?2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland?
A most capable all-new mid-size SUV
The Jeep Cherokee model lineup was once perceived to be simply a midrange alternative, that fell in between the more capable Jeep Wrangler offerings and the more sophisticated and luxurious Jeep Grand Cherokee models not only in price point, but in what it had to offer in terms of both its physical appeal and off-road capability. It actually served its purpose quite well for consumers who weren?t seriously into rigorous off-road challenges and for those who weren?t interested in forking over the extra green needed to acquire the more upscale Grand Cherokee.
The new 2019 Jeep Cherokee stable has adopted a more premium design quality that still manages to stay true to Jeep?s iconic styling heritage, while at the same time serves up an enhanced driving experience both on and off-road. There are five different trim levels available: the base model Latitude which comes in either a 4×2 or 4×4 configuration; the Latitude Plus which steps up the content level and is also available as either a 4×2 or 4×4; the serious off-roader of the group, the Trailhawk that is only available as a 4×4; a more upscale Limited 4×4; and the flagship Jeep Cherokee Overland 4×4. Base pricing ranges from $23,995. to $37,775. A Destination charge of $1,195 must be added to each model in addition to any options.
In terms of its visual appeal, the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee sports an all-new front fascia, hood, LED headlamps, daytime running lamps and fog lamps. There?s a new lightweight, hands-free power liftgate, five new wheel designs, including a premium19-inch wheel unique to the Overland model.
Open air motoring enjoyment is available via a dual-pane sunroof and the overall cabin ambience is displayed with enhanced interior functionality and design, featuring new Satin Chrome and Piano Black high-gloss trim accents.
Cargo volume has been improved as well and provides more convenient storage space.
Power sources include; an all-new 2.0-liter ?direct-injection? turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that produces 270 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque featuring engine stop-start (ESS); technology to optimize fuel economy and minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with ESS technology that delivers 271 horsepower along with 239 pound feet of torque and a ?best-in-class? towing capability of 4,500 lbs: and a Fuel-efficient 2.4-iter Tigershark MultiAir2 engine with ESS technology rated at 180 horsepower and 170 pound feet of torque. The new Cherokee now tips the scale at 150 pounds less than its predecessor, further enhancing fuel efficiency.
An enhanced nine-speed automatic transmission is standard for all models and is tuned to match the performance of the all-new 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine.
The new Cherokee boasts ?Best-in-class Jeep Trail Rated capability, featuring
enhanced four-wheel-drive systems that set the benchmark for mid-size SUVs including:
? An all-new Jeep Active Drive I with next-generation rear drive module
that reduces weight while enhancing fuel efficiency and performance
? Jeep Active Drive II with a two-speed Power Transfer Unit (PTU)
and low-range gear reduction.
? Jeep Active Drive Lock with two-speed PTU, low-range and mechanically
locking rear differential.
? Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with up to five customized modes ?
Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock.
For off-road clearances, see spec box. The Crawl ratio is up to a 51.2:1.
This latest iteration Jeep Cherokee is now the most capable mid-size SUV available, and its evolutionary progression provides more interior comfort and convenience, for everyday practicality with vastly improved ride and handling characteristics, independent front-and rear-suspension systems with world-class body torsional stiffness and more than 80 safety and security features.
The Trail Rated 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model tops the list for unmatched off-road capability within the segment with a redesigned aggressive front fascia, improved approach angle, anti-glare hood decal and standard red tow hooks. Rugged terrain is a breeze as Trailhawk models include protective steel skid plates beneath, with exemplary departure angles, higher fender flares
and ride height plus dedicated 17-inch off-road tires for class-leading 4×4 capability.
The Cherokee stable?s cabin has also been updated, receiving a freshened, more finished styling touch, while still managing to provide comfortable, yet practical surroundings. Satin Chrome tracer accents display a custom look around the radio, air vent, and gearshift bezels, and the electric park brake button is now enclosed around the shifter bezel for easier operation.
The center console?s front media center hub (USB port and 115-volt outlet) has been resculpted and repositioned rearward creating additional space with the enlargement of the front storage pocket, ideal for positioning mobile smart phones and other devices next to the integral USB port for easier connected services access.
