Sounds weird, right?
Well, according to Allpar, which got its intel from a forum member known as “redriderbob” (a strange source, but he’s provided reliable intel in the past) says that Chrysler could be launching a midsize SUV for 2017 that’s heavily based on the Jeep Cherokee. Apart from the source, a lot of people are saying this move would make sense. It could simply slot in the void left by the Dodge Journey when it eventually moves onto a new platform. A midsize SUV is certainly something Chrysler needs, and that’s part of the reason why it makes sense. Chrysler would be taking a model and basing it on a vehicle — the Jeep Cherokee — that’s experiencing strong sales. Sell it for slightly less, and you might be surprised by how many consumers are jumping on the Chrysler bandwagon for a midsize SUV. Especially if they’d only buy the Cherokee for road-running, and never hit the woods with it.
Chrysler might very well need this, but it’s still a confusing idea to think about.
Chrysler Needs the Midsize Model
Currently, the Chrysler brand only has two new models sitting on dealer showroom floors: the Pacifica and 300-series sedan. Not only is this making dealerships antsy and worried, but probably frustrated as well. Even if sales are doing fairly well on both models, Chrysler still needs a midsize SUV stay competitive. Even if it isn’t based on the Cherokee. Why? Because, that’s the vehicle the automaker lacks, and it happens to represent one of the most popular segments on the market today. Overall, the inclusion of a midsize SUV could transform Chrysler into a vehicle sales powerhouse so-to-speak, allowing the company to really start raking in the profit.
On top of that, the introduction of a Chrysler-based midsize SUV would help the brand stay afloat until FCA figures out its next move.
It’s Still Confusing to Envision
It’s still somewhat difficult to imagine the inclusion of a midsize SUV in the Chrysler lineup though. I understand that basing it off the Cherokee is an easy out because both Chrysler and Cherokee belong to FCA. But, why would Chrysler potentially risk hurting Jeep sales? Jeep sales are strong right now — and always have been — but why impact those sales? Why not, instead, base it on an amalgamation of successful midsize SUVs (or on a discontinued model, such as the old Cherokee body style) so you don’t end up hurting the current model sold by Jeep.
Then again, this is just my assumption. It might not hurt Jeep at all. After all, it doesn’t have the same badging. Also, I would assume it wouldn’t have nearly the same level of off-road capability as the Cherokee — or any other Jeep model, for that matter.
Keep in mind, this intel is provided from a forum user, who, even though has had accurate information in the past, isn’t a certified spokesman for FCA or the Chrysler brand. Meaning, this could all be smoke and mirrors.
Still, it’s interesting, albeit slightly confusing, to think about.