Jeep Cherokee discontinued after 50 years – to be replaced by Dodge Hornet-based mid-size crossover?

The Jeep Cherokee is no more, after having been in production for five decades, The Drive has reported. This comes as a Jeep official confirmed the news to the American publication, bringing to an end a line that began with the two-door body-on-frame model of 1974.

It moved on to a unibody construction from the XJ generation onwards, which was made from 1984 through to 2001; a 2000 model-year example of the Cherokee Limited is pictured above. Some three million units of the XJ-generation Cherokee were produced in the United States in that time, while it continued production under license in China until 2014.

That recognisable, blocky shape was replaced when an all-new model arrived on the scene in 2013 as a 2014 model year, and arrived in Malaysia towards the end of 2014 in two variants, both powered by a 174 hp/229 Nm 2.4 litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine.

A facelift arrived in 2019, packing with it a new 2.0 litre turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine making 270 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Three different four-wheel-drive systems were offered, the most capable setup of the three employing a rear differential lock for traction off-road.

Jeep Cherokee discontinued after 50 years – to be replaced by Dodge Hornet-based mid-size crossover?

2019 Jeep Cherokee facelift

Production of the Cherokee was halted as Stellantis idled the Belvidere plant in Illinois, US where the Cherokee was made, and the pause in Cherokee production appears to become permanent, according to the website. The Cherokee lineage diverged with the advent of the Grand Cherokee which took the name in a more luxurious direction, and which emerged in its fifth generation at the beginning of 2021.

The fifth-generation Grand Cherokee also spawned a plug-in hybrid variant in the form of the Grand Cherokee 4xe, which combined a 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors for a combined output of 375 PS at 5,250 rpm and 637 Nm of torque.

With its plug-in hybrid powertrain, the 4xe variant of the Grand Cherokee appears set to carry on in the wider electrification plans of Stellantis, even if the Cherokee model line itself is no more.

There will be a mid-sized crossover to replace the Cherokee, if not carry over its nameplate entirely, according to Road & Track. One such product offering in that segment within the Stellantis group could be based on the Dodge Hornet, according to the magazine.

GALLERY: 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk