Although the pre-facelift Cherokee was not available in India, there is a chance Jeep could launch the 2019 version with its improved looks 

Jeep has released images of the thoroughly updated 2019 Cherokee ahead of its public debut at the Detroit Motor Show in mid-January 2018. No, don’t confuse it with its big brother, the Grand Cherokee. The Cherokee sits just above the Compass in Jeep’s global lineup.

A quick recap of the fifth-gen Cherokee’s origins 

The fifth-generation Jeep Cherokee made its world premiere at the 2013 New York Auto Show and went on sale in the US later that year.

In the US, it competes with SUVs such as the Honda CR-V and the Volkswagen Tiguan, among others. Now, Jeep has revealed pictures of the Cherokee facelift, which comes after five years, ahead of its unveil at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show.

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Should it come to India?

Jeep entered the Indian market in 2016 with the launch of the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler Unlimited. While these two SUVs are imported via the CBU (completely built unit) route and attract a hefty premium, Jeep upped its game with the launch of the Jeep Compass on July 31, 2017. The locally manufactured and competitively priced Compass has become the best-selling model in the mid-size SUV space! 

Jeep Compass crosses 10K sales mark; prices to go up from Jan 2018

From Jeep’s global lineup, only the Cherokee and the Renegade are missing in India. While the Renegade is expected to be launched here in 2018, Jeep could finally bring the Cherokee facelift a while later as well. 

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We believe Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Jeep’s parent company) could have refrained from introducing the Cherokee here earlier because a facelift was around the corner. By launching the 2019 Cherokee along with the Renegade, Jeep could put its Indian lineup on par with its global portfolio.

If launched, the Cherokee is expected to be imported as a CBU with prices starting from around Rs 40 lakh. If our predictions are correct, it will go up against the top-spec variants of entry-level luxury SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1 and the Audi Q3.

There’s enough space for the updated Cherokee to nestle in and breathe comfortably in Jeep’s portfolio in India. There’s a huge price difference (+50 lakh) between the Compass (Rs 15.16 lakh) and Jeep’s next offering, the Wrangler Unlimited petrol (Rs 67 lakh) (ex-showroom New Delhi). Since Jeep preferred the top-down approach by launching the relatively expensive offerings first before introducing the entry-level one, it certainly carries the tag of a premium automaker here, which proved a vital selling point for the Compass. So, a dimensionally comparable and decently loaded 2019 Cherokee perhaps has a chance to go up against entry-level luxury SUVs.

2019 Jeep Cherokee

Jeep is holding back details of the 2019 Cherokee until its debut in Detroit. Going by the first set of official images, however, it is quite evident that Jeep has swapped the extravagant styling of the pre-facelift Cherokee for a more family-oriented look. The design is now in line with its siblings such as the Compass and the Grand Cherokee.

Check out: Jeep pulls the wraps off 2018 Jeep Wrangler at 2017 LA auto show