More than a few vehicles from Chrysler Group will see a price drop in 2012, as the Detroit Free Press reports that the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango will both receive base price adjustments -- with the Grand Cherokee benefiting the most at more than $3000 off its base price from 2011. New powertrain features aid in getting better fuel economy, however, some convenience features that were standard on the 2011 model appear to have been dropped to make the hefty price reduction possible.
The base model Grand Cherokee Laredo will carry a price tag of $26,995, a decrease of $3220 from the current model's $30,215 starting price. The big news for the Grand Cherokee in 2012 is the addition of electro-hydraulic power steering, which replaces the all-hydraulic system used on 2011 models. Detroit Free Press says this upgrade is good for a fuel economy rating of 17/23 (City/Highway) mpg in models with the V-6 and rear-wheel drive, up from 16/23 mpg the year before. Four-wheel-drive V-6 models make their gains on the highway, raising from 16/22 mpg to 16/23 mpg in the 2012 model. Fuel economy figures for V-8-powered models haven't been released yet, but a mpg gains are also expected with the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission -- replacing the previous model's five-speed auto.
According to Detroit Free Press, some other features may have been sacrificed to make the more-than-$3000 price cut possible. The base Laredo loses power eight-way adjustability for the driver's seat, a feature that was standard in 2011. Detroit Free Press also reports that other optional features cost more than last year, like the Laredo's leather interior package, which shoots from $4000 to $5300 in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Grand Cherokee's platform mate, the Dodge Durango, sees a smaller drop in price -- reduced by $200 compared to the 2010 model. The same powertrain upgrades planned for the Grand Cherokee also apply to the Durango. Automotive News reports that the 2012 Dodge Journey will benefit from a $1200 discount, dropping to $21,795 from $22,995, while buyers of the 2012 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 models will see savings of $250 compared to 2011 ($21,795 versus $22,995).
Source: Detroit Free Press, Automotive News