2019 Jeep Cherokee revealed | All-new engine, refreshing new face

Jeep's midsizer looks much like its big brother, the Grand Cherokee.

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When the Jeep Cherokee made a return in late 2013 as a replacement for the boxy Jeep Liberty, reactions were mixed on the crossover's styling. Sure, all the Jeep hallmarks were there — seven-slot grille, squared fenders, etc. — but something seemed different, especially with that face. Well, the course has been corrected and at this week's Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee shows off its much more conventional and conservative styling.

This is just a mid-cycle refresh, so it doesn't look all that much different than the current KL Cherokee. Jeep ditched the split lighting on the current model, pushing the driving lights and headlights back together and in a much more traditional position. Unsurprisingly, its very similar to what you'll find on the current Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Compass. In addition to the new LED headlamps, the driving lights and fog lamps get a new design.

The rear end, too, gets a heavy redesign. The taillamps now have LED accents, though the overall shape is generally the same. A new tailgate now houses the license plate, making the Cherokee look less bottom heavy.

Along the bottom, Overland models get chrome tow hooks while Trailhawk models get the now recognizable bright red hooks. The Trailhawk also gets a resculpted front bumper for a better approach angle on the trails. Other Trailhawk goodies include skid plates, bigger fender flares, an increased ride height and 17-inch wheels with off-road tires. There are five new wheel offerings in total, including a 19-inch design for the Overland trim.

In contrast to the outside, the Cherokee's interior carries over nearly unchanged. From behind the wheel, you'd be hard pressed to spot a difference between the old and new. There are some new piano-black trim pieces around the infotainment screen and matte silver trim around the air vents and steering wheel. The center console does get a slight redesign, moving the USB port and 115-volt outlet rearward to create a bit more storage space. The biggest change is in the cargo area where three extra inches of width give the Cherokee 27 cubic feet of cargo space.

Underneath the hood, you'll find one of three powertrains, including a new 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. That engine joins the 271 horsepower 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 and the 180 horsepower 2.4-liter Tigershark inline-four. All three engines are paired with a refreshed nine-speed automatic sending power to either the front or all-four wheels.

The 2.0-liter is all-new and makes 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, 56 more pound feet than the V6. The engine makes use of direct injection, stop-start and lightweight materials in the pistons and camshaft to help improve fuel economy, though EPA numbers haven't been revealed.

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee's pricing remains a mystery as well, though we expect to hear firm numbers soon. Look for a base price of around $25,000 for an entry-level Latitude, with prices heading around $40,000 for optioned up Overland and Trailhawk models. We'll see the 2019 Jeep Cherokee on dealer lots within the next few months.

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