Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Jeep Cherokee Updates Appearance, Adds Turbo Engine

Jeep Cherokee Updates Appearance, Adds Turbo Engine

The Cherokee KL's multi-tiered design gives way to a more conservative style. LED lighting is used for the headlights, fog lamps and taillights, while new paint colours and alloy wheel designs are also available.

With the new Jeep Cherokee, consumers get 12 exterior color options: Blue Shade, Sting-Gray, Velvet Red, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal, Billet Silver, Diamond Black Crystal, Pearl White and Bright White, Olive Green, Hydro Blue, and Light Brownstone. Like the previous models, the 2019 Cherokee has independent suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and an independent multilink suspension in the rear. Roof rails complete the new look. Adaptive Cruise Control sensors are hidden up in the front bumper around the new foglights.

As with all Jeep models, the new Cherokee wasn't created to be a "soft-roader", and there'll be a Trailhawk model for 2019 designed for some serious off-road duties.

The new Cherokee will be available in four trim levels when it goes on sale later this spring.

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"It was a polarizing design", acknowledged Michael Manley, the head of FCA's Jeep and Ram divisions. The relocated license plate also helps tie the Cherokee's tail in with the Compass and Grand Cherokee.

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".

The newly designed rear not only looks better, but it improves cargo capacity, too. Similarly, there's more storage for small objects, as well as more cargo space behind the rear seats, 27 cubic feet, up 3 cubic feet from the current Cherokee. Many things stay the same-it's a mid-cycle refresh, after all-but the changes Jeep did make are significant, headlined by that new front end.

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The new Jeep Cherokee will be one of the few vehicles to come with 2-liter inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Models equipped with this version also get an extra 25mm of ground clearance. The 3.2L V6 is also offered with 271 horsepower and at the base end the 180 horsepower 2.4L Tigershark four-cylinder is available. Performance-wise, the engine scores well, but in the Wrangler, it is integrated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Cherokee still boasts plenty of capability with a choice of three 4×4 systems.

All three systems offer the ability to disconnect the rear axle, and will automatically switch between two- and four-wheel drive to maintain traction. The system requires no driver intervention, and it's an all-new design for the Cherokee. Finally, there's Jeep Active Drive Lock, which builds on Jeep Active Drive II with a locking rear differential for more extreme off-road driving.

The second generation vehicle has a more modern look.

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Available in five trim configurations - Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland and Trailhawk - the Cherokee is manufactured at the Belvidere Assembly in IL.

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