The Jeep Cherokee KL gets a mid-cycle refresh for 2019, and now it not only doesn’t look hideous anymore, but it also gets essentially the same 270 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder as its stablemate, the mighty Jeep Wrangler.
We already got a glimpse of the updated styling on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee last month, but now Fiat Chrysler has released some technical details and the main takeaway is: a version of the 270 horsepower, 295 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbocharged GME-T4 engine we saw in the new JL Wrangler is making its way into the Cherokee for 2019.
Obviously, it’s not exactly the same engine, since the Wrangler’s is a longitudinally-mounted setup, and the KL’s got a transverse-motor, but the basic engine architecture is surely the same, as is power output.
The current KL has a 184-horsepower, 172 lb-ft 2.4-liter Tigershark engine as the base powertrain, with a 271 horsepower, 239 lb-ft 3.2-liter Pentastar engine as the sportier option. Those stick around, with the base engine losing four ponies and two lb-ft—down to 180 horsepower and 170 lb-ft.
I’d expect the new engine to provide similar acceleration performance as the 3.2-liter, but likely with better fuel economy. Right now, the 3.2-liter is rated at 21 MPG city and 29 highway; the 2.4-liter is about the same, though it gets 30 MPG highway. There’s still no word on fuel economy ratings for the torquey new engine, which gets mated to the same nine-speed transmission as the other powertrain options.
The new KL also loses a bit of pudge (200 pounds, to be exact), thanks to a number of little weight-savings measures like an aluminum hood and a composite tailgate (the original XJ Jeep Cherokee also had a composite tailgate!).
Towing capacity remains at 4,500 pounds on the V6 (no word on towing capability for the 2.0-turbo), and despite changes to front and rear styling, the approach, departure and breakover angles remain similar—29.8, 23.3 and 32.1, respectively on the new Jeep versus 29.9, 22.9 and 32.2, respectively on the outgoing one.
It’s a better looking, torquier, and hopefully more fuel efficient Jeep Cherokee. Sounds like a solid mid-cycle refresh to me.