With the introduction of the new Cherokee in 2014 and the subsequent rollout of the Fiat 500 X-based Jeep Renegade, many of us wondered what the long-in-the-tooth Compass was still doing in the Jeep lineup. The Compass and related Patriot model have long been the also-rans of the Jeep lineup, with their primary attraction being their low purchase price. Between the Renegade and Cherokee, we figured someone could find a smaller Jeep to their liking. However, the Compass and Patriot continue to be respectable sellers, despite their long-outdated design and somewhat mediocre performance. So instead of pulling the plug on its value-oriented model, Jeep is instead updating it for 2018, with smart new styling and new features to make it relevant to today’s compact crossover buyer. Brazilian auto blog Autoo.com.br caught the new Jeep in the buff, and in all honesty, we don’t hate it.
Styling wise, the new Compass (the name will presumably live on) borrows liberally from the Grand Cherokee, with a little Cherokee influence in the rear cargo area side window. Still up for debate is whether or not we’ll see both short and long-wheelbase variants or if the U.S. will see both. We’re fairly confident that the primary powertrain will be the 2.4L “Tigershark” I-4 mated to a nine-speed automatic. The blog is predicting a 2.0L I-4 turbodiesel for international markets and possibly a 2.0L I-4 gas turbo, which may also be offered in the U.S. The Brazilian-market Compass will likely be manufactured locally, with U.S.-bound models expected to be built in Mexico. What do you think of the new Compass?