Dodge Durango Has Nothing To Fear From Jeep Grand Cherokee L

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Or the upcoming Grand Wagoneer.

The debut of the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L earlier this month has left Dodge Durango fans concerned. The Grand Cherokee L is a three-row SUV, a distinction that was previously reserved for the Durango within the FCA (now Stellantis) lineup. Could the new Grand Cherokee L eliminate the need for the Durango, which is nearly at the end of its current product cycle?

Motor Trend was told by Stellantis executives the Durango has nothing to fear. Head of the Jeep Brand for North America, Jim Morrison, claims that a majority of Jeep customers want the off-road capability the brand is famous for; the Durango, while certainly a capable off-roader, doesn't quite have that same adventure draw. Also, plans for a three-row Grand Cherokee go back several years as customers have been requesting it for quite some time. In other words, the Grand Cherokee L is intended to satisfy that group.

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Morrison also believes the three-row SUV will account for half of all Grand Cherokee sales; an all-new regular-length version will debut later this year. But what about the also upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer, a vehicle we've seen as a near production-ready SUV? Like the Grand Cherokee L, it'll also be a three-row but also more luxurious with the Cadillac Escalade in its crosshairs. Could that conflict with the Durango instead?

Not really, because the Grand Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee L are in two different SUV segments; the former will have traditional body-on-frame construction while the Grand Cherokee L retains the unibody setup. Also, the Grand Wagoneer will be expensive, possibly hitting the $100,000 mark when fully loaded.

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Only the ultra-niche Durango SRT Hellcat and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk come close to that amount. The Durango has nothing to fear from either Jeep (and the also upcoming Wagoneer) for two key reasons: different types of buyers and pricing. Christian Meunier, global president of the Jeep brand, said the following when asked if the Durango could be replaced by the Grand Cherokee L: "Not at all. They are totally separate. The Dodge Durango will remain. We don't see a lot of substitution between the two products going forward."

The Durango is expected to remain on sale through 2023, after which it could be replaced by a new Dodge crossover. For now, the Durango is safe.

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Source Credits: Motor Trend

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