Jeep Executive Takes Jab At Toyota Off-Roading Ability
Jeep has seemingly thrown down the gauntlet when referring to its Grand Cherokee in the Australian marketplace. Auto executives rarely call out competitors but that’s exactly what Head of Global Jeep Product Marketing, Jeff Ellsworth did when talking with Australian outlet Carsguide in a recent sit down.
While Jeep is synonymous with off-roading in America, the Toyota Land Cruiser carries the same prestige in the Outback and elsewhere. That being said, when asked about whether or not Jeep had a better off-road machine Ellsworth replied with: “I’m biased, but for sure.”
Ellsworth went even further by saying “…When it comes to rock-crawling, Toyota can’t do what we can do.”
This isn’t the first time Jeep in particular has voiced its opinion on being the best off-road vehicle available in the marketplace. Late last year Jeep North America President Jim Morrison told MC&T he felt sorry for the customers of the Ford Explorer Timberline. He explained how he felt they got tricked into thinking it was a capable off-road vehicle. In Morrison’s eyes the quality of Jeep was even then, unmatched. This was after he dunked on Ford during last fall’s Detroit 4Fest, commenting on the MIC hard top roof issues that the company was having with the Bronco.
Hey, Jeep has every right to get its elbows out. It pioneered the off-road SUV, after all. Now they’re here to keep perfecting it.
To that end, Jeep continues to target upmarket customers with an enthusiasm for the off-road. The new Grand Cherokee is exactly that, and takes things into new territory with the first-ever 4xe variant, starting just shy of $60,000 according to the build and price tool at the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the ultra-premium Summit Reserve and go-anywhere Trailhawk models offer an optional 5.7L Hemi V8 producing 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque and are priced $67,175 and $54,630 respectively.