The Jeep Cherokee, like basically every vehicle Fiat Chrysler builds, comes in roughly four million different trims, the most expensive of which is now dead.
The 2020 Jeep Cherokee Overland will be discontinued after this year, Jeep confirmed to CarsDirect.com, and which means that your trim options have now been whittled down to the Latitude, Latitude Plus, Upland, Altitude, Latitude Lux, Limited, North Edition, Trailhawk, High Altitude, and Trailhawk Elite editions of the Jeep Cherokee, all of which you can get 4x4 but for six you can also get front-wheel drive.
A few of those are technically also “limited editions,” but they all look the same on Jeep’s website, and until recently Overland was an option on the configurator too until it was quietly disappeared. Now, only the Grand Cherokee will continue to have an Overland version. And it’s the Grand Cherokee that CarsDirect.com blames for the loss of the Cherokee Overland, since if you’re willing to pay around $40,000 for the Cherokee Overland you’re probably also possibly interested in stepping up to the Grand Cherokee, with the Overland version of that starting at $46,940.
What did you get with Cherokee Overland? Nineteen-inch wheels, some probably nice leather, a 8.4-inch screen. And some special badges! But that’s pretty much it, and all of these trims and special editions are starting to give me a headache.
And really has led me to further contemplate FCA’s broader strategy of doing fewer new generations of vehicles, and instead sticking with one generation for a decade or so and piling on the trims and special editions. This generation Jeep Cherokee, for instance, debuted in 2013, while the current Jeep Grand Cherokee debuted in 2010, and the current Dodge Charger that year as well. The modern Fiat 500 has had only a facelift since it debuted in 2007. The current-gen Chrysler 300 came out in 2011, but that was basically the same as the first-gen, which debuted all the way in 2004. (Fun fact: The first Jalopnik post was a Chrysler 300 review.) And while Ram pickup entered a fifth-generation in 2019, the fourth-generation had been with us for over a decade.
And I’m sure new generations are in the works or planned for the other cars but the strategy on all of it is pretty clear, a bet that, actually, consumers don’t really care all that much about new generations, and can be convinced to part with their money if the update is more incremental, or its a new special edition. Because while FCA spent the 2010s largely not introducing new generations of its cars, its sales increased eight of those ten years, and have more than doubled since 2010, the kind of numbers that are hard to argue with.