The replacement for the Compass and Patriot could be Jeep’s next big hit.
The Jeep Compass and Patriot merge into one new model, called only by the former of the two names. Though it won’t debut Stateside until November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Jeep revealed the new Compass at the new factory in Brazil that will produce it. Here’s what we know so far.
What is it?
The long-awaited replacement for the dated, dowdy, and dull Patriot and Compass. Those Jeeps – which were, let’s not forget, on the same platform as the Dodge Caliber – were nearly a decade old and no longer offered the refinement, technology, or efficiency of other small crossovers. The new Compass (there will be no Patriot version) looks to right those wrongs with a fresh design, modern powertrains, and a level of civility we’ve come to expect from modern Jeeps.
What will it look like?
It’s a scaled-down Grand Cherokee, and that’s good news. Compared to its boxy predecessors, the new Compass has a striking, mature look. It’s got impressive visual width, with smoothed off lines to hide its boxiness (and, likely, improve aerodynamics), and handsome lighting elements and fascias that draw heavily from the Grand Cherokee’s visual toolbox.
According to specifications from Brazil, where the model goes on sale this fall, the Compass measures 4,420 millimetres (174.0 inches) long, 1,820 mm (71.7 inches) wide, and 1,650 mm (65.0 inches) tall. That puts in right in between the Renegade (4,231 mm long) and the Cherokee (4,622 mm long) in Jeep’s range. Pricing should also fit between those models.
How’s the interior?
The interior takes its design inspiration from the Cherokee, with a pair of analog dials flanking an optional color trip computer, a three-spoke steering wheel blossoming with buttons, and FCA’s Uconnect touchscreen in the dash. The centre console features Jeep’s rotary Selec-Terrain dial, an electric parking brake, USB and auxiliary ports, and cup holders. The style is smart and modern, compared to the somewhat dorky and cheap style of the smaller Renegade. High-quality materials are available as options, including contrast-stitched leather.
What’s under the hood?
In Canada and the U.S., expect the 2.4-litre inline-four engine and nine-speed automatic transmission found as options in the Renegade and as standard in the Cherokee. The Compass will probably be a little too large and heavy for the Renegade’s 1.4-liter turbo engine, and it’s unlikely Jeep will drop in the thirsty and powerful 3.2-litre V6 from the Cherokee. Around the world, there will be a total of 17 powertrain combinations; Europe and South America will get diesels and manuals, for instance.
Are any other versions on the way?
Expect four trim levels in our market, mirroring how Jeep sells many other models: Sport, North, Limited, and Trailhawk. Optional equipment should include a suite of active-safety features, both two- and four-wheel-drive variants, Beats by Dre audio, navigation, remote start, leather heated seats, and other technologies found on models like the Renegade and Cherokee.
When will we see it?
The car will make a formal appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, at which time we’ll get more specifics on the version coming to North America. Production of the 2017 Jeep Compass begins later this year, and while it’ll be sold in some global markets by November, look for it in Canada by about spring 2017.