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Compass moving? Jeep Rebel?

by David Zatz on

Chrysler’s Five Year Plan shows a new Jeep Compass/Patriot replacement arriving in calendar-year 2016 (along with a refresh of the Jeep Cherokee, after a mere three years — a far cry from Jeep’s traditional long gaps between refreshes, but apparently the new brand standard).

Little is known about this new car; it will be a compact, smaller inside than the Cherokee, larger than the Renegade. Most likely, the American version will use the 2.4 liter engine and perhaps the 2.0 turbo four; worldwide, it will almost certainly use the Fiat 1.4 and diesel engines. Since the Renegade will have a nine-speed automatic as its top transmission, the Compatriot replacement probably will as well.

The Compatriot replacement is probably being developed on the same platform and basic architecture as the Cherokee, but will probably have a different shape, eschewing the Patriot’s XJ influence for the Compass’ Outback influence, to differentiate it and avoid overlap between well equipped Compatriots and base Cherokees. It is likely to have the full panoply of technology options, and will certainly have a Trail Rated option. Given the extra time taken to develop the Compatriot replacement, it should have better off-road capabilities in its top version than Cherokee or Renegade.

As for the move, the latest scuttlebutt has the new Compass being made in Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico plant, where Fiat 500 and Journey are now. Journey is likely to move up to Windsor or Belvedere, depending on its basis (small minivan or, again, based on 200), and Fiat 500 is moving to Europe, leaving the high-quality, flexible Toluca plant open for something new. This means, though, that now two Jeeps will be imported into the United States.

Chrysler also recently trademarked the name Rebel — on April 16. It could be used with Dodge, but the name would also work for a Compatriot replacement. Most likely, though, Jeep will stick with the name “Compass.” Trademarking the name two years ahead of an actual product violates trademark rules, so the Rebel name is more likely going to be attached to another model, as a trim-level name.

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