When the current Jeep Cherokee made its debut at the 2013 New York auto show, it was immediately met with plenty of opinions. Strong opinions.
The returning nameplate was attached to a vehicle with an extremely polarizing front end that some thought gave it the appearance of a creature that had crawled out of the depths of the New York City subway system. Brickbats aside, the Cherokee has sold well—in one of the most popular segments—so Jeep has been in no rush to change it. For its sixth model year (late by current standards), the Cherokee is finally getting a makeover, and this is our first look at the 2019 model’s new visage.
Ahead of its big reveal in January at the 2018 Detroit auto show, Jeep released a few images that show off the entire exterior design. Most notably, the insect face is no longer. The strange, stacked dual-light setup is gone, with the main headlights now at the top of the fascia for a normal look. On the red vehicle, which appears to be the Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4, the fog lights are small dimples beneath the headlights; on the gray Jeep, which looks like a Limited, the fog lights are housed in the lower corners of the fascia. Both versions maintain the seven-slot grille.
The body of the Cherokee is largely carryover, but the rear has undergone some minor changes. The license plate is incorporated into the liftgate, which makes for a simpler rear bumper design. The reworked bumper and the redesigned taillights together make the 2019 Cherokee look wider and less top-heavy. Based on the one interior picture, the center stack has had a few things tweaked or moved around, but for the most part it remains the same.
Jeep claims the 2019 Cherokee will have more fuel-efficient powertrains; currently the model uses an 2.4-liter inline-four and a 3.2-liter V6. Expect more information in the coming weeks when the full reveal happens at the Detroit auto show.