The 2019 Jeep Cherokee gets a family facelift for Detroit

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Today at the Detroit Auto Show, Jeep unveiled the latest iteration of the Cherokee, a compact SUV for folks who want the option of off-road prowess to go with their family-hauling duties. A 3.2-litre V6 with 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet is still available, too, providing the 2019 Jeep Cherokee with a class-leading towing capacity of up to 2041 kg (4500 lbs.).

The company has also been in the midst of major production changes, such as the move that shifted Cherokee production from Toledo to Belvidere, Ill., and the launch of the new Jeep Compass SUV past year.

The crossover's main dimensions, such as the wheelbase and track width, are unchanged. "The good news is that auto shoppers will recognize the Cherokee name and that should help FCA capitalize on this lucrative segment and boost its bottom line", Caldwell said.

Bright white LED headlights are standard on all trims. The result is bi-LED headlamps that are not almost as squinty as previous years, and in general, a much more traditional face.

"This just fits in the family better", Allen said. A rear-axle disconnect, meanwhile, engages when the Cherokee can operate in two-wheel-drive mode to further reduce fuel consumption. The engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and a pollution-cutting technology known as exhaust gas recirculation. But a new motor has appeared - an Alfa Romeo-derived turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 270 hp but 295 pounds-feet of torque. The Overland model is available with contrasting seat colors. The base Jeep Active Drive I system has been redesigned with a weight savings of 17 pounds and improved efficiency.

Up front, the new Cherokee gets an updated front face with new bumpers and headlights. The base engine is a 2.4-liter Tigershark with Stop/Start making 180 hp and 170 lb-ft. It is standard on the Cherokee Trailhawk.

Three four-wheel drive systems are available in the 2019 Cherokee. The current 2018 Jeep Cherokee has an Environmental Protection Agency rating of 21 mpg in city driving, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg overall.

Jeep hasn't announced pricing for the 2019 Cherokee, but examples are set to arrive in dealers during the first quarter of 2018. The vehicle also promises 80 available safety and security offerings, with the company highlighting a parallel and perpendicular parking assistance feature.

In addition, Jeep boss Mikey Manley admitted that the first Cherokee was very "progressive", but added, "We needed to do it to break through in the segment". The center touchscreen has grown from five to seven inches in size and gets smartphone app connectivity. Operating options include remote locking and unlocking, as well navigation and compatibility with Android Auto or Apple Car Play.

Jeep designers changed the transmission lever position to accommodate a smartphone storage space.

They also changed the suspension geometry and tuning for better on-road feel, ride and handling, and there's a "kick-away" sensor that allows you to open the liftgate, hands-free.

The facelifted Jeep Cherokee comes in five trim levels, starting off with Latitude and topping out with the rugged Trailhawk model. Forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning are available only on the Limited, Overland and Trailhawk.