New Jeep Cherokee adds connectivity with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

Cesar Mills
January 18, 2018

The Jeep Cherokee is one of the more polarizing automotive resurrections of recent times, with its curvy, bug-eyed design straying far from the old truck's traditional ethos. Storage is improved, too, and the cargo area is slightly larger, now accommodating 27 cu. -ft. of cargo behind the rear seat. The additional powerplant really is all-new, and it develops an impressive 270 horsepower and 295 lb. -ft. of torque that begs the question of what the point of the 271 horsepower, 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 is now. But they do buy a auto because it's got a dependable, efficient, and powerful engine.

Jeep is retaining the current Cherokee's two engines, but adding a premium 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder.

Jeep executives told Cherokee designers not to "take all the weirdness out of Cherokee", said Mark Allen, head of design for Jeep.

All this is to better compete with new versions from the competition such as the Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unveiled the 2019 Jeep Cherokee with new styling and engine options ahead at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Tuesday. It's the same unit that debuted on Jeep's latest Wrangler. Jeep publicity materials characterize the look as "authentic". The 2019 refresh does away with the edgier grille and separated lights in favor of a smoother front end, with a lighter waterfall hood, reimagined fascia with LED fog lamps and the signature seven-slot grille sitting between single-piece rectangular LED headlamps. People either loved it or they hated it. Look for much more soon.

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FCA has included more standard features and capability on the 2019 Cherokee as well.

The new 2019 Jeep Cherokee will be introduced in Europe in the second half of 2018. Most notably, the new Jeep Active Drive 1 is equipped with a next-generation rear-wheel drive module that lightens the vehicle and reduces fuel consumption. In fact, some might say Jeep is going through a glory days phase right now. However, the company claims that it's adding new software to scale up the driveability. Once a decision is made, it could come in 18 to 20 months. Jeep keeps the Cherokee true to their open-air feel with a dual-pane sunroof and motorized sunshade that minimizes glare.

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brand is looking to hit record global sales of 2 million this year. Obviously, this is the engine to get, unless you need the V6's maximum towing capacity of 4,500 pounds.

All three systems come standard with Jeep's Selec-Terrain traction control system, which allows the driver to choose between five drive modes for Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. That left market share in the European Union unchanged at 0.7 per cent even though the overall market grew 4.1 per cent, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. "It will feel like a new vehicle".

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