Fiat Chrysler tweaks trim levels on 300, Charger and Cherokee

on Jun24

The 2017 Chrysler 300, shown here, 
has four trim levels. The 2018 gets five.

DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler will shake up trim levels this fall on three of its vehicles — the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Jeep Cherokee — to freshen the look of its lowest-end versions of those cars.

The trim-level changes are detailed in ordering documents distributed to U.S. dealers earlier this month and obtained by Automotive News.

A spokesman for FCA declined to comment on the changes for the coming model year. However, U.S. sales of all three vehicles are down sharply. The changes are also taking place as FCA makes tweaks to its lineup, such as introducing new features and paint colors, to keep consumers interested in what is the oldest product lineup of any major automaker, according to Morgan Stanley.

For 2018, the Chrysler 300 will go from four trim levels to five, and will mix up the order.

In the current model year, the base-model Chrysler 300 is a Limited trim level, with the S and C trims above that geared toward either a sportier or more luxurious experience, respectively, and topped by the C Platinum trim.

For the 2018 model year, the base model — complete with cloth seats — will be the Touring trim, followed by the Touring L, S, Limited and C. The new trim walk more closely aligns with the Chrysler brand’s only other vehicle, the Pacifica minivan.

The base-level trim will be eliminated on the Dodge Charger in 2018.

Similarly, the bottom end of the trim lineup for the Dodge Charger will undergo a makeover for the 2018 model year, eliminating the current base-level SE model.

According to the ordering guide given to dealers, the Charger SE trim will be consolidated with what is now the next-highest-level trim, SXT, for 2018.

All-wheel-drive versions of the Charger’s lower trim levels will be sold under the GT AWD trim level and will feature cloth or leather seats.

All of the altered Charger trims are powered by the base-level 3.6-liter V-6 engine.

Cherokee trims will be altered within the Jeep lineup for 2018. The brand is eliminating the bottom-end Sport trim level, making the Latitude trim the new base and adding a new Latitude Plus trim.

In its communications with dealers, FCA said that the Cherokee Latitude would come with a “significant price reduction” of the 2017 price of $25,645, with the new base Cherokee to start at $24,395, though it is unclear if the features of the base model Cherokee will remain the same with the name change.

Both prices exclude delivery. The dealer ordering guide also indicates the Cherokee’s higher-end Limited and Trailhawk 4×4 trims would also see “reduced pricing” in the 2018 model year but did not specify the new pricing levels.

Through May, sales of the Cherokee are down 18 percent in the U.S. to 69,473, while sales of the 300 are down 16 percent to 22,918 and Charger sales are off 12 percent to 36,774.

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