While Jeep’s North America arm is keeping us mostly in the dark about the redesigned 2017 Compass that’s meant to replace both its namesake and the Patriot, Fiat-Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) Brazilian unit has come forward with a boatload of photos, videos and preliminary details on the C-segment SUV.
Before we tell you what we learned, let us quickly mention that one of the reasons why Brazil got first dibs on the 2017 Compass is because FCA initiated series production of the new crossover at its local plant in Goiana. Jeep has said that it plans to expand production of the compact model that sits under the Cherokee into China and then in Mexico for North American consumption in early 2017.
From the images of the North American Compass that Jeep shared last night, we did not detect any visible cosmetic changes with the Brazilian market model pictured in our gallery, but expect to see at least some differences in trimmings, upholstery and options.
That said, the SUV’s exterior dimensions will be the same regardless where it goes on sale, at 4,410mm (173.6 in.) long, 1,820mm (71.7 in.) wide and 1,640mm (64.6 in.) tall, riding on a 2,630mm (103.5 in.) wheelbase, which means it has a near identical footprint to the outgoing 2016 Compass (175.1 in. long, 71.4 in. wide, 65 in. tall with a 103.7 in. wheelbase).
Brazil, and possibly some other South American countries, will get an initial choice of two four-cylinder engines, a 166hp 2.0-liter Tigershark flex fuel-capable gasoline unit that can run on E85, which is paired to a 6-speed automatic, and a 170hp 2.0-liter Multijet II turbo-diesel offered with a new 9-speed automatic transmission.
Initially, at least, the gasoline model will be available with front-wheel drive only, in Sport, Longitude and Limited trims, while the diesel, with four-wheel drive and in Longitude and Trailhawk trims.
As with other Jeep models, the Trailhawk will be the most capable off-road version of the Compass offering a 20mm (0.8 in.) suspension lift, different alloy wheels and special tires for mixed use, and additional underbody plates for protection, allowing for improved approach and departure angles over the regular models.
As for what we’ll get here in the USA and Canada, all will be revealed in a couple of months at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, though, primary candidates to power the very Grand Cherokee-esque looking 2017 Compass that’s based on an extended version of the Renegades platform, include a tweaked 2.4-liter Tigershark four and/or a more modern 2.0-liter turbo gasoline lump.