The Jeep Cherokee was introduced in 2014 as an all-new vehicle. So, 5 years later, what could possibly be new?
A lot, actually.
From design to tech improvements, several features are completely new on this mid-cycle refresh.
“Polarizing” is the word I’ve most-frequently heard when describing the headlights on the Jeep Cherokee. The weird daytime-running light “eyebrow” squinting solo above the teeny, tiny headlamp well below the beltline gave a weird front profile that one of my Facebook friends deemed “predator”-like.
But here, 5 years after launch, the most significant thing about the Cherokee refresh is the DRL and headlight have been combined into a single casing.
The benefit is it looks more elegant and, functionally, the higher placement of the headlamp lights the road better at night.
Another point to note: LED headlights are standard at the base Latitude trim.
The current model Cherokee has a bit of a Pinocchio nose, which played into the overall quirk of the vehicle. But everything from the A-Pillar forward is all new in the 2019 Cherokee.
So, in addition to the new headlight treatment, the entire front of the vehicle is a bit more refined. Rather than the pointed front end, the hood is raised by about an inch, which gives a more blunted and masculine look.
2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
This is an all-new engine for the Cherokee, and it accompanies the carryover 2.4-liter 4-cylinder Tigershark and 3.2-liter V-6 Pentastar engines. It is the top-tier engine that delivers 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
We love the smooth and seamless power, and after having driven all three engines back to back, this is the clear winner in terms of the power-efficiency combo. It’s also super quiet, even under hard acceleration, which we really appreciate.
Additionally, it’s available at every trim – even the base Latitude – and it’s only a $500 premium over the up-level V-6.
Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
The 7-inch Uconnect infotainment screen is standard at the base Latitude trim, which means that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.
I’m an iPhone user, and while I’m not generally a fan of Apple CarPlay, I do like that it’s standard at the base level, and I really like the voice-to-text function.
Another important note: I made two calls to the same person via the car – one using Bluetooth and one using the wired-in CarPlay connection. The CarPlay phone call came off more clear and was easier to make hands-free.
Lower base price
The value proposition is one of the big messages Jeep is trying to drive home with the refreshed Cherokee. The base Latitude trim adds more standard content, yet at $23,995, it costs $400 less than the current base model.
Another point of note: The Latitude Plus trim may cost $200 more than the current Latitude Plus, but it adds standard safety equipment, which more than makes up for the extra cost.
The Bottom Line
Jeep has gone upscale with the new Cherokee, creating an attractive and capable midsize SUV. It’s set to compete in a very lucrative segment with excellent engine options, more amenities and a lower price than the previous model.