If you've just purchased a new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, you have our sincere congratulations, but you also might not want to read this post any further.
The 2012 Grand Cherokee, which goes on sale next month, will reportedly benefit from a $3,220 price decrease versus the 2011 model. This means that the base Laredo trim level with two-wheel drive will now carry an MSRP of $26,995. It also means that the resale value of your 2011 model has likely just taken a pretty severe whack.
Jeep introduced the all-new Grand Cherokee for the 2011 model year, and thus, only minor changes have been made for the 2012 model. The 5.7-liter V8 is now mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, rather than the aging five-speed, and models equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will now come with electro-hydraulic power-assisted steering. These enhancements are good for very minor increases in fuel economy – likely no more than a single mpg here or there.
The folks at Kicking Tires point out that the lower base price may be a reflection of higher price points for option packages and the removal of once-standard equipment. For example, the 2011 Grand Cherokee Laredo came standard with an eight-way power seat, whereas the 2012 model does not. What's more, the Laredo's leather seating package now costs a whopping $5,300 instead of $4,000.
Elsewhere in the Chrysler lineup, the 2012 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 receive price decreases of $250, and the 2012 Dodge Journey costs a substantial $1,450 less than the 2011 model.