Though the cute new Jeep Renegade may be getting all the attention right now, Jeep is hard at work readying a replacement for its other compact crossovers, the Patriot and the Compass. Our spy photographers have now spotted a prototype Jeep that looks to be the replacement for these two models, with a design that’s clearly inspired by the larger Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs.
Jeep announced last year, in conjunction with the reveal of its five-year product plan, that the Patriot and Compass would be replaced by a single new model in 2016. This unnamed new SUV will fit in between the Renegade and the Cherokee in the Jeep lineup, and will use a stretched version of the “Small Wide 4×4” platform from the Renegade and the related Fiat 500X.
Based on these photos, the new Jeep small SUV goes for a more refined, upscale appearance akin to the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, rather than the more rugged look of the Renegade and Wrangler. The classic slatted Jeep grille should feature prominently up front, and looks to be flanked by small, traditional-looking headlights like those on the Grand Cherokee. The high-riding body carries a fairly upright profile, but a slightly raked rear tailgate makes it clear that the new SUV won’t go for an overly boxy shape like the smaller Renegade.
We’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out more details about the next new Jeep, but we expect it to be powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and nine-speed automatic transmission from the Renegade and Cherokee. There are also rumors of a new 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that could debut on this new SUV. A Trailhawk version is likely, and would use the same four-wheel-drive system as the Renegade and Cherokee.
Keep an eye out for more news about Jeep’s upcoming new small SUV, which should debut sometime in early 2016.