Thanks to our friends over at Abbotsford Chrysler I had the opportunity last week to test out the 2019 Jeep Cherokee with the new 2.0-liter four cylinder turbo mill. As we did a fairly extensive review already on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited which can be found here I am mostly going to just focus on the powertrain for the purposes of this quick drive.
When Jeep unveiled the 2019 Cherokee at the North American International Autoshow in Detroit back in January they announced that they would be adding a third engine option to the lineup. An all new 2.0-liter direct injected turbo four cylinder rated at 270 horsepower and 295 lb ft of torque joined the previous 3.2 liter Pentastar V6 (271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque) and the 2.4-liter Tigershark four cylinder rated at 180hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The new 2.0-liter “Hurricane” four cylinder is positioned as the premium engine in the Cherokee lineup with an eye on providing V6 like power and four cylinder efficiency. While I only drove the vehicle for a short amount of time from what I experienced it seems like they have hit their mark. On a short highway run the onboard computer set in at 39.2 MPG, this was on a flat stretch of highway with a 65 MPH speed limit. Very impressive indeed for a mid-sized 4×4 CUV. (I should note that the EPA rates the FWD 2.0T Cherokee at 23 city, 31 hwy and 26 combined while the 4WD model is listed at 21 City, 29 Hwy and 24 combined.) A FWD V6 Cherokee is rated 20 City, 29 Highway and 23 combined while the 4WD V6 is rated 19 City, 27 Hwy and 22 MPG combined.
Around town the engine emits a low growl and feels much like the larger Pentastar V6. The 2.0T includes an acoustic windshield and active noise cancellation making the cabin a nice quiet place to be. FCA says the 9-speed automatic has a specific tune to match the performance of the 2.0-liter engine and it worked flawlessly in the background shifting smoothly and delivering downshifts when required. Auto start/stop is standard as with all Cherokees and worked well to restart the Jeep from stop lights quickly and smoothly.
Power delivery feels strong with a lot of mid range torque. While the 2.0-liter is down 1 horsepower to the Pentastar V6, torque is up by 56 ft-lbs compared to the V6 and it is noticeable. In every day driving situations the engine feels and performs much larger than it is requiring very little throttle to get up to speed with plenty of power on reserve for passing situations. Jeep claims a 7 second flat 0-60 sprint for the 2.0T Cherokee which is right around what the 3.2 liter Pentastar Cherokee runs as well. During a 0-60 sprint I noticed some initial turbo lag but after that the Jeep pinned me to my seat and ran quickly to 60 MPH. While it has been awhile since I have driven the V6 Cherokee, the 2 liter turbo felt every bit as quick as I remember the V6 being. I didn’t have a chance to play with the sport mode on my short drive but I have been told that in sport mode the turbo lag goes away and the engine responds instantly.
Everything else I said about the Cherokee in my previous review stands true. The interior was a nice place to spend time with excellent fit and finish, materials were also of high quality. Seats were comfortable and of a high quality leather. Exterior wise I like the enhancements for 2019, the new front end fits well into Jeeps lineup. The Cherokee is definitely worth a look if you’re shopping for a mid sized 5 passenger CUV and the 2 liter turbo is a compelling engine option as well.
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