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2019 Jeep Cherokee

2/7/2018, 10:07 a.m.
The 2019 Jeep looked a lot better than the model it will replace.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee Submitted photo

The SOS button will connect with a call center agent who can send emergency assistance to the vehicle’s location. The infotainment system was also equipped with Apple CarPlay or Android. We chose to use the direction app on my smartphone to get back to the hotel via the direct route because the returning test vehicle did not have a navigation system.

On my iPhone I could of course make phone calls but I also could access my music, send and receive messages and receive voice-guided navigation optimized for traffic conditions. There was adaptive cruise control and parallel/perpendicular park assist systems were among some of the creature comforts available.

But as you know Jeep’s DNA is off road driving. Once we arrived at the Canyon Ranch we got the chance to check out the Cherokee’s rock crawling chops.

Jeep said the 2019 Cherokee has a choice of three innovative 4x4 systems that have been enhanced for unmatched 4x4 capabilities for all weather conditions. Jeep Cherokee maintains its place as the benchmark mid-size SUV with rear-axle disconnect technology that results in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn’t needed, while improving fuel efficiency. The rear-axle disconnect seamlessly switches between two- and four-wheel drive for full-time torque management and does not require input from the driver.

Jeep Active Drive I, Jeep Active Drive II and Jeep Active Drive Lock are the three systems. I’ll spare you details because there just is not enough space to write about each. But I can share this: they had several Jeep Cherokee Trailhawks set aside for the off road course here.

After instituting a complicated series of gear set ups, I took my foot off the accelerator and let the Cherokee traverse the course and just steered; there was no braking either.

We did rock crawling, went over really deep ditches and dirt paths and got up and over some really high degree inclines; the kind that were so steep that I could only see the sky until the Cherokee thumped back down to level terrain. There was no mud; no wet gullies and we didn’t have to fjord water. So I’d say the course was a 4.5 or so on a scale of ten.

But don’t be fooled, unless you’re someplace really desolate, in the true sense of the word, the course was way tougher than anything you’re going to encounter in everyday driving. In short, the new Cherokee qualified as a Jeep. It goes on sale during the first quarter of 2018.

Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com