If you need a small SUV that has the ability to tow or go off-road, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee is well worth a look. Happily, the overall appearance will be more pleasant this year. Jeep has given the exterior styling a much-needed refresh and included numerous updates in the cabin and under the hood.
- New exterior appearance
- New optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
- An updated standard infotainment system
- Available V6 and turbocharged engines provide smooth and assertive power
- Absorbent suspension smooths out rough surfaces
- Capable and user-friendly 8.4-inch touchscreen on many versions
- Trailhawk offers unique off-road capability for a small crossover
- Sluggish acceleration with the base 2.4-liter motor
- Less cargo capacity compared to other smaller crossovers
See also: 2019 Ford Edge ST Review
Review of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee
The new 2019 Jeep Cherokee rolls out with an updated exterior, a new turbocharged engine, an updated infotainment on the inside. It is almost as capable as the Grand Cherokee but comes in a slightly smaller package.
The Cherokee can be loaded with more value to compete with the likes of the Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V. The new Jeep has some noteworthy semi-autonomous security features, classy luxury choices, and some of the most capable off-road equipment of any vehicle on the market today.
The Cherokee still does not offer as much cargo capacity as the competition, and despite the new 2.0-liter engine, fuel economy falls somewhat short of SUVs that lead this class.
The ever-practical Honda CR-V remains an easy and simple choice for buyers who do not require the Cherokee’s particular strengths thanks to its exceptional cargo space and efficacy. If you are going to be spending most of your time on the street, the Mazda CX-5 equally feels more upscale in the cabin and is more engaging to drive.
Trim Levels and Features
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is a small crossover SUV offered in five primary trim levels. The Latitude is the base trim, and the Latitude Plus adds premium gear, but you need to go until the Limited and off-road-focused Trailhawk trims to find standard safety equipment. Lastly, the top-notch Overland includes all of the interior and exterior amenities.
Standard on the 2019 Jeep Cherokees is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. You may even get an optional 3.2-liter V6 that makes 271 hp and 239 lb-ft or a 2.0-liter turbo that makes 270 hp and 295 lb-ft. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard with all motors. The Latitude, Limited and Overland are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, while the Trailhawk comes standard with all-wheel drive.
Standard features for your Latitude comprise of 17-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, heated side mirrors, height-adjustable front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seatback, a folding front passenger seat with a storage compartment within the chair cushion, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a USB port, a new 7-inch touchscreen interface and a six-speaker sound system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration are standard across the range for 2019.
The Latitude Plus trim adds keyless ignition and entrance, leather inserts in the upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Satellite radio is standard, as is a passive keyless entry system with a push-button start and two additional USB ports.
The Latitude Plus has one noteworthy package available, the Comfort and Convenience package, which adds features like an additional household power socket, dual-zone climate control, a power liftgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, and a universal garage door opener.
The Limited trim level includes the Latitude’s Comfort and Convenience package, and also adds 18-inch wheels, blind-spot tracking and rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, a power front passenger seat, leather upholstery, an updated driver information display in the gauge cluster, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
The Latitude, Latitude Plus, and Limited come standard with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The turbocharged 2.0-liter and V6 engines are available as an update for the Latitude Plus and Limited trims.
The range-topping Overland comes standard with the V6, with the choice to upgrade to the 2.0-liter engine, and has unique 18-inch wheels, unique body-colored exterior trim, cornering lights, sound-deadening windshield and front windows, driver-seat memory capabilities, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, wood steering-wheel inserts, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, sliding rear seat, a nine-speaker sound system, a navigation system, and HD radio.
The nine-speaker stereo and sunroof are available as standard features in lower trim levels.
The off-road-themed Trailhawk includes an innovative all-wheel-drive system (Active Drive II with Active Drive Lock) and also boasts slightly wider 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, higher ground clearance, off-road-oriented suspension tuning, a locking rear differential, hill ascent, and descent control, skid plates, tow hooks, unique exterior trim, and exceptional fabric and leather upholstery.
Its equipment otherwise largely mirrors the Limited trim level, although it lacks the power liftgate, remote start, and auto-dimming rearview mirror. All these are part of this Trailhawk Comfort and Convenience package. For the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland, the V6 is standard while the 2.0-liter is a much-desired option. Navigation is available for both the Limited and the Trailhawk.
The more Innovative Active Drive II AWD system from the Trailhawk is available as an optional extra on AWD-equipped Latitude Plus, Limited and Overland Cherokees.
Miscellaneous Features and Options
Lots of the higher trims’ attributes are offered on lower-level models via optional packages or as stand-alone extras. If you’re considering towing, then equip your Latitude Plus, Limited or Trailhawk trim with a Trailer Tow group bundle. This package contains a standalone transmission cooler, Class III hitch, trailer wiring harness for both four- and seven-pin systems, in addition to a full-size spare. V6-equipped models also receive additional engine cooling.
Jeep also has the Technology Group bundle on the Limited, Trailhawk, and Overland trims. Contained in this safety-oriented bundle are forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, traffic-adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic wipers, auto high-beam headlights, and an automated parking system that operates on both parallel and perpendicular areas.
