With the 2015 “mini-Jeep” Renegade now unveiled, the next natural question for a journalist was, “Are we going to see an even smaller Jeep next?” Indeed, that is roughly what Britain’s AutoExpress asked Jeep CEO Mike Manley. The answer, in essence, was, “Yes, but not now.” Jeep will look at an A-segment (subcompact) SUV, but for the moment it is working on something “above the Grand Cherokee” — which he named as the long-rumored Jeep Grand Wagoneer. (This confirms that the company is shoving the word “Grand” into a third vehicle; the pioneering original was named simply “Jeep Wagoneer” for most of its life. Grand Cherokee, being sold at the same time as Cherokee, did have a reason for the “Grand;” Grand Wagoneer will stand without a regular Wagoneer, though.)
The size gap between a microJeep and Renegade would probably not be all that large — perhaps one foot of length — but if the vehicle was created with a CJ/Samurai-style open-top design, it could add to the Jeep product line worldwide without competing directly against Renegade itself. Making it a credible yet affordable off-road vehicle would be a serious challenge, while weight would be a key issue for fuel economy with the open-top design.