2019 Jeep Cherokee finally reveals its all-new nose


We’ve known for a while that the refreshed Jeep Cherokee was going under the knife in order to ditch its controversial face. While the crossover’s looks have grown over time, it was still a little too weird and awkward for some buyers. Now, thanks to our trusty spy photographers, we have a really good look at the Cherokee’s new mug. Surprise! It looks like every other product in Jeep’s lineup.

The current model has a split lighting setup that places the main headlights down low, almost below the grille. The turn signals/parking lights are way up high, nearly on top of the fender. This new model has those two meet in the middle. The shape is generally what you would find on both the new Compass and Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s handsome, even if it does lose a bit of character.

The rear, too, has been changed. The license plate moves up and into the tailgate, giving it a more muscular, less flabby look. The smaller rear reflectors have been moved upward. The taillights look different, but it’s hard to say if those are just temporary units. Either way, expect a new design that once again cribs from the 2017 Jeep Compass.

Since this is a refresh, don’t expect to wait too much longer until we see the new model’s debut. We could see it as soon as the Detroit motor show next month. Expect current powertrains to carry over with a slight boost in fuel economy.

[Source: Autoblog]


2019 Jeep Cherokee revealed with new, more conservative look


Just as it did with the new Wrangler, Jeep is showing off images of a new product before its debut. In this case it’s the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. Jeep hasn’t released all the details on it, but we can see a number of exterior changes from the official images.

The biggest change is one we’ve been expecting: the merging of the current Cherokee’s split headlights into single units on each side. The result is a more conventional nose that has a closer familial resemblance to other Jeeps such as the Compass and Grand Cherokee. The rest of the front bumper and grille also look a bit softer and rounder, but there’s still a hint of the wedge-y pointy look of the previous generation that helps keep the crossover immediately identifiable as a Cherokee.

The other major change is at the rear. The big slab of a rear hatch is broken up now with the license plate mounting position, which makes the tail look much less bulky. Naturally the bumper was also redesigned with a faux skid plate to fill up the space left by the license plate.

As for the middle of the crossover and the interior, there are no noticeable changes. Jeep hasn’t revealed anything other than these images, so we’ll have to wait until the full debut in January to find out about any mechanical changes. Jeep’s press release does hint at more efficient powertrain options, so there could be some updates to the transmissions or engines.

[Source: Autoblog]

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Drivers’ Notes | Haulin’ the groceries


Powered by the same supercharged Hemi at the heart of Dodge’s Hellcat cars, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the sort of vehicle that comes from a “Why not?” attitude from the maniacs at SRT. It’s not for the faint of heart, nor for the cash-strapped. With 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque, it’s capable of a 0-60 sprint of just 3.5 seconds. Its base price, however, is $86,995, though our tester’s sticker totaled just a few bucks shy of $100,000.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: “What business does a Jeep have going 0-60 in 3.5 seconds?” This was my thought as I merged into rainy rush-hour traffic on Woodward Avenue in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. “Why does an SUV need to have ‘Track’ in the name?” I thought as I unintentionally broke the tires loose pulling away from a stoplight. I hit the “Eco” button, but the Jeep still roared with every toe-tap, and still managed to gulp down nearly a quarter of a tank of gas on my ride home.

That sound, though, is amazing, and surely more unsettling to other drivers coming from such a big beast of a ute.

Anyway, this Jeep feels more grown-up than other Hemi-powered vehicles I’ve driven. The fit and finish in this $99,000 Jeep is far nicer than, say, the Dodge Durango SRT (though at a much higher cost). If another driver didn’t pay close attention to the badging, they might see this and think it just another Jeep. The sound, though, will give it away every time.

Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: If Fiat-Chrysler knows how to do anything, it’s making fast SUVs, and the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is further proof of that. And by that I mean, they know how to make them fast, and they know how to make them pleasant to drive.

The Trackhawk definitely handles the fast part better than its SRT Durango and SRT Grand Cherokee cousins, what with its extra 230-odd horsepower. This big beast seriously rockets when you punch the throttle. The nose rises up, the supercharger screams, the exhaust rumbles and the speedometer ticks up much faster than you’d ever think. And it feels strong at all revs. Also impressive is that you don’t have to really think when flooring it. The all-wheel-drive and fat tires offer so much grip the Jeep simply goes.

The pleasant to drive part comes in the fact that the Trackhawk is very comfortable. The suspension has plenty of give, providing a good ride over pockmarked Motown roads. But it still handles well, if perhaps not quite up to the standards of European super SUVs. But the thing is, no SUV is going to have sports car handling, so the tradeoff toward a bit more comfort is welcomed. Adding to the good suspension are wide, bolstered, well-padded seats that should be excellent for long-trips. The UConnect is easy to use, and there’s plenty of space inside. It’s a great all-around SUV, and it just happens to go extremely fast.

