Fiat-Chrysler has pulled back the curtain on a refreshed Jeep Cherokee, revealing a new-look exterior that tips its hat to the heritage of the iconic off-roader. Onboard is a revamped fascia and hood, along with a brand new 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee was a bit of a departure from the popular SUV's typical shape, and it wasn't so well received (at least initially, though it did go on to become the brand's second-best selling model that year). The 2019 refresh does away with the edgier grille and separated lights in favor of a smoother front end, with a lighter waterfall hood, reimagined fascia with LED fog lamps and the signature seven-slot grille sitting between single-piece rectangular LED headlamps.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine offers 270 hp (201 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque and is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The 2019 Cherokee will also be available with a Pentastar 3.2-liter V-6 for 271 hp (202 kW) and 239 lb-ft (324 Nm) and a towing capability of 4,500 lb (2,041 kg), along with a more efficient 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 bringing 180 hp (134 kW) and 170 lb-ft (230 Nm) of torque.
On the inside, there's an extra three inches of trunk space accessed via a redesigned liftgate, which is available as a handsfree version that can be activated with a kicking motion beneath the bumper.
At the front end, a redesigned center console features a larger storage pocket to host mobile devices, with a USB and 115-volt outlet close by for easy connection. The rest of the cabin has received some minor cosmetic tweaks, such as high-gloss Piano Black and chrome accents around the 7- or 8.4-inch touchscreen, air vents and gear shifter bezels. A dual-pane sunroof with motorized sunshade is also available.
That touchscreen runs the fourth generation of the brand's Uconnect system, allowing for handsfree calls and text, Bluetooth connectivity and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee will be available in five different trim configurations with one of five new wheel options, including a polished aluminum 19-inch Overland model. It was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this week, and although there is no word yet on pricing, Fiat-Chrysler says it will start appearing in Jeep showrooms in the first quarter of this year.
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