Road Test: 2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland

Road Test: 2019 Jeep Cherokee Overland

Story by Jordan Allan, photos courtesy of FCA Canada

Specifications:

Price: $36,969 (MSRP)

Engine: 2.0L turbocharged DOHC I4

Trans: 9-speed auto

Power: 270 hp@ 5,250 rpm

Torque: 239 lb-ft @ 3,000-4,500 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,000 lbs./ 1,815

Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 10.4/7.6

 

New for 2019: The Jeep Cherokee underwent a mid-cycle refresh for 2019 which included changing up the front end from the previous model that appeared to be rather polarizing. The new front end offers a sleeker, more functional design with a conventional headlight design. The infotainment is updated and better while a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder is the top available engine.

Segment Competitors: Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Toyota Rav4, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Rogue, GMC Terrain, Mitsubish Outlander, Volkswagen Tiguan

The Skinny: Given how competitive of a segment it finds itself in, it was imperative that Jeep got the refresh of the Cherokee right and after just one quick look, it’s clear they have. As mentioned before, gone is the ‘interesting-looking’ front-end design of the previous model and in comes a much better, more purposeful design that is sure to attract some customers.

Our Overland test model sits atop the Cherokee’s range and came standard with Jeep’s Active Drive I all-wheel-drive system that is useful in many different aspects whether it be Canadian Winters or heading off-road to your favourite secluded camping spots. Although not as capable as the Trailhawk model in terms of off-road capability, I’d be willing to guess that even this Overland model would run circles around its competition in an off-road setting.

In terms of on-road and daily driving characteristics, the Cherokee performs quite well. It has more than enough power from the either of the Overland’s engine options, which include the 2.0L turbocharged I4 and the 3.2L Pentastar V6, and still retains justifiable fuel economy numbers. The ride is smooth, the handling is effortless and the overall layout of the interior is quite honestly one of my most preferred in the segment in that is simple enough to operate while driving and has many knobs and buttons rather than simply touchscreen controls.

Pros: I am a big fan of the new look and an even bigger fan of the Overland’s available engine choices. Haven driven both recently I will say that both feel fast, and smooth while still not completely draining your wallet at the gas station.

Cons: Although it has increased with the 2019 model, I guess you could say that the Cherokee may not feel as refined as some of its competitors out there however, what it lacks in refinement it gains in Jeep’s legendary capability.

The Verdict: There are so many different options when considering vehicles similar to the Jeep Cherokee, at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. Many of the offerings do carry a similar overall look and feel but there is just something about the Jeep that allows it to stand out from the crowd. The Cherokee will do everything you’d expect out of a compact SUV and does so with the added off-road capability that allow you to take it places some of its competition would not be able to go, and for myself and others, that’s enough to warrant some serious consideration.