At the launch of the updated 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk in Las Vegas this week, CarAdvice learned that while the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine has been confirmed for Australia early next year, the petrol option is less certain.
At this stage, we should see the new Grand Cherokee arrive in Australian showrooms late in the first quarter of 2017 or early in the second quarter.
Lucy McLellan, director of corporate communications for Fiat Chrysler Australia, told CarAdvice it is fairly unlikely we’ll see a petrol-powered Trailhawk in Australia.
“At this stage, we think the diesel engine is the only engine we’ll take in Australia,” McLellan said. “That’s not confirmed, though, but we believe the diesel engine makes the most sense for Australia.”
With the Trailhawk built and marketed as an off-roading 4WD, a diesel-only option for Australia makes sense for Jeep. Most Australian off-roaders who head into remote areas, opt for a diesel engine for reasons of touring range, durability and toughness.
Previously, Jeep offered the Summit Platinum grade as the high-end model Grand Cherokee model, which was effectively a special edition.
That model grade will now be called Summit, with Trailhawk added to what is an expanded range. As such, the Grand Cherokee range in Australia will now comprise: Laredo, Limited, Overland, Trailhawk, Summit and SRT grades.
The question is whether a new range will help reverse the sales slump that Grand Cherokee has fallen into in Australia. “It’s not one single factor,” McLellan said.
“Refreshed product, a refreshed approach to sales and marketing and most importantly customer service, will assist in turning around the recent downward trend in Grand Cherokee sales,” McLellan said.