Illustrated: 2014 Jeep Compass | New and Used Car Reviews, Research & Automotive-Industry News & LeftLaneNews

25 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Illustrated: 2014 Jeep Compass | New and Used Car Reviews, Research & Automotive-Industry News & LeftLaneNews

Jeep Compass

Illustrated: 2014 Jeep Compass

Arguably Chrysler’s most valuable asset, the Jeep brand is set for a thorough expanding and streamlining under Fiat’s leadership – beginning at the bottom end of the lineup with the next-generation Jeep Compass shown here.

The next Compass, which is set to arrive in showrooms in around 18 months for the 2014 model year, will be one of three Jeep-branded vehicles to ride on a new Fiat car platform. Shared with the next-generation Liberty and a new mini Jeep primarily aimed at European and South American buyers, the platform is unrelated to the current Chrysler/Mitsubishi architecture that underpins the existing Compass and Jeep Patriot models. All three different-sized Jeep crossovers are set to arrive in or around 2014.

Compass and Patriot will be consolidated into a single line, a move many within Chrysler have said should have happened in the first place. While the Patriot has historically been the sales leader, more refined styling has made it a neck-and-neck race between the two. Since the Patriot is the downmarket model and the Compass is the higher end one, Jeep officials are expected to drop the former nameplate to focus on the more profitable latter.

What we know so far – the specifics

Aside from the front-drive car-based architecture, we expect that a Fiat-sourced turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine is likely to power most Compass models. Currently, Fiat offers a 1.75-liter turbo-four in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a Euro-oriented compact that was the first vehicle to ride on the new architecture. A larger displacement version of this engine is expected to displace around 2.0-liters and crank out somewhere north of 200 horsepower.

The current Compass’ CVT is headed for the scrap yard. Expensive to produce and unpopular with many buyers, the CVT will be replaced by a dual-clutch six-speed automatic. A six-speed manual is also likely to remain on the option list since the current Compass and Patriot do well with their five-speed unit.

Off roading is still important to Jeep marketing, so the Compass will feature a more sophisticated traction control system like that offered on the Grand Cherokee. A two-speed transfer case isn’t likely part of the equation, but a crawl mode for the transmission remains a possibility.

As our illustration shows, styling will meld many of the design themes seen on the latest Grand Cherokee with the more compact proportions of a smaller vehicle measuring around 180 inches from head to toe.

Since the Compass will need to reach toward the upper end of the market in Europe, where it will be built at Fiat’s Mirafiori plant in Italy, the interior is likely to take a large step forward from the current model. Look for more premium materials and Chrysler’s latest uConnect software, including a larger screen like that seen on the Dodge Journey and Charger.

In addition to Mirafiori, Compass will be assembled at Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico, assembly plant alongside the Fiat 500.

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