Jeep Axes Cherokee

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

In a development anyone blessed with the gift of sight could see coming a mile away, Jeep has confirmed the Cherokee nameplate will not continue into the next model year.

The brand is axing its entrant into the popular midsize crossover segment, leaving some to wonder if there will be another vehicle to fill what’s now a hole in Jeep’s lineup. Cherokee sales haven’t been stellar, largely due to decisions that left the vehicle to arguably wither on the vine for a number of years. The present model was introduced nearly a decade ago, with a mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year. 

Even though some diehards complained that this iteration of the nameplate wasn’t a “true Cherokee” since it didn’t have the agricultural roots of the storied XJ, the present-day rig did a good job of incorporating decent off-road kit into the Trailhawk trim – including gear like an e-locker in the rear and low-range gearing. The 2019 restyle removed much of the alarming ‘Hannibal Lecter's mask’ vibe projected by the original front fascia, leaving a midsizer that fit well into the Jeep family lineup. Its cargo area always seemed smaller than its competitors, though its cabin was very comfortable especially when spec’d without a sunroof.

The writing was on the wall for Cherokee when the 2023 model year was released, denuded of engine options and offering just a couple of milquetoast trims. Gone were the torquey V6 and burly Trailhawk, features that made the Cherokee unique in its segment. It might be unfair to say the ’23 was relegated to fleet status but there’s a solid chance that any Cherokee found at a rental counter for the foreseeable future will be a 2023 model. Production was halted at the Belvidere Assembly plant approximately three weeks ago.

What’s next? As most car companies are wont to do, spox from Jeep are flapping their jaws about having something in the hopper for this segment, but what it might be they won’t say. There’s an excellent chance whatever takes its place will have an electrified powertrain – not necessarily a full electric but possibly a plug-in hybrid and definitely a mild hybrid of some sort. Jeep has been actively pushing their 4xe sub-brand, a badge that is very likely to appear on whatever replaces the Cherokee.

[Image: Jeep]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Mar 26, 2023

    Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, a woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).

    I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗

    • Brn Brn on Mar 27, 2023

      The Cherokee was on my short list too. Nice riding vehicle and can tow a lot better than other small SUVs.

      Manufacturers continue to discontinue vehicles I'm interested in. Must say something about me.

  • Cprescott Cprescott on Mar 27, 2023

    Excellent! Complete garbage.

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