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Auto review: Improved looks, power
for 2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland
By Barry Spyker
Tribune news service
With all that’s happening in the Jeep
world the past six months, it would be
understandable to overlook mostly subtle
improvements to the 2019 Cherokee.
The first one is not so subtle: The front
end has been redesigned. The squintyeyed headlights that most folks have
loathed are gone, replaced with more
conventional headlights and a new
cascading grille that resembles its Jeep
brethren.
The new top-level Cherokee Overland
4x4 also gets a lightweight composite lift
gate (with hands-free feature) and new LED
lamps in the rear, and a new aluminum
hood. Under the hood is the best surprise:
an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine
with more punch and better mileage (24
mpg combined).
Jeep has been busy of late with plans
for a new assembly plant in Detroit while
it revamps five others to accommodate
a growing lineup. Three new models are
in the works, including a Ram-based
Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer and a threerow Grand Cherokee. Hybrid versions of
those plus a fully electric Jeep are not far
behind, Jeep has reported.

and gets to 60 mph in 7 seconds flat. Both experience
engines use Jeep’s 9-speed automatic
back there.
transmission, which has been recalibrated
Cargo space
and feels more decisive now at slower
is up by three
speeds.
cubic feet
On-road ride quality is comfortable and
behind the
confident. Atop 19-inch tires, Cherokee
rear seat, now
Overland offers good road feedback with
at 25.8 cubic
its new and nicely-weighted electronic
feet. But, with
steering. Curves and swerves are well
total capacity
controlled thanks to upgraded dampers
at 54.7 cubes,
and anti-roll bars.
one can do better among rivals. There is a
Few can compete with Jeep when the
shallow storage area underneath the cargo
pavement turns to gravel, mud, snow and
rock. The 4x4 Overland comes with Jeep’s floor and a small compartment atop the
dash.
Active Drive I which is like an all-wheeldrive system, engaging other wheels
when needed for extra traction. Two other
4-wheel-drive systems are available.
All Cherokees also get Selec-Terrain,
which adapts the mechanics for various
road conditions, including snow, sport,
and sand/mud. When the going gets
rocky, Cherokee is ready and able with
an impressive approach angle of 29.9
degrees, and departure at 32.2.
Inside, driver and front passenger are kept
secure and comfortable with bolstered,
ventilated seats. Seats are leather trimmed
and “Overland” is embroidered on seat
backs. Both driver and passenger seats are
power adjustable.

But Cherokee’s upgrades this year are
worthy of note. The new direct-injected
Rear seats slide back, expanding
four-cylinder engine is shared with the
sporty Alfa Romeo and has more kick from legroom, but taller folks still may find
the line than even the 3.2-liter V-6. It puts
headroom a little cramped. Perhaps a
out 270 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque
huge two-panel sunroof will brighten the

Simple, easy-to-reach knobs and dials
make it a breeze to control climate and the
9-speaker Alpine audio system. And Jeep’s
4th-generation (faster processors this year)
Uconnect infotainment system continues
to be one of the most user-friendly on the
road. An 8.4-inch touchscreen offers sharp
color and graphics and is compatible with
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A safety package ($995) provides of bevy
of high-tech features, including adaptive
cruise with stop and go, collision warning
with crash mitigation, lane-departure
warning, and parking assist for both
parallel and perpendicular spots.
The Cherokee Overland 4x4, with its new
looks and turbo power, likely will contribute
to Jeep’s growing success on whatever
terrain folks choose to rumble over.

FACTBOX:

2019 Jeep Cherokee
Overland 4x4
Base Price: $37,775
As tested: $40,715 (Includes
Technology group, $995; 2.0-liter I-4
turbo engine, $500)
What’s all the excitement about? No
more alien-eyed headlights; It gets
a redesigned front end and a new
available engine
Powertrain: 2.0-liter inline
4-cylinder turbocharged engine
capable of 295 pound-feet
of torque; mated to 9-speed
transmission
How’s the performance? Improved
acceleration _ makes 60 mph
in 7 seconds; New suspension
translates to great daily ride quality
and handling
What about fuel economy? EPArated at 21 mpg city, 29 highway (24
combined)

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