Jeep is one of the best-known SUV brands in the world, yet it no longer has a vehicle in one of the most popular SUV segments. It’s set to fix that.

    After discontinuing the Cherokee in 2022 in Australia and 2023 in North America, Jeep hasn’t had a rival for popular vehicles like the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail.

    Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa told media a new “mainstream” D-segment (i.e. mid-sized) SUV is in the works, and while he didn’t confirm the name he said media “could probably guess what it will be called”.

    The Drive reports it will have a ballpark price of under US$40,000 (~A$59,900). For context, the US-market Grand Cherokee opens at US$36,495 (~$54,600).

    The new SUV won’t enter production until the second half of 2025.

    Mr Filosa confirmed there will be more than one powertrain option.

    “No. Not at the beginning,” said Mr Filosa when asked if the SUV would be electric-only, like the new Wagoneer S.

    “We will have a few options, as we said freedom of choice, we will deliver the market a few options.”

    That suggests it will offer a choice of petrol or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains, with Jeep having rolled out PHEVs across almost its entire range.

    The Cherokee nameplate debuted in 1974 on a two-door version of the Wagoneer.

    It was used continuously until 2023 with the KL Cherokee’s axing, though two generations of the Cherokee – the KJ and KK – were sold as the Liberty in North America.

    In the absence of the Cherokee, Jeep has only the smaller Compass to offer, which is priced up against many mid-sized SUVs, or buyers can step up to the larger, more expensive Grand Cherokee.

    In markets like Latin America, it also has the Commander/Meridian, which is a three-row, Compass-derived SUV.

    The mid-sized SUV segment was Australia’s largest new vehicle segment in 2023, with 268,480 sales. Jeep only accounted for 16 of those sales, with leftover stock of the Cherokee being cleared off of dealer lots.

    Even in its last full year on sale in Australia, Jeep sold just 382 examples of what was by then an almost decade-old SUV. That tally saw the Cherokee outsell only the Citroen C5 Aircross, Peugeot 5008 and SsangYong Korando.

    Cherokee sales had taken a dive several years before – plummeting from 6156 sales in 2015 to 2079 sales in 2016 – and continued to slide thereafter.

    The SUV’s high watermark in the US market was in 2018 with 239,437 sales, but sales continued to decline there too. Jeep sold just 40,322 examples in 2022 according to Good Car Bad Car.

    MORE: Everything Jeep Cherokee

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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