2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland Assessment | Automobile Evaluations
The final era, which noticed the rebirth of the Cherokee nameplate in Canada after a six-year sojourn in Liberty-land, was eye-opening on the outset. Excluding the trademark seven-slat grille, this was totally different than any Cherokee or any Jeep that got here earlier than it because of the loopy DRLs that sat atop the hood, Nissan Juke-style. The headlights had been mounted decrease down, however I’m pretty sure most who first noticed the body-code KL Cherokee had been positive the DRLs had been the headlights, and that threw them off. It threw me off as nicely, however ultimately I grew to love them for his or her uniqueness. It seems Hyundai did, too, as lots of the Korean producer’s present SUVs use an analogous remedy.
However virtually as quickly as that loopy fascia arrived, it was gone as soon as the Cherokee was facelifted for the 2019 mannequin yr. Simply as I used to be starting to love it!
That mentioned, after I first encountered the brand new Cherokee on the 2018 North American Worldwide Auto Present, for some motive the lack of these DRLs didn’t instantly strike me, possibly the brand new Cherokee seems fairly good. Positive, the lights have softened a bit of, however you’ve nonetheless obtained that nice grille andthe proportions are equivalent. Plus, on my Overland tester, particulars like two-tone 19-inch rims, Olive Inexperienced Pearl paint, chrome stripping across the home windows and silver roof rails add a pleasant contact of sophistication to Jeep’s entry into the aggressive compact CUV market – as does the sunshine smoking on the headlights and taillights.
However, there have been a few occasions I approached it anew and thought it had been changed with the smaller Compass; the 2 look extra alike now than ever earlier than.
The inside is one more revelation, besides that, when you consider it, it isn’t actually that a lot of a jolt. As a result of currently most every thing popping out of Jeep’s FCA mother or father firm has the inside accoutrements down pat. Small panel gaps, high-quality supplies in all a very powerful areas and good lighting and infotainment are all orders of the day.
Within the Overland I had, it’s taken to the subsequent stage through the beautiful Darkish Sienna (I like brown interiors) seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel with wooden accents. Whereas some might complain in regards to the lack of visible flare inside in comparison with the competitors, my buddy’s 1993 cloth-seated Cherokee this positively shouldn’t be.
It’s not unimaginable to seek out some shortcomings, although. The gear lever, for instance, is sort of cartoonishly giant and the gauge cluster is a fairly fundamental affair, although to its credit score it’s simple to learn and retains glare low. The entrance seats are roomy sufficient, however the rear seats have a reasonably excessive mount; that’s nice for shorter occupants who need to see up forward, however not so nice if you happen to’re a taller construct. Many rivals just like the Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V have extra room again there.
Headroom is of course of little consequence in relation to becoming a toddler seat, which we managed to do with little drama and with out a lot injury to entrance passenger legroom. The again seats additionally fold virtually fully flat for a complete 1,550 litres of cargo area (greater than earlier, however nonetheless lower than the likes of the CR-V and Nissan Rogue). I’d have most well-liked a 40/20/40 cut up to the 60/40 cut up seen right here. Certainly, whereas the latter is the setup most frequently seen in automobiles, the previous is more and more standard lately.
The cargo space is less complicated to entry, in the meantime, because of a hatch crafted from composite supplies and elective foot-activated tailgate.
Not one of the competitors can contact the Cherokee within the infotainment division. Ford’s SYNC3 comes shut, nevertheless it doesn’t present the Cherokee’s large 8.4-inch show, which in flip supplies massive on-screen buttons that may be simply operated whereas on the transfer. Being of the Uconnect Four selection, the Cherokee’s system now helps each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is good. I don’t love that you need to use it on your seat heater and steering wheel controls, although. It takes an additional step to make use of these options and whereas it’s good that the controls instantly seem on the display screen on start-up, some good that does once you’re in the midst of driving with gloves on.
Energy for my tester got here from the most recent of three accessible engines, a 2.0L turbo 4 good for 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A 3.2L V6 can be accessible, as is a naturally-aspirated 2.4L 4.
The engine is shocking in its supply; I wasn’t even positive I had the 4 till I appeared below the hood, so speedy is its response. It’s not like peak torque and energy can be found that low within the rev band, both; they arrive at 3,000 rpm and 5,250 rpm, respectively, so that you do want some revs to get going.
Serving to you meter that acceleration out is a 9-speed automated transmission, the ratios of which do permit for fast acceleration. And you’ll shift it your self, so long as you’re OK to make use of that rectangular shifter versus a pair of wheel-mounted paddles, which the Cherokee doesn’t have. In the event you ask me, although, a 2.0L 4 is the sweet-spot engine for the Cherokee, because it has confirmed to be in so many different CUVs of late.
I wasn’t enamoured with how gradual the transmission is to interact gears, each once you’re driving and once you’re deciding on between P, R, D and so forth. It’s additionally typically fairly clunky when it does lastly interact, typically making me really feel like there was really one thing amiss with the transmission. It’s an odd beast, this 9-speed; having tried it on V6 fashions, I believe it’s a greater match there. I used to be additionally distracted by the engine observe on acceleration; it’s fairly high-pitched, and I discovered myself specializing in it extra…and extra…and extra, the extra I drove. Somewhat little bit of sound deadening would go a good distance right here.
So whereas the powertrain stays a bit of schizophrenic, the chassis is a masterclass in journey and dealing with. Whereas this specific trim isn’t Path Rated, it nonetheless will get Energetic Drive II AWD that gives a two-speed switch case for higher efficiency in Four Low, a hill-descent system and locking entrance and rear driveshafts. Which implies that, whilst you will not be climbing rocks on this specific Cherokee, it has no drawback dealing with the extra mundane stuff like unfastened gravel and snow. Actually, it has selectable drive modes for each these circumstances, in addition to a Sport mode for the drier, bendier stuff.
Certainly, to compete on this phase, the Cherokee must cowl a variety of bases; it’s now not sufficient to simply present good off-road chops and reside off Jeep’s good title.
Talking of on-road versus off-road: the Cherokee’s journey actually does need to be felt to be believed. It’s simply so assured and predictable, however on the similar time insulating and easy total. You’d by no means know that you simply’re in a automobile that has roots on the earth of off-roading, however there you’ve it.
The brand new turbo is the actual story right here, although – which is a little bit of a disgrace, I suppose, as a result of it might be a a lot larger story if it weren’t for that pesky transmission. In any other case, it’s a robust, responsive powertrain mated to an lively – however not overactive – chassis that’s de rigueur within the phase.