One solution is now going on sale.
The Jeep Cherokee remains a core part of the automaker's lineup in both the US and overseas. There's just one problem: sales are down, at least in America, and this was a bit before the coronavirus pandemic got underway. The fact that it is now literally stalled sales and the economy as a whole isn't helping matters, to say the least. But before COVID-19 wreaked havoc, Jeep had already begun to develop one possible solution to the Cherokee sales slowdown.
According to Mopar Insiders, the Cherokee Latitude Lux trim is being launched as a way to help bridge the gap between the Latitude Plus and Limited trims. Currently, the Latitude and Latitude Plus trims account for 44 percent of Cherokee sales, so creating a new slightly higher and more expensive trim could help matters. Basically, the Latitude Lux gets the luxury treatment found in the Limited but without some additional and less-needed items.
It comes standard with the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 paired to a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel-drive is standard but all-wheel drive is a $1,500 option. Inside there are leather seats, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. Standard safety includes full-speed collision warning plus, lane departure warning plus, and remote engine start.
Pricing will get underway at $31,395 which includes the $1,495 destination fee. To compare, the Latitude starts at $29,090 and Limited at $33,095. Will Cherokee customers be willing to spend a little more to get some of the Limited model's features without having to get the Limited? Time will tell, but unfortunately, the Cherokee Latitude Lux has another problem. In fact, all Cherokees and FCA vehicles do.
FCA's North American (and Italian) facilities are currently closed until further notice. Q1 2020 Cherokee sales were down by 32 percent and the COVID-19 outbreak certainly had something to do with this.
Combined with the production stoppage, it'll probably be quite difficult to even find a 2020 Cherokee Latitude Lux on dealership lots. It's a shame because FCA just launched its Drive Forward sales initiative offering 0 percent financing for 84 months and zero payments for 90 days on most new 2019 and 2020 vehicles.