2012 Grand Cherokee Laredo gets a price cut

When I first wrote about the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I had serious concerns about the starting price.

Pricing is a whole ‘nother beast. I’m not a fan of the $31k starting price. I don’t think Chrysler / Jeep has done a good enough job with their vehicles over the last few decades to justify such a rich base price. Yes, I’m sure this time it’s different. Yes, I’m sure this will be more reliable than past Jeeps. Yes, blah blah blah.

I wasn’t the only one with concerns over the inflated base MSRP, it seems. The folks at Chrysler have rethought their pricing strategy, and the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee will start at $26,995. That’s slightly over $3k less than last year, which is a huge improvement.

Improvements

Those of you who opt for the 5.7 liter HEMI V6 will get a six speed automatic transmission this year, which is up a gear. Pentastar V6 buyers get a fancy electro-hydraulic power steering system. Fuel economy is also up for V6 models. The V6 4×2 now manages 17MPG city, 23 MPG highway, while the V6 4×4 gets 16 MPG city, 23 MPG highway. These are slight improvements, but welcome nonetheless.

It’s not all roses though

You thought Chrysler was just dropping the price to make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Come on now. For one, if you go with the base model for 2012, you won’t get the eight-way power driver’s seat that you would’ve last year. There’s like some more missing equipment, though what isn’t certain quite yet.

What’s more glaring, however, is the pricier options. Instead of $4,000 for leather, you’ll have to spend a whopping $5,300. The cause for the hefty price increase? We don’t know yet.

All in all, I’d say this is a welcome change for Jeep. Sure, you’ll get a few less goodies, and have to pay more for the fun stuff. But if you just want a nice basic Grand Cherokee, it’s hard to argue with paying $3k less than just a year ago.

Published on August 22, 2011 in Jeep

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