Jeep is understood to be working on an electric replacement for the current Cherokee medium SUV – one of at least four EVs promised by 2025.
The expected Cherokee-type EV will follow in the wheel tracks of the rugged Jeep Recon and sleeker Wagoneer S EVs revealed this month, which are slated for US production from 2024.
“We’ve announced two of the four BEVs [due in North America by 2025], stay tuned for the two others,” said Jeep CEO Christian Meunier in Detroit this week. It’s worth noting Jeep has also previewed its new Europe-led Avenger EV as well.
CarExpert understands one of the as-yet unseen new EVs will be a replacement for the Cherokee. It’s unclear if Jeep will retain the storied badge or move in a different direction, and if there will also be a combustion-powered version.
Jeep’s path suggests its diverse D-segment – or mid-sized – SUV line-up looks set to broaden, with the company considering the Cherokee, Wrangler, Recon and Wagoneer S to be members despite vastly different designs.
The Recon and Wagoneer S, both of which have been confirmed for Australia, will be underpinned by the new STLA Large platform. That suggests the Cherokee replacement could do the same.
Jeep acknowledges the current KL Cherokee, which first entered production in 2013 and was last updated in 2018, is in need of replacement.
“That keeps me up at night and that product obviously is… getting smaller and smaller in volume, and we say that the current product is getting less and less competitive in the very competitive segment,” Jeep CEO Christian Meunier said, noting the mid-sized SUV segment is the largest in the world.
With the introduction of three new EVs, all of a similar size, the Jeep lineup will therefore be heavily concentrated in the D-segment.
In every other segment Jeep competes in, the brand has 1-2 vehicles.
The new electric Avenger will open the range in markets like Europe, Japan and possibly Australia, with Jeep considering it an A/B-segment offering slotting in under the B-segment Renegade and C-segment Compass.
Above the Recon, Wrangler, Wagoneer S and Cherokee replacement sit the large Grand Cherokee and even larger Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. All of these models are available in extended-length L versions.
That’s a far cry from the figures it posted earlier in its lifecycle.
In 2015, Jeep sold 6156 Cherokees, outselling the likes of the Ford Kuga, Holden Captiva 5 and Suzuki Grand Vitara, if not quite posing a threat to stalwarts like the Toyota RAV4. Volume then fell massively to 2079 sales in 2016, with sales sliding gradually thereafter.
For 2022, it lost its front-wheel drive, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder base model and, as its turbocharged four-cylinder isn’t sold here, it’s now V6 and AWD-only in Australia. That makes it the only vehicle in the mainstream mid-sized SUV segment to offer a six-cylinder engine.
MORE: Everything Jeep Cherokee