A Replacement is Coming for the Jeep Compass
A small collection of fully camouflaged new compact Jeep crossover vehicles are being trailered about somewhere in Europe. Known internally as the C-SUV (compact SUV) and nicknamed the Compatriot by the Jeep cognoscenti, the as-yet-unnamed compact vehicle is slated to replace both the Jeep Patriot and Compass.
The C-SUV boasts the signature Jeep shape of the wheel openings, the kicked-up body line in front of the C-pillar, and the baby version of the Grand Cherokee fascia. The finished appearance of the twin exhaust tips and the way they are integrated into the rear skid plate and cosmetic bodywork indicates that the vehicle is nearly ready for prime time.
One big point of contention with the Patriot and Compass is their sub-par interior layout and materials. It looks like FCA has taken the hint. Inside the new C-SUV, the easy-to-use corporate dials and buttons are in their familiar positions. A typical FCA screen for access to Uconnect functions resides in the center of the dash, and USB and 12-volt power ports are clearly visible in the console.
The Patriot, which for a time held the dubious title of offering the lowest base price of any SUV sold in America, and its Compass sibling offered at least some off-road capability but didn’t excel in any particular measure. Besides lacking distinction, their size landed between segment norms, so many consumers simply chose a larger vehicle or moved down into a crossover in the burgeoning subcompact class, such as the Jeep Renegade.
While that may sound unfortunate, it also represents opportunity. Should Jeep’s new C-SUV deliver the goods—primarily capability, style, and fuel economy—for a competitive price, it could score big on the showroom floor.
As far as we can tell from photos of the camouflaged C-SUV, it’s like Jeep’s designers scaled down the Grand Cherokee’s profile to fit on the new crossover’s stretched Renegade platform. The headlights, grille, and taillights looked like shrunken items from Jeep’s flagship crossover, too. This is good news – even after its 2011 facelift the Compass was a homely little thing, and the Patriot was boxy at a time when CUVs were going for smoother, more aerodynamic lines. Jeep’s new C-SUV is avoiding those mistakes by adopting one of the company’s most popular designs.
Only the driver’s seat, steering wheel, and center stack appear in the interior images, so we can’t tell how the stretched chassis impacts rear-seat legroom compared to the Renegade/Fiat 500X. But in front, it looks like a Jeep – FCA’s corporate steering wheel and HVAC controls are there, but the usual touchscreen display looks bigger the expected 8.4-inch unit.
Under the hood, FCA’s nine-speed automatic will be the only transmission choice. FCA will most likely use its new 2.0-liter, Hurricane four-cylinder engine.
The automaker plans to begin building the new Jeep later this year at a plant alongside the compact Jeep Renegade. Versions of the new Jeep SUV that will be sold in North America will be built at the automaker’s plant in Toluca, Mexico. They’ll go on sale in the U.S. early next year.
Keep in touch with Mancari to find out when you can get one!