2023 Jeep Cherokee shrinks to two trims, Pentastar V6 disappears

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For the 2022 model year, Jeep swept all the Cherokee's previous nine trims off a table into a hat, and when Jeep was finished with the magic trick, only four Cherokees remained: base X, the sole front-driver Latitude Lux, Trailhawk, and Limited. The trim-eating hat is back for 2023, the Trailhawk version emerging like the proverbial rabbit and joined by a new Altitude Lux 4x4 model, the latter something like a more rugged version of the Latitude Lux. Both trims come standard with 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment, plus new kit including adaptive cruise control with stop and go, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and ParkSense front/rear park assist with rear stop. Neither one gets the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 — the old six-pot faithful was available in the Trailhawk, but no more. Two four cylinder engines and four-wheel drive are the only choices now.

The Altitude Lux 4x4 gets the 2.4 liter four with 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. Standard equipment counts black Nappa leather seats, Piano Black interior trim, a seven-inch TFT screen in the gauge cluster, a heated steering wheel, and heated seats. Outside come LED lighting, a Gloss Black grille surround, Gloss Black accents and badging, and 17-inch Gloss Black wheels standard, 18-inchers optional. We don't have images of this one yet; the gallery above is all Trailhawk.

The Trailhawk moves with the new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 270 hp and 295 lb-ft. Bonus standard equipment for the new model year includes automatic high-beams, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a security alarm, and a universal garage door opener, a bundle that copies the standard kit on last year's Latitude Lux.

The nine-speed ZF transmission doesn't change, nor does the color palette of Billet Silver, Bright White, Diamond Black Crystal, Granite Crystal, Hydro Blue, Slate Blue, Sting-Gray, and Velvet Red. The Black and Ski Gray interior optional in the X and Limited models retires, though, making the decision either black cloth or black leather.

Pricing starts at $39,290 for the Altitude Lux after the unchanged $1,595 destination fee, jumping to $42,890 for the Trailhawk. That makes the Altitude Lux $2,450 more than last year's Cherokee X base model, and more dear than every 2022 Cherokees save the $40,939 Limited. The Trailhawk price climbs by $3,750, partly a result of moving on from the Pentastar V6 to the more advanced 2.0-liter.

We're watching the current Cherokee head to that Rubicon Trail in the sky, reports predicting the Belvidere, Illinois production facility will send its last unit down the line at the end of next month to end a ten-year run of this single generation. Jeep execs have already touted a new Cherokee, "bigger and better than ever," boasting "a lot of electrification," and potentially bringing a Wagoneer luxury trim with it. The same rumor sources about the Belvidere plant say Cherokee assembly will move to Mexico.

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