Jeep's 2018 Compass debuts in the Brazilian factory that will produce it

The 2018 Jeep Compass certainly has an appropriate name. By the time it goes on sale next year, it will have made two debuts on two continents. The redesigned model was unveiled at the Brazilian factory where it will be built, but it will also appear at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Jeep is apparently saving most of the details for L.A., as its press release for the Brazil unveiling contained just four paragraphs of mostly vague statements. The dual unveilings underscore the importance of the Compass for Jeep in international markets. Here in the U.S., it replaces a model that was sorely in need of a makeover.

The original Compass was Jeep’s first attempt at an SUV that was more car-like. It featured styling that was very unusual for a Jeep, which drew plenty of criticism initially. A facelift eventually brought the Compass in line with other Jeep models. It was paired with the more traditional-looking Patriot, which the 2018 Compass will likely replace as well. Neither model was ever considered to be Jeep’s best effort.

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The new Compass is at least better looking, with styling that borrows heavily from the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. The front fascia is all Grand Cherokee, but the hood, boxy wheel arches, and bulging bodywork seem to reference the Cherokee. The 2018 Compass will sit between the Cherokee and the Renegade in the Jeep lineup, and will likely share a platform with the smaller Renegade.

Jeep said the 2018 Compass will be offered with 17 powertrains worldwide, the same number it quoted for the Renegade at that model’s launch. Most of those powertrains probably won’t make it to the U.S., as that figure likely includes many diesel engines intended for Europe and other international markets. Expect a brace of four-cylinder gasoline engines to comprise the U.S. powertrain lineup. Jeep will also offer an off-road-focused Trailhawk model.

We’ll have full details on powertrains and everything else when the 2018 Jeep Compass makes its Los Angeles Auto Show debut in November. Stay tuned.