-ft) additionally joins the choice record. All three engines are paired with a 9-velocity automated transmission, and two ranges of 4-wheel drive can be found.
Regardless of the turbo’s huge edge in torque, the V6 is the towing champ, rated as much as 4500 kilos. The turbo maxes out at 4000 kilos.
All three engines have cease/begin know-how. The two.four-liter 4 and three.2-liter V6 run on regular fuel, whereas the brand new turbocharged 2.zero-liter requires premium.
EPA fuel financial system ratings for the 2019 Cherokee: 23/31 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 26 mpg Mixed with the turbocharged 2.zero-liter engine and entrance-wheel drive, 21/29/24 mpg with all-wheel drive; 22/31/25 mpg for the two.four-liter automated, 21/29/24 with all-wheel drive. The three.2-liter V6 charges 20/29/23 mpg. A Trailhawk 4WD V6 is rated 18/24/21. The turbocharged engine requires Premium gasoline. The two.four-liter engine can use much less-costly Common. Splitting the distinction, the V6 likes a minimum of Midgrade.
There are 5 Cherokee trim ranges for 2019: Cherokee Latitude ($24,690); Latitude Plus ($27,995); Restricted ($30,375); Trailhawk ($33,320); Overland ($36,275).
Trailhawk comes with 4-wheel drive, the opposite fashions come standard with entrance-wheel drive; Lively Drive I and Lively Drive II are elective.
There’s no mistaking the Cherokee for something aside from a Jeep (one thing that’s true for all Jeeps). The seven-slot grille is acquainted, however the design group has made it barely beefier. However probably the most instantly seen change is the entrance finish lighting format, which locations the squinty new LED headlights (standard on all trims) excessive with the fog lights under.
The bumper is new on all however the Trailhawk (the design group prioritized sustaining these purple tow hooks), as is the aluminum hood, and the rear finish has a brand new composite tailgate operable by the favored arms-free foot-swipe feature. LED taillights are additionally new, as is the capless fuel filler. The Trailhawk nostril is clearly designed to supply an improved angle of strategy for tackling abrupt inclines. Its Path Rated badge signifies the Trailhawk is able to traversing the Rubicon Path with out sustaining injury, within the arms of a very good driver, that’s.
Updates contained in the Cherokee are delicate: improved supplies, new colour-coordinated decor with fancy names reminiscent of Storm Blue (impressed by the Icelandic panorama), and new trim particulars similar to piano black plastic and satin chrome.
The middle console has been redesigned and shifted barely rearward, creating an area for stashing a cellular phone close to a USB port, enhancing connectivity. There’s additionally a one hundred fifteen-volt outlet, in addition to the newest model of FCA’s Uconnect infotainment system.
Obtainable premium touches embrace heated and ventilated seats clad in Nappa leather-based and a heated steering wheel.
For 2019, Jeep has designed extra quantity into the rear cargo area, which expands to 26 cubic ft, vast sufficient to accommodate a pair of golf luggage mendacity aspect by aspect, based on Jeep. With the rear seats folded flat, max cargo is fifty five cubic ft.
And a nifty Jeep contact: in Cherokees outfitted with ParkSense parking help, when the system is engaged little digital photographs of the unique 1941 Willys Jeep seem on the dashboard display.
Our test drives employed two of the Cherokee’s three obtainable engines: The brand new 2.zero turbo 4 and the tried-and-true three.2-liter V6, each paired with the recalibrated 9-velocity automated. Whereas the turbo is rated for gobs of low-finish grunt, the transmission’s programming make it reluctant to kick down, and when the turbocharged engine is out of the candy a part of its powerband it’s sluggish.
The V6 fares a bit higher on this respect, however the transmission nonetheless requires willpower of the driving force’s half to downshift. Paddle shifters would give the driving force extra management, however they’re not provided with any of the Cherokees.
On the winding, mountainous Mulholland Freeway west of Los Angeles, we discovered the brand new Jeep delivers clean experience high quality and is devoid of surprises. It doesn’t rank on the prime of its class when it comes to on-street agility, nevertheless, stacking up as dynamically common amongst mid-size crossovers on pavement. Transient responses are deliberate and the driving force doesn’t should push very exhausting to impress protests from the tires.
It’s a special story when the pavement ends. On a brief however extreme off-street drive, we benefitted from Jeep’s Selec-Velocity crawl management, a kind of off-street cruise management that efficiently maintains low speeds, right down to about zero.6 mph, regardless of how a lot the vehicle could also be leaping round over rocky terrain. We think it’s truthful to say that even a basic Latitude mannequin with the Lively Drive I 4-wheel drive will go locations no different vehicle on this class can deal with.
There are numerous engaging gamers within the more and more common compact crossover recreation. Whereas Jeep cachet provides the Cherokee an edge versus the competitors, it might be exhausting to see it as best-in-class for on a regular basis driving. If critical off-street use is on the menu the Cherokee holds the excessive floor. With 4-wheel drive, the Cherokee is very succesful in wintry circumstances, notably within the case of the Trailhawk mannequin with its Firestone tires.
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