The outside refresh for your 2019 Jeep Cherokee is subtle but noticeable. Now, it looks like the little brother of the Grand Cherokee, as it ought to. The headlamps and fog lights are more unified in their layout positioning. Otherwise, the Cherokee gets in line with other crossover SUVs from the class. The profile is small with just a small design line high in the door paneling. The back of the Cherokee is free of gimmicks and focuses your attention on the taillights rather than a bulky group of unnecessary paneling.
The Trailhawk has some distinctive design elements that set it apart from other version trims. The bumpers, which are blacked-out and have attractive red tow hooks, have been reshaped to grow the approach angle. The roof rails, mirrors, and grille have Trailhawk customized accents. There are two different 17-inch wheel layouts available for the Trailhawk, and it seems favorably aggressive with all-terrain tires.
The 2019 Cherokee has three all-wheel-drive systems and best-in-class towing as you’d come to expect from a Jeep. When adequately outfitted with AWD, it can tow up to 4,500 pounds. The front-wheel-drive set-up will drastically reduce those capabilities down to 2,000 lbs. There are three powertrain choices for the new Jeep. The first option is a lackluster 2.4-liter, lookup engine that doesn’t add much value to the Cherokee.
Most buyers will want something more powerful and be willing to give up some fuel economy to get it. There’s a brand new engine for the 2019 Cherokee: a 2.0-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine that achieves 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The heftiest powertrain option is your 3.2-liter, V6 that does all the heavy lifting. All Cherokee models get mated into a nine-speed automatic transmission.
While I’d enjoy the V6’s easy power, the new turbo 2.0-liter has a much better balance of power and efficiency. The base four-cylinder engine is underpowered. Handling for the Cherokee is sufficient, but this Jeep shines best with the Trailhawk and its improved off-road capacity.
The ideal version for 4×4 capacities is your 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. It has a complete skid plate under the car that covers the front suspension, fuel tank, transmission, and underbelly. It’s better ground clearance than other versions and knobby tires to conquer any terrain. It’s two tow hooks in front and one in the trunk, and off-road art bolstered by crawl controller, select terrain grip, and off-road suspension.
The 3.2-liter V6 comes standard on the Trailhawk, and additionally, it comes standard with a heavy-duty motor and engine oil cooling systems. The Trailhawk can get outfitted with the more fuel-efficient inline-four, but doing this would undermine the power and capabilities of this Trailhawk and just serve to feature its own badges and cosmetic embellishments. To put it differently, do not swap out the engine.
Related: 2019 Dodge Durango SRT
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee includes 128 cubic feet of passenger volume and 54.9 cubic feet of total cargo space. Rear seats are 60/40 split-folding and proceed to back to help with loading and keeping cumbersome objects. The interior space is developed to fit nearly any goal. There are storage spaces for all kinds of items within the cabin. The glove box is large. The center stack has two unique slots for cellular phones or purses.
If you like to get dirty, then it’s possible to equip the Cherokee with easy-wipe vinyl chairs, all-weather floor mats, and humidity detectors. If you’re searching for a more complex inside, then the Limited and Overland models have accessible conveniences on tap, in addition to a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and matching shift knob. They also have a power liftgate, garage door opener, and heated front leather seats.
The Cherokee does lots of things right. There’s loads of space, it’s easy to climb in and out of, and the controls are largely self-explanatory. The inside feels well-built, but the quality of the materials is just average. There are blind spots, but the rearview camera helps.
The 2019 Cherokee comes with an updated infotainment system which begins with a 7-inch touchscreen display in the middle console. The Uconnect interface is quite straightforward and simple to navigate with voice commands and massive icons. Every model gets a USB port, six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth capability, and two 12-volt electricity outlets.
Another standout feature is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay being standard on all model trims. That is a huge win for the Cherokee since some automakers are not offering it whatsoever. The Overland model trim benefits from HD radio, a nine-speaker sound system, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen display.
Jeep’s Uconnect system is well-known among several motorists. Its big graphics are clear and easy to read. Pairing with your phone is simple, and functioning for regular entertainment purposes requires no manual.
Safety in a brand new Jeep begins with eight airbags plus a high-strength steel framework. The 2019 Jeep Cherokee comes standard with a rearview camera that could assist with rear visibility because the thick columns partially block the driver’s view. Several electronic stability and traction systems are also standard. Since the Cherokee has class-leading towing, it is great to know that it also includes a trailer sway control function. This security feature automatically adjusts braking, torque, and horsepower to keep the trailer consistent with the rest of the automobile.
It’s great to see the Jeep Cherokee shed its polarizing front fascia and embrace a more simplified front grille. The redesign was a fantastic idea and implemented at the ideal time. The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is well-appointed with attributes like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Additionally, it features an infotainment system that is not too busy or distracting.
The 2.4-liter engine is a waste of space though. Moreover, if you are in the market for a Trailhawk version, you will lose some advanced security features such as lane departure and front collision warnings. The 2019 Cherokee is not just banking on its own off-road capacities, however, you’ll need to customize your Cherokee at just about any level to obtain the right mix of features and functions.