2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Review – From An Owners Perspective:

Forum Member UN4GTBL Gives Us His Perspective After A Few Months Of Ownership...

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Review

I remember when the first pictures of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk were leaked on the Internet. To
put it simply, I was not a fan. However, once the official press pictures were released, I began to warm
up to the Trailhawk models, and over the years I eventually warmed up to the non-Trailhawk models as
well. Way back in November 2013, I drove by my dealer to look at a Cherokee Limited and my sales guy
saw me outside and offered a test drive of it. I took him up on his offer, and was thoroughly impressed
with the vehicle, particularly the interior. At the time, I was researching a new Charger purchase,
probably primarily because I had a new Charger as a loaner when my Caliber had been in for some
suspension work. I always remembered my positive first impressions of the Cherokee, and as a result, I
kept it on my list of vehicles to replace my Caliber.

2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

Anyways, fast forward several years, and I was finally ready to purchase a Cherokee of my own. Jeep had
finally made HIDs available on the Trailhawk models along with vented, memory front seats, and the
transmission issues seemed to have been sorted out too. Then, once I saw Android Auto becoming
included with the great UConnect systems, I knew I wanted to make sure that my next vehicle had it, so I
patiently waited for the Cherokee to get it too. How thrilled I was to see it added to the 2019 Cherokee,
and on February 1, 2018 I placed my order for a 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite. I ordered a
Trailhawk Elite with the 3.2L V6, CommandView sunroof, SafetyTec group, Technology group, Trailer
Tow group, UConnect 4C Nav, and the Mopar Rock Rails in Billet Metallic Silver. Seven weeks later, to
the day, my Cherokee arrived at my dealer, and I remember just walking around it and having to remind
myself that this was going to be mine.


2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

As I mentioned earlier, I had warmed up to the 2014 Cherokee styling, and specifically really liked the
Trailhawk, especially with the hood decal. It had an aggressive look, that was unlike anything else on the
road, at that time. Fast forward to the 2019 refresh, and it looks a bit more like the Jeep Grand Cherokee
and new Jeep Compass, while still maintaining a distinct Cherokee look, especially when the DRLs are
running on the Trailhawk model. I’m a big fan of the rear styling changes as well, as the blank area on
the tailgate is no longer there, and there are amber rear turn signals, something that I really like, as it
makes it more obvious that you are signaling to the driver behind you. The 2019+ non-Trailhawk models
are much more attractive to me as well now.

2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

Another great improvement with the refresh, are the new bi-LED headlights, which are just fantastic at
night in my opinion. The new foot activated power tailgate has already come in handy numerous times
for me and is a cool party trick. Other than the new front and rear, the exterior hasn’t changed that
much, so you still have the signature trapezoidal Jeep wheel arches, and the Grand Cherokee style body
line across the side doors.


2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

The interior of the Cherokee is a wonderful place to spend time. According to my Cherokee, I’ve already
spent almost 100 hours in mine, in about 2 months. The seats are very comfortable, and the heated and
vented seats just add to that in the winter and summer months. Add in the soft touch surfaces, stitched
dash, panoramic sunroof, and the interior always gets praise from any of my friends that have gotten in
it so far. There is a lot of information available to the driver thanks to the 7” TFT screen in between the
gauges, and the steering wheel controls allow you to control the most used functions. Thankfully there
are still redundant physical buttons for most of the climate control functions, except for the
heated/vented seats, and heated steering wheel. The radio screen is excellent too, especially now that it
has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, and you can control music, and even ask it questions
all with the steering wheel controls too. How far car radios have come!

2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

The rear seats are also comfortable, and I can easily sit behind my 6’ 2” self without a problem. You sit
up nice and high in the rear seats, and the center armrest folds out of the seat at a good height and
provides two cupholders. Although, there is a middle hump on the floor, so the middle passenger must
share the footwells with the outboard passengers, and if you get the panoramic sunroof, you do lose a
bit of headroom. For 2019, the sliding and reclining rear seats are only available on the Overland, and
optional on the Limited now, which is disappointing. The Trailhawk rear seats are advertised as reclining,
but they really don’t recline that much, maybe an inch or two. They do fold flat still however, to allow
you to carry bigger items, but with the new power front passenger seat, it no longer folds flat.

Cargo Capacity

2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

The Cherokee has never been great for rear cargo capacity, partly because of the full size spare tire, and
partly because of the slope of the rear end. For 2019 they did increase it a bit, and they removed the
cargo rack that was on the driver’s side for the 2014-2018 models. This was the reason why I did not get
the 9-speaker package, as the subwoofer takes up a bit of rear cargo capacity, and I wanted every bit of
available space. For Cherokees without a full size spare tire, you can lower the rear load floor a few
inches and gain more space too. There is a surprising amount of room in and around the full size spare
tire for supplies, and the cubbies on both sides of the cargo area are very useful too.


