We know from spy photos that the refreshed 2019 Jeep Cherokee will (finally) ditch its awkward stacked headlamps, instead adopting a conventional setup that doesn’t make the vehicle look like it’s squinting. The look is more in keeping with the second-generation Compass and Grand Cherokee.
Expect very little outcry over this sensible and long overdue decision.
However, an updated fascia isn’t the only change in store for 2019. The midcycle revamp also brings a new powerplant sourced from the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, documents show.
Thanks to the sleuthing of Bozi Tatarevic, we now know that the Cherokee’s engine family grows by one member for 2019. Joining the lineup, no doubt as an option for uplevel trims, is the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder found in the next-generation Wrangler. (That model debuted last week in Los Angeles to buckets of saliva from amassed journos.)
With a 48-volt mild hybrid system aiding both acceleration and fuel economy, the new 2.0-liter stands to sit atop the Cherokee powertrain summit. Its 270 horsepower is only 1 hp less than that of the 3.2-liter V6 found in the top-flight Cherokee Overland, but its 295 lb-ft of torque out-twists the smaller Pentastar by 56 lb-ft.
The same 2019 VIN code guide reveals the ancient 2.4-liter four-cylinder retains its 184 hp rating, presumably with the same 171 lb-ft of torque. When Fiat Chrysler finds a low-cost component that works, any changes are usually few and far between.
The Cherokee remains a strong seller for Jeep, though volume has tapered off some since the reborn model’s peak in 2015. Sales of the compact crossover rose 44.2 percent in November, year-over-year. Over the first 11 months of 2017, however, sales are down 17.9 percent.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]