Jeep’s new large SUV to shed its predecessor’s unenviable reputation
Australian customers should be confident the new Jeep Grand Cherokee won’t suffer the same reliability issues as its recall-plagued predecessor thanks to production process improvements, says the US off-road auto brand.
While the new seven-seat WL Jeep Grand Cherokee L released in Australia in May 2022 has so far proved durable, the previous-generation (WK) Grand Cherokee has the dubious honour of being one of the most recalled vehicles in history, with more than 20 notices issued for a wide variety of faults over its lifespan.
However, Jeep quickly dismissed any suggestion that the new model would suffer the same issues, pointing to its brand-new platform and the fact it shares only two per cent of components with its predecessor.
“It’s an all-new vehicle,” Jeep Australia PR boss Tracie Stoltenburg told media. “It’s 98 per cent new, so it’s completely different. The quality has changed.”
“The key differentiator is that it’s out of a brand-new production facility, the Mack plant in the US,” added product manager Rich Crichton.
“New production facility means new levels of quality and we’ve taken this car to the next level.”
The fifth-generation Grand Cherokee is the pivotal product in Jeep’s push upmarket, the new model carrying a significant price premium over the model it replaces, starting at $77,950 (+ORCs) for the entry-level Night Eagle.
Time will tell whether Jeep’s confidence is well placed, but the US brand has been making strides to improve customer satisfaction after global boss Christian Meunier told carsales “we messed up” in January 2021.
In addition to releasing better quality vehicles, Jeep has moved to a five-year warranty, cut servicing and parts costs and improved communication with customers.
“We need to treat customers well, take care of them and whenever there is an issue they need to be heard, they need to be listened to,” said Meunier.
According to Stoltenburg, this new approach is paying dividends locally.
“Our time of vehicle off road has improved and continues to improve, parts pricing is still in progress, there’s over a million parts, so we’re still continuing that process, but we’re pleased with the direction that it’s going.”
The Summit Reserve 4xe plug-in hybrid variant will top the new five-seat Jeep Grand Cherokee range later this year.
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Keyword: New Jeep Grand Cherokee to improve reliability