2019 JEEP CHEROKEE
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.