DETROIT – Jeep adds a sophisticated 2.0L turbocharged direct-injected 4-cyl. to its ’19 Cherokee powertrain lineup as part of a midcycle refresh of the small CUV.

The all-aluminum engine, part of FCA’s Global Medium Engine family, marks the first time the automaker combines a cylinder-head-mounted twin-scroll turbo, cooled exhaust-gas recirculation, direct injection and independent liquid cooling for intake air, throttle body and turbo to achieve strong performance and high fuel efficiency. Hollow-bore camshafts knock 3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg) off engine weight; engine stop/start is standard.

In the Cherokee, the engine produces 270 hp and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque, punchier than the carryover 3.2L, 271-hp, 239-lb.-ft. (324-Nm) V-6 and much stronger than the base 2.4L Tigershark 4-cyl. that makes 180 hp and 170 lb.-ft. (230 Nm) of torque.

The transmission is a 9-speed automatic sending power to the front wheels or a choice of three AWD systems that have been redesigned to save weight and improve efficiency via a disconnecting rear axle. A 2-speed transfer case with low range and a locking rear differential are available.

The redone Cherokee sheds 200 lbs. (91 kg), with some 35 lbs. (16 kg) coming from the drivetrain and use of a composite liftgate. The restyled front clip offers improved aerodynamics and includes standard LED lighting and a lightweight aluminum hood.

The interior gets a facelift including new satin chrome radio and instrument bezels and a redesigned shifter to provide more center cubby space and a cleaner layout. The rear cargo opening is 3.3 ins. (85 mm) wider and 2.0 ins. (51 mm) deeper to accommodate nearly 28.0 cu.-ft. (793 L) of cargo, up from 24.0 cu.-ft. (680 L).

FCA’s fourth-generation Uconnect system is offered with 7.0- or 8.4-in. (17.8-21.3 cm) screens while the instrument cluster is either a 3.5-in. (8.9-cm) grayscale or 7.0-in. color display.

Introduced as a ’14 model to replace the Liberty CUV, Cherokee sales peaked in 2015 at 220,744 units when it was Jeep’s top seller, good for sixth place in the competitive Middle CUV segment, WardsAuto data shows. It was Jeep’s third best-seller in 2017 behind the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.

Built at FCA’s Belvidere (IL) Assembly Plant, the Cherokee goes on sale this quarter. @bobgritzinger