The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is arguably one of the most controversial product launches of the past year. Jeep brought back the classic Cherokee name long association with rugged, square trucks on a thoroughly modern crossover with bold, modern styling. There’s no doubt that besides the name, the new Cherokee is anything but retro.
Despite the controversy over styling and a slightly delayed launch to tweak the Cherokee’s transmission software, the Cherokee has been off to a strong start on the sales charts, helping elevate sales for the entire Jeep brand in the last quarter of 2013. Jeep’s goal is to snag buyers of stalwart compact CUVs like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4.
But is Jeep succeeding in its goals to compete with the big dogs of the category, or is the Cherokee appealing to diehard Jeep fans who would likely buy a Jeep no matter what? To find out, we used exclusive CarsDirect cross-shopping data from the past three months to take a look at the top five vehicles currently cross-shopped against the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
(The percentages refer to the percentage of total Cherokee shoppers who also cross-shopped the alternate models listed. For example, 29.6% of buyers who shopped a Cherokee also shopped a Grand Cherokee.)
Jeep Grand Cherokee: 29.6%
Ford Escape: 7.8%
Jeep Compass: 7.7%
Subaru Forester: 7.6%
Honda CR-V: 7.2%
CarsDirect’s take: The overwhelming majority of shoppers are cross-shopping the Cherokee with the larger Grand Cherokee, which isn’t all that surprising given the similarities in the vehicles’ names (which some argue is a point of confusion for shoppers). However, solid numbers of shoppers are also considering major competitors such as the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. We expect this trend to continue as more Cherokees hit the streets and catch the public’s attention with its bold look.