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I was psyched to drive the Trackhawk. It’s one of the most anticipated Jeeps ever — and it totally lived up to the hype. Obviously, the Hellcat engine is the spotlight feature, and it’s well-suited to the Grand Cherokee. That was the part I was curious about. It didn’t seem like a logical fit, but everything is well-tuned and sorted. It sounds good, yet not overdone. It’s also a sleeper vehicle. Yes, something is up with this Jeep. You can tell that at first glance. But Hellcat power isn’t immediately obvious. I like that. It’s also pretty chill when you’re cruising at steady speeds.

Inside, I wasn’t a fan of this maroon leather. Otherwise, the FCA U.S. controls and infotainment remain among the best in the industry. The touchscreens work, and the knobs and buttons are intuitive. Can’t ask for more. Also, many years into its lifecycle, the Grand Cherokee remains a strong, attractive player in its segment. Giving it the Trackhawk treatment wasn’t necessary, but I’m sure glad FCA did.


2019 Jeep Cherokee reveals a much more normal face


Since we started seeing redesigned Jeep Cherokee prototypes, we’ve suspected that the crossover would lose its controversial split headlights and pointy grille. Finally, we get a good look at a mostly uncovered test car, and it confirms that the new Cherokee will look quite conventional.

The obvious change is the headlights. Instead of the slender daytime running lights at the top next to the grille, and the actual illuminating headlights lower in the bumper, all of the elements are integrated into single housings on either side. They’re somewhat rectangular now, looking more like those on the Compass and the Grand Cherokee. But you can still see the same hockey-stick shaped LED running light design in the new lamps. The grille has changed, too. It looks much more blunt than the sharply creased, almost pointy grille of the current model. It also looks as though it may extend farther down than the current version.

The rest of the Cherokee is very similar to the current model. The flanks are virtually unchanged, as is the interior, and the tail sees only minor changes. The most significant is the move of the license plate from the bumper to the hatch. The taillights’ shape hasn’t really changed, but the white section is now broken up by black lines, and the red element looks darker.

We expect to see the Cherokee refresh soon, possibly by the end of the year.

[Source: Autoblog]


Jeep three-row SUV caught on public roads — Grand Wagoneer, perhaps?


For years, it’s been rumored that Jeep is working on a full-size three-row crossover. The Grand Cherokee sells well, but it doesn’t match the space of its platform sibling, the Dodge Durango. At this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, Jeep revealed the Yuntu Concept, a plug-in three-row crossover designed for the Chinese market. While the automaker was adamant that this was just a concept, our spy photographers have seen a prototype running around near FCA’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Though this is still heavily camouflaged, we can see a few details that show this is indeed a version of the Yuntu. The headlights, taillights and windows are the biggest tells, as they’re nothing like what’s currently on any production Jeep. The long wheelbase gives away the SUV’s three-row nature. We can’t make out much else, but expect the final version to look like a Durango-sized version of the new Jeep Compass with a black roof and clear lighting.

We don’t know what rests under the hood, but the Yuntu concept is a plug-in hybrid. FCA really needs some electrified vehicles in its lineup if it’s going to compete with other mainstream automakers. If the Yuntu makes it to production, expect it to wear a name like Grand Wagoneer. We just hope for wood panels.


2018 Jeep Cherokee may lose its split headlights


Now that the Jeep Cherokee is three model years old, it’s about due for a refresh, and it looks like Jeep has a major one in store. New spy shots show two prototype Cherokees testing. The heavily disguised prototype has the nose and tail completely covered, and an undisguised mule with the current body shows what appear to be new radar sensors. Based on these spy shots, it looks like the Cherokee’s current split headlight design could be disappearing.

We know there must be a significant redesign to the front considering how much camouflage is used. We can also just make out a revised accent light in a similar position as the current accent lights. This wouldn’t indicate unified headlights alone, but two of the exposed mule’s apparent radar sensors sit right where the square-shaped main headlamps are located on the current model. They’ll have to at least move those lights higher in the bumper for the sensors, and if they’re moved that far up, they might as well be merged with the accent lights.

Among the other details we can make out, the rear section will likely be substantially different. The license plate mounting point has been moved out of the rear bumper and into the rear hatch. This may also be related to radar sensors, since the line of sensors on the undisguised model are right in line with the license plate. But it should also serve to break up the large swath of sheet metal in the hatch. The middle section of the car still looks the same as the current model, which is further indication that this is a refresh.



Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk set for New York debut


The head of Jeep confirmed Wednesday that the brand will reveal its high-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in April at the New York Auto Show. “That is going to be quite a special vehicle,” Jeep boss Mike Manley said. “Very difficult for one not to smile.”

Speaking at an event at FCA US headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, to preview the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari vehicles for Moab, he didn’t provide further details. The Trackhawk has been expected to bow in New York, and the confirmation comes after months of rumors and spy shots.

What’s under the hood? The blown 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat from the Charger and Challenger is the overwhelmingly obvious choice. The V8 engine makes 707 horsepower in the Dodges. The most potent current Grand Cherokee, the SRT model, is rated at 475 hp. Jeep also already sells a Grand Cherokee Trailhawk for off-road adventures.

Meanwhile, Manley reiterated the next-generation Wrangler will debut by the end of the year, as expected.

The New York show is shaping up to be a blockbuster event for FCA US, which will also debut the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon on the eve of the show next month.