The spotter directs me to place the driving force’s aspect of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk in a ditch, protecting the opposite up on the excessive line of this off-road course at a Jeep-sponsored press drive outdoors of Los Angeles, California. As I inch ahead, the ditch will get deeper and the Jeep tilts to the left – at this level, I can truly attain out the window and pluck a dandelion from the bottom. One other few toes ahead and the Cherokee is again on stage floor once more, prepared for the subsequent tough impediment.
No, most folk will not must side-hill their day by day driver on their common commute. However for many who do – and people who like figuring out they may in the event that they needed to – there’s the Jeep Cherokee.
The Cherokee is a midsize crossover that slots in between the newly redesignedand bigger . It is accessible with a alternative of front- or four-wheel drive in base Latitude, Latitude Plus, Restricted and top-end Overland trims. A butch Trailhawk trim is on the market, as properly, however solely with 4×4 functionality.
If you happen to hated the entrance finish of the, you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of aid. The daytime working lights and ahead lights at the moment are mixed into one housing, harking back to what you see on the brand new Compass. The result’s manner much less polarizing, for positive. That stated, for those who beloved the entrance finish of the outdated Cherokee… properly, it’s also possible to breathe a sigh of aid. These new headlights nonetheless wrap across the fenders only a bit, so it would not lose all of its funky Cherokee-ness. Each followers and foes of the earlier design ought to discover this redesign to be a pleasant compromise.
The 2019 Cherokee comes with a alternative of three powertrains. The bottom 2.Four-liter Tigershark inline-four and the elective three.2-liter Pentastar V6 carry over largely unchanged from the earlier Cherokee, however new for 2019, a 2.Zero-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is on the market – the identical one you may discover beneath the hood of the, though with out the eTorque mild-hybrid system.
The V6 places out 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque, which is a lot for pushing the Cherokee up and over the hills close to Malibu, and greater than sufficient grunt for fast merges and passes in notoriously hellacious Los Angeles site visitors. On extra participating, twisty again roads, the Cherokee provides assured, properly weighted steering and managed physique motions. The revamped nine-speed computerized transmission tends to upshift too quickly, all within the identify of gasoline effectivity, however fortunately a Sport mode is included as a part of the Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system, which holds every gear a bit longer to maintain you within the coronary heart of the powerband.
The two.Zero-liter turbo 4 does equally properly in these situations, providing only one much less pony than the V6, however with a more healthy 295 pound-feet of torque. And whereas it would not noticeably have an effect on the Cherokee’s dealing with, I discover it to be fairly buzzy and coarse in its sound. It is a bit like driving a bumblebee, droning by means of the torque curve with an annoyingly loud hum.
There’s loads of competitors on this CUV phase, however none can match the Cherokee in off-road chops, particularly in Trailhawk trim. Whereas all Cherokees get driving modes for Snow and Sand/Mud, solely the Trailhawk will get an additional parameter for Rock, to not point out a locking rear differential, a 1-inch raise and skid plates.
On an off-road route north of Malibu, I will benefit from the Cherokee’s class-leading strategy, departure and breakover angles. The latest Jeep simply tackles steep climbs up rocky paths, and sharp crests that would go away any of its opponents high-centered. The Cherokee Trailhawk even has a low-range gear in its four-wheel-drive system, permitting it to scale a steep hill stuffed with free grime and rocks prefer it ain’t no thang.
The Trailhawk-specific Choose-Velocity Management is a type of cruise management for low-speed rock crawling. A push of the button and the Cherokee can utterly take over throttle and braking duties, effortlessly driving itself by means of a boulder-strewn part of the path. Personally, I choose to be extra in management in a lot of these conditions, however whereas this may not be tremendous obligatory for path bosses, it is good to know the know-how is there for many who need it, or those that are nonetheless honing their off-road expertise.
Driving the identical off-road loop in each three.2- and a couple of.Zero-liter Cherokees, you’d assume the turbo engine’s added torque would stand out throughout low-speed acceleration. However in actuality, what jumps out probably the most is throttle sensitivity; It is rather more tough to maintain a gentle velocity with the smaller engine. Throttle management is crucial when driving off street, lest you end up buried in tender sand (or worse). And whereas I will get the cling of it towards the top of my brief check loop, for those who satisfaction your self on regular throttle management, be ready to do some re-learning.
Driver help aids carry over from the outdated Cherokee. Blind-spot monitoring is normal on higher-level trims, or accessible as a part of an possibility bundle on decrease trims. Lane departure warning, park help, adaptive cruise management with full stop-and-go functionality and ahead collision warning and braking are all a part of an elective know-how bundle on larger trims. The Cherokee additionally will get a brand new hands-free energy liftgate, which is normal on Overland fashions and accessible on the Restricted trim.
Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment system will get a little bit of an improve by way of decision and graphics, sustaining its spot as among the best interfaces available on the market. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal on each the bottom 7-inch or elective eight.Four-inch touchscreen, the latter of which now has pinch-to-zoom functionality.
The inside hasn’t modified a lot, and that is a great factor. The design is rugged, whereas providing snug seats and headroom for all however the tallest of drivers. Nevertheless, though the Cherokee will get a bit extra cargo area behind the rear seats for this 12 months, as much as 25.eight cubic toes from 24.6, it nonetheless falls behind opponents just like theand .
A base Cherokee Latitude with front-wheel drive is available in at $23,995, not together with $1,195 for vacation spot, whereas the range-topping Overand begins at $36,275. 4-wheel drive will be had on all trims for an extra $1,500, and the off-road-ready Trailhawk begins at $33,320.
The Cherokee is much from everybody’s cup of tea. On this value level there are crossovers that deal with higher, look sleeker and provide extra tech. It is solely with the Cherokee, nevertheless, that you may take the shortcut dwelling by means of the woods and continue to exist.