2019 JEEP CHEROKEE

4WDrive - - Contents - Words and pho­tos by Perry Mack

The new Cherokee sports new front fas­cia, light­weight alu­minum hood, LED head­lamps, day­time run­ning lamps and fog lamps - all of which are nice, but the big news is the 2.0-liter di­rect-in­jec­tion tur­bocharged in­line four-cylin­der en­gine with 270 horse­power and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.

This new en­gine out­per­forms the other two op­tions, the 2.4-liter Tiger­shark Mul­tiAir2 en­gine with 180 horse­power and 170 lb.-ft. of torque, and the 3.2-liter Pen­tas­tar V-6 en­gine with 271 hp and 239 lb.-ft. of torque. But if the new en­gine is great, why buy any­thing else? If good gas mileage and low price is the name of your game, then the Tiger­Shark should prove to be the most fuel ef­fi­cient and most af­ford­able en­gine. If tow­ing is what tows your boat (or any­thing else) then the V-6 with a tow­ing ca­pa­bil­ity of 4,500 lbs is still your best bet.

The 2.0L I-4 gets a per­for­mance edge as it is mated to the new nine­speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, which is specif­i­cally tuned to the 2.0L’s per­for­mance. Driv­ing with this pow­er­train will pro­vide more shift sched­ules, so that you get the power you want when you hit the gas hard, fuel ef­fi­cient rpms when you are cruis­ing, and smoother shifts through­out a nor­mal range of ac­cel­er­a­tion and de­cel­er­a­tion.

Pas­sen­ger car style en­hance­ments in­clude a new push-push fuel door and cap­less fuel fill so no more smelly hands from touch­ing the gas. The new light­weight power lift­gate is also an ap­pre­ci­ated fea­ture, as is the wider cargo area. By in­creas­ing the cargo area width by 3”, Jeep has achieved a vol­ume of just over 27 cu ft.

The look is more modern with a wide ag­gres­sive stance, which makes it a very ap­peal­ing mid-size SUV. It still re­tains the seven-slat grill for the Jeep faith­ful and those ready to be rec­og­nized as em­brac­ing the Jeep her­itage.

The Trail­hawk edi­tion is still my favourite as it re­tains some off-road cred with pro­tec­tive steel skid plates un­der­neath, 17-inch off-road tires, red tow hooks, a lock­ing rear dif­fer­en­tial, an ap­proach an­gle of 29.9°, de­par­ture an­gle of 32.2°, breakover an­gle of 22.9° and a run­ning ground clear­ance of 22.1 cm (8.7 in). Tight spa­ces on the trail (or in the park­ing lot) are a breeze with the ad­vanced elec­tronic power steer­ing sys­tem (EPS) pro­vid­ing a turn ra­dius of roughly 11.6 m (38 ft) in 4x4 mod­els.

I’m a fan of high-tech so I nat­u­rally

grav­i­tate to the Ucon­nect sys­tems (7.0, 8.4 and 8.4 NAV), which fea­ture Ap­ple Car Play and An­droid Auto. Oth­ers love the ParkSense Par­al­lel/Per­pen­dic­u­lar Park As­sist fea­ture and a host safety en­hance­ments for “obliv­i­ous-to-their-sur­round­ings” driv­ers, in­clud­ing adap­tive cruise con­trol-plus (ACC+), which can main­tain a set dis­tance be­tween you and the car ahead - or can bring the ve­hi­cle to a com­plete stop with­out driver in­ter­ven­tion, and for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, which if you are not us­ing ACC+ preloads the brake, and if you don’t re­spond makes noise and flashes lights to wake you up, briefly hits the brakes, then hits the brakes a lit­tle longer, and fi­nally de­ploys Ad­vanced Brake As­sist if the com­puter feels you are not brak­ing ag­gres­sively enough. In to­tal there are 80 avail­able safety and se­cu­rity fea­tures.

Pric­ing hasn’t been an­nounced yet but it is com­ing soon as you will be able to buy one this spring. Fuel econ­omy num­bers have also not been re­leased, but there are two things you can count on, L/100 km will be a lit­tle lower, and the price will be a lit­tle higher.

There are a mul­ti­tude of mid-sized SUV’s to choose from on the mar­ket to­day. Many of which are com­pletely in­dis­tin­guish­able at a glance. There is only one how­ever, that has a trail-rated off-road her­itage. For those of us who must live in the city, but need to es­cape far­ther than a lo­cal park, this SUV is a great choice.

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