2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

My Caliber was a fairly basic vehicle and didn’t have much besides cruise control, remote entry and A/C
from the factory. I knew that I wanted more features on my Cherokee, so I ordered it with almost every
option available on the Trailhawk. The Elite comes with heated and vented front seats with memory and
I find myself even using them just about every day. The heat is nice on my back, and the vented seats
are great on hot days, especially when you first get into the vehicle. Keyless Enter N Go is very
convenient and allows my keys to just stay in my pocket. The Adaptive Cruise Control option that comes
in the Technology group I use just about every day. It makes bumper to bumper traffic much less
stressful, and even normal situations where you’d use regular cruise control, I use the ACC instead, just
incase the vehicle in front of me doesn’t stick to a set speed. Android Auto was an absolute must for my
next vehicle, and I use it every day. It’s very well implemented in the UConnect system, and still allows
you to jump to any other radio function without having to exit it, like in other vehicles. The new pinch to
zoom screen is very helpful in Google Maps, and being able to just say “Ok Google” and ask whatever
you want, like what’s tomorrow’s weather, or guide me to the nearest Starbucks, or send a text message
are all very useful features. I’ve even used the automatic parking assist once, just to try it. I can park
faster, but it’s another cool thing to show off to people. Being able to remote start your vehicle from
your phone, or smart watch is also a cool feature, and is especially useful in my usage scenario, as my
office is just high enough in my office building to be out of range of the factory key fob on those cold or
hot days.

2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

I would really like if Jeep would offer heated rear seats on the Trailhawk as well. It makes no sense to
me that an off-road brand like Jeep, artificially limited the options on their top off-road trim level on the
Cherokee. I would also have loved to see a 360-degree camera system for the refresh on this vehicle as

Engine & Transmission

2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

I chose the 3.2L V6 partly because we have the 3.6L in our Caravan, and it has been a solid, reliable
engine, and because it gets very cold here in the winter, and 4 cylinders struggle with warming up at
such temperatures. Another reason is that the 2.0T recommends premium gasoline, and with regular
gasoline sitting at $1.38/liter here right now, I wasn’t very interested in that either. The 3.2L has so far
been a great engine, with good throttle response, and I’ve been able to average about 13l/100km or
about 21MPG in mostly city driving so far. I have a highway trip coming up in a few months, and I am
interested to see how it does on straight highway driving with minimal traffic.

The 9-speed has been well behaved so far, although I am still retraining myself to driving an automatic,
as my last vehicle was a manual transmission. It can be a bit slow to down shift, and then ends up
overcompensating, and downshifting too much. However, for 2019 Jeep has replaced the electronic
range select (ERS) with a real AutoStick system, which is a welcome change from the ERS, as you can
select a specific gear, versus only being able to select the highest gear that the transmission will use.
This also means that 2019 Cherokees can use 9th gear, at least by specifically shifting into it. For the most
part though, I just leave it in Drive unless I need to pass someone, as it usually knows the best gear for
fuel economy.


2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

I have yet to officially take it off road, but we did have an ice storm just after I picked up my Cherokee. I
was thoroughly impressed with how it handled the unplowed roads and parking lots and didn’t seem the
least bit bothered by the snow and slush that was all around. I’ve done a little bit of “urban off-roading”
so far. Once I drove over a parking island to avoid another car that was coming right at me in a parking
lot. Then, I also tested out the rock mode of the 4×4 system on an area in another parking lot with a
bunch of fist sized river rocks, and it made it over that easily as well. Neither obstacle was difficult, but
the ease at with the Cherokee drove over them was definitely confidence inspiring. I almost can’t wait
for next winter to try it out in the snow.


2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (UN4GTBL photo)

Overall, Jeep has done a great job with the Cherokee. I regularly get compliments from friends when
they get into it. It is very comfortable to drive, has lots of capability, and great features and build quality.
I have not had any real problems so far with my Cherokee. I’ve had a couple of annoyances however. My
tailgate mounted tail lights get moisture inside them in cold weather, Jeep forgot to install the plugs in
the holes on the bottom of my front bumper, and there is no longer an off-road kit included with the
Trailhawk for 2019. I’d gladly trade my tonneau cover for the off-road kit and a cargo net, like the 2018s
had. And finally, there is no rear cargo net available yet. I don’t regret my purchase, and I’ve had follow
up surveys from Chrysler to find out my thoughts on my experience, which is appreciated.

(Editors note: We would like to thank UN4GTBL for taking the time to write this review and share his opinions and photos with us, make sure you check back later today for our 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited review and video.)

Jared B

Jared founded MoparInsiders and is a 41-year-old automotive enthusiast from Vancouver, British Columbia. He took an interest in cars at a very young age and has been interested in them ever since. His hobbies include photography, videography, drag racing, and auto detailing. He currently owns and drives a 2023 Audi RS6, a 2024 GMC Sierra, and a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

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