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.