Mystery Jeep 3-row SUV becomes clearer with details from Mike Manley

Jeep said it was going to
add an unspecified three-row model to its lineup a few weeks ago without elaborating on the topic.
FCA CEO Mike Manley offered a little more detail when talking to
Auto Express that helps us figure out where this Jeep will slot in the lineup.

«One is the large SUV segment. There are relatively few competitors in there, but it could be a great segment for Jeep, and we’ll bring back the
Grand Wagoneer at that time,» Manley says. «Then the second is a three-row Jeep, which will technically play in the same segment as
Grand Cherokee. Roughly 60 percent of that segment is three-row, so Grand Cherokee has really only played in 40 percent. That will open up that part of the segment for us.»

These details make it clear where Jeep is positioning this three-rower for the future — below the
Grand Wagoneer, but above the Grand Cherokee. It’s starting to look like a true competitor to vehicles like the
Ford Explorer,
Chevrolet Traverse and
Honda Pilot. The five-seat
Grand Cherokee is the only SUV Jeep has to go up against those models in the midsize SUV segment now, which ices out folks in need of those couple extra seats. The
Grand Wagoneer is still expected to be the larger, more luxurious three-row vehicle of these two, as well.

«We’ll have the choice of Grand Cherokee or a different model,» Manley says. «For me, the Grand Cherokee is such an icon, so that’s why I talk about [the new model] as a three row Jeep.»

This last bit suggests Jeep will be picking a new model name for the three-row SUV, instead of keeping the Grand Cherokee moniker. If this vehicle is playing in the same segment as the Grand Cherokee, then it’ll likely share most of the bones from that vehicle with a bit of a stretch to go along with it. What it’ll be called is anyone’s guess at this point, but something like a Grand Cherokee XL appears to be out of the question. We can hope for a reveal of the new three-row
crossover to happen sometime this year, but FCA has previously said the first of its new three-row vehicles will roll off the line «by the end of 2020.» This means a debut late this year or early 2020 could both be valid times to roll the mystery three-row vehicle and Grand Wagoneer out.

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