The Cheapest Jeep Cherokee Now Starts At Over $35,000

The elimination of the base I4 engine has raised the price by almost $6,000

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I don’t know who you are, but if you’re looking to get into a Jeep Cherokee on the cheap, you are SOL. Jeep has eliminated the base engine, effectively raising the base price of the Cherokee to over $35,000.

2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude
2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude
Screenshot: Jeep

Before, the cheapest way to get into brand new Jeep Cherokee was going for the base Latitude trim. If you choose no options, including destination, a Cherokee Latitude sets you back $29,730. That got you cloth seats, front-wheel drive, and the 2.4-liter Tigershark I4 with 180 horsepower, paired with a nine-speed auto. That may or may not have been a good thing.

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Welp, that’s all changed. Whether it was just a low take rate of the base engine or just plain ole greed, Jeep has dropped four trims of the Cherokee: Latitude, Freedom, Latitude Plus, and Altitude. The cheapest Cherokee you can buy now is the $35,590 Cherokee X. What’s so special about it? Not much.

You do get standard four-wheel drive but the 3.2-liter V6 is the only engine option now across the board. The Cherokee X also gets poser off-road design trim, special graphics, a whopping one-inch lift, and off-road tires. Loaded the Cherokee X will come in just under $39,000.

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I think it’s ok to ask the question of who the Cherokee is supposed to be for now. A few grand more can get you into a Wrangler, which is much more capable. And if your concern is fuel economy, you’re looking in the wrong place. While Jeep touts that the Cherokee’s V6 can get up to 29 mpg on the highway, there’s a big ass asterisk attached to that: that’s only with front-wheel drive. If you want four-wheel drive, those numbers drop to 19/27/22 combined. Truck-like numbers.

Asking nearly $40,000 to get into a base Cherokee now is a big ask. And with so many other competitors on the market now, it’s not quite as appealing as it used to be. Though I have to wonder if it was ever appealing to begin with.