Jeep has polished its mid-size Cherokee SUV with a mid-life makeover boasting a less confronting face, additional features and safety equipment.
On sale from October 1, the new Cherokee will be available in four flavours – Sport, Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk – with two engines, both mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The entry-level Sport is the only version with the 130kW/229Nm 2.4-litre 'TigerShark' engine, the others carrying over the 200kW/315Nm 3.2-litre V6 from the same family that powers the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.
Kicking off at an unchanged $33,950 before on-roads in Sport guise, the Longitude is now priced at $41,950 (+$500), the Limited is $46,950 (+$1000) and the flagship Trailhawk costs $48,450 (-$1500).
For the new Cherokee, Jeep retains the current model’s wagon body style and folded seven-slot grille but dispenses with the polarising split headlights, while also making subtle changes to the front fascia with an aluminium bonnet and all-LED lighting signature.
Cabin changes are modest but aimed at lifting the look of the decor – the colour-coded door panels replace black to now give a more polished look, for example – and improve storage space.
There have also been changes made to the Jeep 'Active Drive I' all-wheel drive system
The Cherokee marks the introduction of the Uconnect multimedia system in its much-improved fourth-generation form that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as a touchscreen with drag-and-drop function.
Space has also improved in the boot with the cargo area now 75mm wider and the capacity goes up by 67 litres to 764 litres, fitting in more with its mid-size SUV rivals.
The rear seat retains its fore-aft sliding ability to suit varying loads.
There is also a new composite material for the tailgate and a capless fuel filler, while upmarket versions get remote opening with a swipe of the foot beneath the bumper.
Safety standards have lifted, with forward collision warning and pedestrian emergency braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning fitted across the range.
Mechanically, the four cylinder and V6 engines are mounted transversely with the Sport having front-drive, the Longitude and Limited with an on-demand all-wheel drive, and the Trailhawk with a full four-wheel drive system.
The Trailhawk remains the Cherokee flag bearer of Jeep’s 'trail rated' standard, with a higher ground clearance, more underbody protection and features such as the tow hooks.
There have also been changes made to the Jeep 'Active Drive I' all-wheel drive system that is now more compact, 7.5kg lighter and more responsive to driving the rear wheels.
Jeep Cherokee 2019 pricing
|Sport – automatic||$35,950|
|Longitude – automatic||$41,950|
|Limited – automatic||$46,950|
|Trailhawk – automatic||$48,450|
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