When the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee reaches dealerships this year, it will have a three-row version sitting next to it for the first time since the nameplate's 1992 debut.
Pricing for the SUV hasn't been revealed, but the three-row Grand Cherokee L, which debuted over the summer, starts at a little more than $2,000 above the outgoing two-row model. The gap could shrink if Jeep raises the price of the five-passenger version when the redesign arrives.
Dealers and analysts said that could cause some attrition for the two-row model but that Jeep still will come out ahead in the long run by keeping consumers from defecting to other brands for a three-row SUV.
Ken Thomas, operating partner at Northland Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in suburban Detroit, said there's a contingent of buyers for the traditional two-row model who will stick with it. The L, meanwhile, is conquesting owners of the Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Tahoe and Traverse, he said.
Thomas believes the L, which starts at $38,790 including shipping, was priced just right to avoid overlapping too closely with the larger Wagoneer SUV.