The folks at Jeep told us the new 2019 Cherokee is the most capable sport-utility vehicle in the midsize class, and after a thorough on-road and off-road drive of various versions of the handsome crossover, we can only agree with them. As the accompanying photos depict, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee is able to negotiate terrain that would leave the Honda CR-V or Nissan Rogue running for cover.
Jeep execs are also big boosters of the Cherokee’s newest powerplant, a 2.0-liter direct-injection inline four-cylinder engine that boasts 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a highly efficient nine-speed automatic transmission. It is one of three engine choices in the Cherokee. Also available are the normally aspirated 180-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, which we found surprisingly satisfying in the base level Latitude trim Cherokee, and the 271-horsepower 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine, which enables Cherokee to deliver best-in-class V-6 towing of 4,500 pounds.
Exceptionally good on-road ride and handling
While the Cherokee can be equipped to be the most-capable off-roader of all midsize SUVs, the majority of your time will be spent driving on roads, streets, highways and parking lots, and, despite it off-road cred, the 2019 Cherokees excels there as well. The base Latitude with front drive was more than up to the twisty two-lanes of the hills above Malibu, and an Overland model with the 2.0-liter turbo-four contributed added zip, although on one or two occasions we encountered a bit of turbo lag.
Smack in the midst of the biggest segment in the American market, the 2019 Cherokee has been aggressively priced. The least-expensive model is the Latitude trim with front-wheel drive at $23,995. Four-wheel drive can be had for $1500 more — $25,495. The off-road champ Trailhawk lists at $33,320. And the most expensive Overland level 4×4 has a $37,775 suggested price.
Our extensive vehicle drive left us very impressed with all aspects of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. The gallery will give you some additional thoughts we took away.