Jeep’s revival of the Cherokee in 2014 was a joyous occasion for fans of the nameplate, though many were taken aback by the unusual, very un-Jeep-like styling of the vehicle.
Rumor has it the vehicle, the fifth iteration of the Cherokee nameplate, was originally intended to be an Alfa Romeo but changed to a Jeep at the last minute once it was decided Alfa Romeo would use its own platform for its SUVs, the first of which is the Stelvio.
Whatever the case, Jeep has addressed the issue of the Cherokee’s odd styling with the 2019 model debuting next month at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The biggest change is the departure of the separated daytime running lights and main projectors in favour of a combined unit, like on the rest of the Jeep lineup.
Jeep is holding back the details until the Detroit debut but has confirmed that the 2019 Cherokee, in addition to more familiar Jeep styling cues, will also benefit from more fuel-efficient powertrain options. The current Cherokee draws power from either a 184-horsepower inline-4 or a 271-hp V-6. There’s a good chance the V-6 is replaced by the 270-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 that debuted in the 2018 Wrangler on the updated Cherokee.
The other major change is at the rear. The big slab of a rear hatch is broken up now with the license plate mounting position, which makes the tail look much less bulky. Naturally the bumper was also redesigned with a faux skid plate to fill up the space left by the license plate.
As for the middle of the crossover and the interior, there are no noticeable changes. Jeep hasn't revealed anything other than these images, so we'll have to wait until the full debut in January to find out about any mechanical changes. Jeep's press release does hint at more efficient powertrain options, so there could be some updates to the transmissions or engines.
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