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Cherokee vs Wrangler: the winner

by David Zatz on

In November, we visited the sales race between the new Jeep Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler — a modern, lighter-duty vehicle and a heavy-duty traditionalist. The Wrangler had been falling behind, possibly because Daimler did not build the plant with any expansion in mind.

2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude

Those constraints will not ease until, ironically, the Wrangler takes over the Cherokee’s plant, pushing the more modern Jeep out of Ohio. The Wrangler sells as quickly as it can be built, despite the lack of a recent redesign or most of the Cherokee’s gizmos and creature comforts.

18-inch wheels with pad prints

In November, US buyers had picked up 196,211 Jeep Cherokees, versus 187,111 Jeep Wranglers and 174,950 Jeep Grand Cherokees. Canadians had chosen Cherokees as the top Jeep every month of the year, and outside North America, the Cherokee easily outsells the Wrangler.

For 2015 as a whole, the Jeep Cherokee easily beat the Jeep Wrangler (in the US), 220,260 to 202,702; the pair were closer in 2015, when the Wrangler beat the Cherokee by around 3,200 sales. The Grand Cherokee came in at #3, with 195,958 sales.

Jeep-Renegade-duo-Web

The other Jeep race was between the new Jeep Renegade and the Jeep Compass, and we’d called it for the Compass, which had a full year of sales vs the abbreviated Renegade 2015. Not surprisingly, the Compass, with just 66,698 sales, eked out a Pyrrhic victory over the Renegade, with 60,946. 2016 will almost certainly change the order; though a new Jeep Compass is due at some point.  In the meantime, the Patriot’s surprising 27% gain, to nearly 120,000 sales, made keeping it around a paying proposition.

There is another disclaimer: there are two Jeep Wrangler models, on different wheelbases, but there are also two cars using the same basic chassis on the Grand Cherokee side. Adding Dodge Durango sales to the Grand Cherokee (as Wrangler Unlimited is added to Wrangler) would easily push that pair to the top.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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