If you want a small SUV that can tow or go off-road, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee is worth a look. Thankfully, that look will be much more pleasant this year, too. Jeep has given the exterior styling a much-needed refresh and included some upgrades in the cabin and under the hood.
Beyond the obvious changes to the Cherokee's sheet metal, Jeep has added a few nice interior upgrades, such as a storage bin for phones in the center console and a few upgraded trim options. There's also a new optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's more powerful than the Cherokee's base four-cylinder and more fuel-efficient than the optional V6 engine. You can read more about it in our 2019 Jeep Cherokee First Drive.
The Cherokee still doesn't offer as much cargo capacity as rivals, and even with the new 2.0-liter engine, fuel economy falls a little short of class leaders. The ever-practical Honda CR-V remains an easy choice for buyers who don't need the Cherokee's particular strengths thanks to its exceptional cargo space and efficiency. If you're going to be spending most of your time on the road, the Mazda CX-5 both feels more upscale inside and is more engaging to drive.
Overall, though, the Cherokee's off-road and towing capabilities along with its 2019 improvements make it a solid choice for a small SUV.
trim levels & features
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is a small crossover SUV offered in five main trim levels. The Latitude is the base trim, and the Latitude Plus adds premium equipment, but you have to go up to the Limited and off-road-focused Trailhawk trims to get standard safety equipment. Finally, the top-of-the-line Overland comes with all the interior and exterior amenities.
Standard on the 2018 Jeep Cherokees is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. You can also get an optional 3.2-liter V6 that makes 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque or a 2.0-liter turbo that makes 270 hp and 295 lb-ft. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engines. The Latitude, Limited and Overland are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, while the Trailhawk comes standard with all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment highlights for the Latitude include 17-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, heated side mirrors, height-adjustable front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seatback, a folding front passenger seat with a storage compartment inside the seat cushion, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a USB port, a new 7-inch touchscreen interface and a six-speaker audio system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration is standard across the range for 2019.
The Latitude Plus trim adds keyless ignition and entry, leather inserts in the upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Satellite radio is standard, as are passive keyless entry with push-button starting and two extra USB ports.
The Latitude Plus has one notable package available, the Comfort and Convenience package, which adds features such as an auxiliary household power outlet, dual-zone climate control, a power liftgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, and a universal garage door opener.
The Limited trim includes the Latitude's Comfort and Convenience package, and also adds 18-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, a power front passenger seat, leather upholstery, an upgraded driver information display in the gauge cluster, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
These three trim levels all come standard with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The turbocharged 2.0-liter and V6 engines are available as an upgrade for the Latitude Plus and Limited trims.
The range-topping Overland comes standard with the V6, with the option to add the 2.0-liter, and has its own 18-inch wheels, unique body-colored exterior trim, cornering lights, sound-deadening windshield and front windows, driver-seat memory functions, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, wood steering-wheel inserts, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, sliding rear seat, a nine-speaker audio system, a navigation system and HD radio.
The nine-speaker stereo and sunroof are available as standard features in lower trim levels.
The off-road-themed Trailhawk comes with an advanced all-wheel-drive system (Active Drive II with Active Drive Lock) and also boasts slightly wider 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, increased ground clearance, off-road-oriented suspension tuning, a locking rear differential, hill ascent and descent control, skid plates, tow hooks, unique exterior trim, and unique cloth and leather upholstery. Its equipment otherwise largely mirrors the Limited trim level's equipment, though it lacks the power liftgate, remote start, and auto-dimming rearview mirror. These are part of the Trailhawk Comfort and Convenience package. As on the Overland, the V6 is standard while the 2.0-liter is optional. Navigation is available for both the Limited and the Trailhawk.
The more advanced Active Drive II AWD system from the Trailhawk is available as an optional extra on AWD-equipped Latitude Plus, Limited and Overland Cherokees.
Many of the higher trims' features are available on lower trims via optional packages or as stand-alone extras. If you're planning on towing, equip your Latitude Plus, Limited or Trailhawk trim with a Trailer Tow group package. This package includes a stand-alone transmission cooler, Class III hitch, trailer wiring harness for both four- and seven-pin systems, as well as a full-size spare. V6-equipped models also receive additional engine cooling.
Jeep also offers the Technology group package on the Limited, Trailhawk and Overland trims. Included in this safety-oriented package is forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, traffic-adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic wipers, auto high-beam headlights, and an automatic parking system that works on both parallel and perpendicular spots.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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