The Subtle Improvements Winning in the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland
There’s been a lot happening with Jeep in the last six months; it would be understandable if we were to overlook the most subtle of improvements in the 2019 Cherokee. The first one is not so subtle: The front end has seen a redesign. The squinty-eyed 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 4×4, gets a lightweight composite liftgate (with the hands-free feature) as well, and modern LED lamps in the rear, and it also gets a new aluminum hood. There is an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine under the hood, offering more punch and delivering better mileage (24 miles per gallon combined). Jeep has plans for a new assembly plant in Detroit while revamping five others to accommodate a growing lineup.
The new models in the works include a Grand Wagoneer, Ram-based Wagoneer, and a three-row Grand Cherokee. Hybrid versions plus a fully electric Jeep, are not far behind as Jeep has reported. But these years upgrades are worthy to note.
The direct-injected four-cylinder engine is shared with the sporty Alfa Romeo. It puts out 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and gets to 60 miles per hour in seven seconds flat. Both engines use Jeep’s 9-speed automatic transmission, which has been recalibrated and feels more decisive now at slower speeds.
Quality on the road is comfortable and confident. Atop 19-inch tires, Cherokee Overland offers good road feedback with its new and nicely-weighted electronic steering. Curves and swerves are well-controlled thanks to upgraded dampers and anti-roll bars.
Few can compete with Jeep when the pavement turns to gravel, mud, snow, and rock. The 4×4 Overland comes with Jeep’s Active Drive I which is like an all-wheel-drive system, engaging other wheels when needed for extra traction. Two other 4-wheel-drive systems are available.
All Cherokees also get Selec-Terrain, it adapts the mechanics for several road conditions, including sport, snow, mud, and sand. Cherokee is able and ready with an impressive approach angle of 29.9 degrees, and departure at 32.2. Inside, the driver and front passenger, are kept comfortable and secure with ventilated and bolstered seats.
Seats are leather trimmed, and the word “Overland” is embroidered on the back of the seats. The passenger and driver seats are power adaptable. The rear seats slide back, expanding the legroom.
There is also a two-panel sunroof that will brighten the drive. The cargo space has 25.8 cubic feet. But, the total capacity is 54.7 cubes, one can do better among rivals.
There is a storage area under the cargo floor and a small compartment on the top of the dash. 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 provides a bevy of high-tech features, including an adaptive cruise with stop and goes, collision warning with crash mitigation, lane-departure warning, and parking assist for both parallel and perpendicular spots. The Cherokee Overland 4×4, with its new looks and turbo power, likely will contribute to Jeep’s growing success on whatever terrain folks choose to rumble over.
The base Price is $25,490 (plus destination fee). There will be no more alien-eyed headlights; It gets a redesigned front end and a new accessible power. The powertrain is a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of 295 pound-feet of torque which will be mated with a 9-speed transmission.
The performance is improved acceleration makes 60 miles per hour in seven seconds. New suspension translates to great daily ride quality and handling. The fuel economy EPA is rated at 21 miles per gallon city, 29 highway (24 combined).
If you’re interested in test-driving a Jeep model, make sure to check them out near Fort Myers at Cape Coral Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM dealership.