August 14, 2018
Most of today’s crossovers have the same underpinnings as cars. This means that while they’re comfortable to ride in, their off-road capabilities are along the lines of being able to travel down a dirt road to a campground. Jeep decided to take a different direction with its 2019 Cherokee Trailhawk, transitioning it into an SUV that’s as happy driving down the highway as it is off-road.
For 2019, Jeep gave the Cherokee a few major updates. The car maker replaced the old headlight configuration with a single light cluster, giving the front end a more conventional appearance. Jeep also added different bumpers to the Trailhawk and installed the fog lights closer to the SUV’s main headlight cluster, improving the vehicle’s appearance.
One of the biggest updates to the Cherokee is the availability of a new engine. Car buyers can now purchase the vehicle with a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, one that generates 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Since Jeep decided to make the Trailhawk an off-road model, the car maker revised the vehicle’s suspension, raising it an inch higher than the standard model. The SUV also comes with 17-inch alloy wheels in addition to all-terrain tires that have a bit more sidewall. Total ground clearance for the SUV is 8.7 inches, ensuring that it has more than enough space to clear large road obstacles.
To improve fuel economy, the four-wheel drive Cherokee comes with a rear axle disconnect. Those who bring home the Trailhawk can also upgrade it to include the Active Drive Lock system, which adds a Rock mode and a locking rear differential to the SUV.
Even with the off-road-tuned suspension, the Trailhawk delivers a comfortable ride on the road as well as secure handling. However, once the vehicle is off-road, it’s clearly in its element. With four-low and Rock mode engaged, it will handle almost anything nature puts in its path.
Inside the SUV, drivers will enjoy the Uconnect 4 infotainment system. It features an 8.4-inch touchscreen that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Shortcut buttons and a responsive touchscreen make the infotainment system user-friendly. Most of the controls for the SUV’s comfort features, such as heated and ventilated seats and climate control, are found on the system’s touchscreen, but they are not located inside separate hard-to-find system menus.
The 2019 Cherokee comfortably seats four people. Vehicle owners can transport five people inside the Trailhawk, but they will likely feel a little squished. Cargo capacity measures at 25.8 cubic feet with the backseats in use. When the seats are folded, Trailhawk owners gain access to 54.7 cubic feet.
Quality off-road capabilities are tough to find in the crossover class. Those who want to play in the mud and dirt can do so comfortably in the Trailhawk.