Front seats are ergonomically designed for enhanced support, and the available 60/40 split second-row seats adjust fore and aft for improved passenger comfort and cargo versatility. The rear cargo capacity has also been increased over three inches in width, now totaling more than 27 cubic feet, allowing for additional storage space that can easily accommodate lifestyle adventure gear.
The new 2019 Jeep Cherokee receives the latest Fourth-generation Uconnect systems, which include enhanced processing power, faster start-up times and high-resolution graphic touchscreen displays with a choice between 7.0-, or 8.4-inch touchscreen. Uconnect systems available in North America are: Uconnect 7.0; Uconnect 8.4; and Uconnect 8.4 NAV. Available features and services include: Handsfree phone calls or texts; Built-in radio options, that allow streaming internet radio through Bluetooth or plug-in compatible personal devices into USB or AUX ports. Cherokee models equipped with the Uconnect 7.0, 8.4 or 8.4 NAV systems include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Active and passive safety and security features include: ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist; Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus; Forward
Collision Warning-Plus; and LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus; SOS button; Electronic Stability Control; Electronic Roll Mitigation; Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines and eight standard air bags.
My test Jeep Cherokee was an Overland model powered by the 270
horsepower 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with Gasoline Direct Injection, auto stop/start, and Jeep Active Drive II 4WD System. The base price was set at $38,275., while options and the Destination charge bumped the final tally to $41,780. Options were the Advanced Tech Group and Dual-Pane Sunroof. The exterior was finished in Velvet Red, complemented by a Black leather interior.
SUMMARY: My Jeep Cherokee on-road driving was done in an Overland model powered by the 2.0-liter turbo four-banger, coupled to the 9-speed automatic overdrive transmission. Off-road driving and rock crawling was done in a Cherokee Trialhawk over a surprisingly challenging course.
The entire lineup of this latest Jeep Cherokee is not only more attractive and modern looking, with its updated styling treatment, and all models are considerably advanced in terms of performance both on and off-road. As with the new Wrangler, there?s no more dodging and darting over washboard surfaces, and there?s also an increased stability over challenging, twisty back roads.
Acceleration is highly responsive and the handling characteristics overall are definitely more satisfying than with earlier Cherokee examples.
In serious rock crawling scenarios, the new Cherokees were surprisingly capable ? perhaps not up to the level of the Wrangler Rubicon, but certainly positive confidence building. Whenever asked what the best vehicle is for serious and abusive off-roading, my answer has always been the Jeep Wrangler. I may have to rethink that considering the advancements made across the entire model range of the new Jeep Cherokee and depending upon the requirements of the particular consumer.
In the bottom line analysis, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee is now a more viable choice when contemplating off-road sojourns. I may not rival the Wrangler over the roughest terrain imaginable, and it may not be as plush as the Grand Cherokee, but it certainly accomplishes the tasks that it?s intended for.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland
Base Price: $38,275.
Price as Tested: $41,780.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged inline 4-cylinder with Gasoline Direct Injection and engine stop/start.
Horsepower (bhp): 270 @ 5,250 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 295 @ 3,000-4,500 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine/ Jeep Active Drive II 4WD System
Suspension: Front – McPherson strut, long travel coil springs, one-piece steel sub-frame, aluminum lower control arms, stabilizer bar.
Rear – Four-link rear suspension with trailing arm, aluminum lateral link isolated high-strength steel rear cradle, coil springs and stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, ESC and all-wheel Traction Control.
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza P235/50 R19 99H mounted on 5-large machine face ?V?-spoke alloy wheels with 5 painted separator spokes.
Wheelbase: 107.1 inches
Length Overall: 182.0 inches
Width: 73.2 inches
Height: 67.3 inches ? with roof rack
Curb Weight: 3,953 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38.0 ft.
Approach Angle: 21.0 degrees ? with air dam
Breakover Angle: 17.7 degrees
Departure Angle: 27.3 degrees
Tow Capacity: 2,000 lbs. – All models without Trailer-tow Group and equipped with aftermarket Class II type hitch
Fuel Capacity: 15.9 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: TBD mpg city / TBD mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.339 2.4-liter with grille shutters
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.