At this stage, Jeep has only said it will add more fuel-efficient engines to the Cherokee line-up with the 2018 auto. While the 2019 edition of FCA's compact SUV, which slots right between the Compass and the Grand Cherokee in the Jeep lineup, will only be officially unveiled in January, early images have been leaked as a teaser of things to come. In that application and bolstered with a mild-hybrid powertrain, the 2.0L I-4 produces 270 hp at 5,250 rpm and 295 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm. The official pictures reveal a tweaked front end, which moves away from the sharp, pointed nose of the outgoing Cherokee in favour of a rounder, conventional look more in line with the latest Cherokee.
Around at the back it looks a bit like the new Compass, with fuller taillights and a kind of three dimensional profile going on that draws down from the rear windscreen, to the number plate area, and to the lower bumper bar. Blue interior backlighting gives way to white on the new model, and the gauges look to have been slightly redesigned as well.
A mild-hybrid, cosmetically updated Jeep Cherokee would be a good fit for most of the compact SUV's customers, with improved fuel economy, healthy electric torque, and decent performance to boot.
Jeep's photos depict the Cherokee with two different front-end designs.