SUVs

2019 Jeep Cherokee appears fresh-faced before Detroit debut

It's a bit less wacky than it was before, which should only boost its appeal.

Jeep

The current Jeep Cherokee was rather... polarizing when it first arrived. In a bit of a return to form, a midcycle refresh has moved the Cherokee's needle back from "wild" to "mild."

Jeep has shown off the first pictures of the refreshed 2019 Cherokee, ahead of its debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show on Jan. 16. Since it's a midcycle refresh, the changes are light, at least from what we can tell in the pictures.

It's... kind of boring, actually. A bit safe, given what it used to look like.

Jeep

The biggest change is up front. Gone is the two-tier lighting system from the pre-refresh Cherokee, and in its place is a single-light setup that's much closer to the new Compass. Out back, things are a little different, with what appear to be some new taillights. Inside, though, it's pretty much the same as before, with a large central infotainment screen and a number of physical buttons below it.

Jeep hasn't offered any additional details on the car -- that's all being saved for its proper debut on Jan. 16. It did say, however, that the new Cherokee will pack "even more fuel-efficient powertrain options." That could mean a plug-in hybrid system similar to that in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, or it could be something entirely different, like the turbo I4 in the new Wrangler. We'll find out in just a few weeks.

The 2019 Cherokee's interior doesn't change much, which is good, because it's a fine mix of form and function.

Jeep