With its adorable styling and (in Trailhawk form) genuine off-road ability, the Jeep Renegade proves that a tiny crossover can still do honor to the Jeep name.
Now that the Renegade is in showrooms, it’s easy to forget that Jeep has been here before — recently, in fact. The slightly larger Compass and Patriot are still in showrooms, but they’ve never garnered the positive feedback of their new little brother.
The Renegade would seem to make these two related models redundant, but a new report claims that at least one of them may soon get a redesign. A replacement for the Compass could debut next spring at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, according to Auto Express.
The updated model would reportedly sit between the Renegade and the Cherokee in Jeep’s lineup, and be aimed at compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, and Mazda CX-5. After its Geneva debut, the new Compass could go on sale by 2017.
Expected engine choices will include the 2.2-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder recently introduced on the European version of the Cherokee, plus a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder shared with the Renegade and the Fiat 500X. The latter seems like a shoo-in for the U.S., but the diesel probably wouldn’t be offered here.
When it first debuted as a 2007 model, the Compass featured unusual (to say the least), car-like styling. It was meant to boost the Jeep brand’s appeal with a wider range of consumers, but Jeep eventually retreated and gave the Compass a different front fascia inspired by the Grand Cherokee.
One thing Jeep didn’t have when it was designing the first-generation Compass was a good selection of small-vehicle platforms, but thanks to Chrysler’s merger with Fiat, that’s no longer the case. The Italian-sourced platforms used for the Cherokee and Renegade seem like solid choices for a third new crossover.
Another question regards the fate of the Compass’ twin, the Patriot. This model is essentially the same vehicle, but with more traditional Jeep styling. With the Renegade now in the mix and persistent criticism that too many crossovers might dilute the brand, the Patriot seems to be on thin ice.
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