Jeep Chief Executive Mike Manley said that although the replacement for the Jeep Compass and Patriot will come from a front-wheel-drive Fiat car platform, he wants to make it clear that the replacement will be "100 percent Jeep."
Jeep engineers will develop the vehicle, which is why the product stays in the U.S. In about 18 months, the new Jeep will replace both the Patriot and Compass compact crossovers, which share a platform, engine and optional equipment.
Those vehicles offer both fwd and all-wheel-drive configurations. Jeep is debating whether to choose a new name or keep Patriot or Compass, a source said. Through November 2010, U.S. sales for the Patriot and Compass totaled 49,672, up 26 percent over 2009.
Since its debut in the 2007 model year, the Patriot has been Trail Rated, a Jeep designation for traction, ground clearance and other factors that promise off-road capability. The Compass was not built for off-road use, but the 2011 model has an optional Trail Rated package.
Jeep is going to trail-rate the replacement vehicle. Dodge and Chrysler will have compact sedans based on the same platform that will be used by Jeep. Manley claims further that the Wrangler capability of these vehicles will be “more capable” than a compact SUV.
Chrysler recently unveiled the 2011 Jeep Compass. Inspired by the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the new Compass shows a new hood, new front fenders, new fascia, a new set of headlamps as well as a new front grille and some chrome surrounding.
The new Jeep Compass uses quad reflector headlamps as well as fog lamps employing high output projector lamps. The design of the front end is also continued at the rear, where it is marked by a new rear fascia, new body-color rear spoiler and new LED taillamps.
As standard, under the hood of the new Jeep Compass is a 2.0-liter World Engine delivering 158 hp (117 kW) of max output and 141 lb.-ft. (191 Nm) of peak torque as paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT2). With this engine, the Compass returns 23 mpg in the city, and 29 mpg on the highway when mated to the five-speed manual transmission.
Still, the Jeep Compass is optionally offered with a proven 2.4-liter World Engine that produces 172 hp of peak output and 165 lb.-ft. of max torque. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, this engine in front-wheel drive configuration allows the Compass to return 23 mpg in the city, and 29 mpg on the highway.
Aside from the standard front-wheel-drive system, the 2011 Jeep Compass will be offered with Freedom Drive I and the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package.