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On January 2, 2018 (according to reliable source oh2o), Jeep will begin assembly the 2019 Cherokee. What do we expect?
The photo above, by Real Fast Fotography, has been modified by oh2o to show how a Jeep grille might be hiding underneath the camouflage.
First, we don’t believe the mobility will change much. The 2014-18 Cherokee had leading approach, breakover, and departure angles, with crawl ratios up to 56:1, a locking rear differential, rear axle disconnect, and 20 inches of water-crossing ability. From what we’ve seen, the chassis is mainly unchanged — but the face of the Cherokee has been thoroughly replumbed, so the headlights go where you’d expect them to.
Comparing these images, it appears they mainly changed the appearance of the gauges. Most controls are the same, other than the steering wheel.
We originally thought the 3.6 liter engine would replace the Cherokee’s 3.2 liter; it’s the only FCA car to use the 3.2, after all. We’ve since been told that the 3.2 will continue. The base 2.4 liter four-cylinder is history, though — or will be, anyway, at the end of the 2018 run.
The 3.2 V6 will be the base engine, to separate the car from the Compass. Buyers can opt for the Hurricane turbo four cylinder, expected to produce a little less horsepower than the V6 — with far more torque, and presumably better gas mileage. There may be a light-hybrid system, as well. Eventually, we expect a plug-in hybrid version, but none seems to be in the plans right now. The Chrysler 948TE nine-speed transmission will continue; reliability and tuning issues seem to have been worked out.
To further separate the Cherokee from the Compass, all buyers will get LED headlights — for both high and low beams (the 2017-18 Cherokee had standard HIDs on all but the Sport model). Expect a lot of luxury gear on the higher levels.
For 2014-18 Cherokee specifications, comparisons to the XJ, and such, see our specs/safety/4x4 page. Comparisons to competitors' SUVs. Also see our 2014-18 Jeep Cherokee forums and many more photos in our New York Auto Show coverage, and what Ralph Gilles said about the design of the 2014 Cherokee.
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