It’s pretty obvious what the design mandate for the 2017 Jeep Compass must have been: “make it look like a little Grand Cherokee.” And it worked. It really worked. One of the least-relevant nameplates in SUVs has a whole new lease on life going into next year.
My first reaction: this is what the current Cherokee should have looked like! I’m reckoning the company is going to sell a crapload of these and may well hit their absurdly high volume targets. Maybe even without cooking the books.
We’ve known for some time that Jeep has been planning to scrap the Compass and Patriot compact SUVs for a new model that would fit between the Cherokee (small-medium) and Renegade (very small.) The official classification of the Compass is “C-Segment” but I would describe it as “smaller-medium.”
Last week we caught some glimpses of what the new vehicle was going to look like, and today Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has decided to reveal the design at their facility in Goiana, Pernambuco, Brazil where the Compass will be built. The Detroit Free Press adds that the model will also be assembled in Toluca, Mexico but not at the Belvidere, Illinois factory where the current Compass and Patriot come from.
In a press release Jeep stated that the new Compass will be produced in 17 engine/transmission combinations and sold in more than 100 countries starting early next year.
Other interesting lines the company pamphlet include “best-in-class 4x4 off-road capability” and “open-air freedom.”
From the red tow hooks, Wrangler Rubicon style wheels and hood blackout decal I think it’s pretty obvious Jeep is planning an off-road(ish?) Trailhawk trim. As for “open-air” I wonder if they’re planning on something like the enormous “SkySlider” sunroof the Jeep Liberty had or perhaps removable panels like the current Renegade’s MySky option.
The new Compass will bow in the U.S. at the L.A. Auto Show in November, where the company’s apparently planning to release some more details.