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New Jeep Compass to kick-off US brand’s model blitz

The next-generation Jeep Compass will share a platform with the Peugeot E-3008 and Vauxhall Grandland, and our exclusive image previews how it could look

Jeep Compass - exclusive image

US off-road brand Jeep is about to undergo a period of huge change, as it makes full use of the technology and scale of its Stellantis parent company. This will lead to the creation of a whole new generation of models, starting in Europe with a brand-new Jeep Compass compact SUV.

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Led by recently installed CEO Antonio Filosa, Jeep’s grand plan will arrive with both electric and combustion powertrains and with varying levels of off-road ability. But no vehicle will let go of its fundamental character, informed by the iconic Wrangler.

In Europe, the Compass will kick off the rejuvenation, because it’s one of the most popular vehicles in its segment. Due later this year, the reborn small SUV will be new from the ground up and is set to share its STLA-M platform with models such as the new Peugeot E-3008 and Vauxhall Grandland. This means the Compass will be built on an EV-native platform, with the option of mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines available alongside.

Size-wise, the Compass should fit somewhere between the Peugeot and Vauxhall, with boxy styling and a strict five-seat layout. Despite the car having to share certain fundamental proportions with other STLA-M models, such as the scuttle height and crash structures, there’s flexibility in the rest of the platform to allow Jeep’s designers to keep the Compass in line with the company’s all-American styling.

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As our exclusive image shows, the new Compass should be boxier and more upright than the current model, with fewer curves and a more aggressive stance. This will likely include the availability of two distinct exterior design options, as found elsewhere in Jeep’s range, with a basic offering and a more rugged ‘Trail Rated’ model. It’s this second derivative that will push the styling more in Jeep’s general direction, with a taller ride height, off-road tyre options, better approach and departure angles, and more rugged materials and finishes to the bumpers.

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Inside, we expect the new Compass to have a brand-new look, plus various tech elements borrowed from elsewhere in the group. With Peugeot the sole adopter of the widescreen i-Cockpit layout, we expect the use of a 16-inch widescreen set-up introduced in the new Vauxhall Grandland to feature. This will sit alongside a typical Jeep-like interior, with plenty of ‘Easter egg’ design surprises and a spread between rugged and luxurious trim options.

But Jeep’s product revolution won’t stop with a new Compass, because models that have already been revealed for the US market will also make their way to Europe. This includes the Range Rover Velar-sized Wagoneer S, which will be based on the STLA-L platform and be aimed more directly at premium rivals such as the Porsche Macan and the Audi Q6 e-tron.

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In 2025 we’ll see the larger Jeep Recon, also based on the STLA-L platform, and a direct rival to the Land Rover Defender. It’ll come with far more off-road capability and a little of the Wrangler’s utilitarian charm, including having detachable doors. Both of these models have already been revealed to the public, with a production-ready example of the Wagoneer S expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

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As with the Compass, both will be EV native, but with the fluctuating popularity of electric drive, the STLA-L platform will give Jeep the flexibility to offer combustion-powered variants.

Beyond this, Jeep has started work on the next-generation Renegade – a model that’s been a phenomenal success in Europe. The current model’s used a platform dating back to the ancient Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback, but the new car is expected to sit on a more suitable architecture and come with the next generation of Euro-focused design.   

The Renegade will complete the lower end of the line-up alongside the Avenger, which will soon be revealed with a four-wheel-drive set-up to sit alongside the existing EV and mild-hybrid options.

Of course, these models all sit surrounding the iconic Wrangler. The heavy-duty 4x4 will continue in its current form for the foreseeable future, but work has begun on a future Wrangler that will use both combustion and electric powertrains, in a bid to retain its crown as the brand’s most capable model.

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Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa reckons it’s the future electric Wrangler that will stand head and shoulders above the rest of the range as the brand’s most hardcore off-road model. That makes it core to his vision of Jeep’s future.

Q&A with Antonio Filosa, Jeep CEO

Antonio Filosa Jeep CEO

Jeep’s recently installed CEO isn’t a red-blooded American – rather an Italian with deep ties in the Stellantis universe. He gives us the rundown of his grand plan

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Q: What’s it like for you to represent such an iconic American brand as a European?

A: “It’s a real pleasure to work with Jeep, to work with the people within the company and the community of people who love Jeep. [But] this brand is in transition. One element of that is electrification, but the other is globalisation. This is a strongly rooted American brand, perceived as the most patriotic brand [outright] in the US. Second is Coca-Cola! But
this brand that represents the American dream is ready to globalise, and we want to be a number one player in the transition to electrification.”

Q: How do you rationalise a brand such as Jeep – which could be perceived as a petrol-powered brand – with the push for electrification?

A: “In Europe, we sold 130,000 vehicles, which more or less accounted for a one per cent market share. But within that we had a 1.2 per cent market share in the LEV (low-emission vehicle) segment, which is very interesting, envisioning
the future we have in front of us.”

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Q: Why do you think Europe is a prime market for Jeep?

A: “In Europe we represent a very interesting territory for globalising Jeep. The UK is enjoying a new age with Jeep as it’s attracting a new group of buyers, thanks to models like the Avenger. I believe that the UK is a top market for the brand, the second [in Europe] after Italy.”

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Q: How will you capitalise on this momentum?

A: “We need to think about three major areas of growth. The first is additional regional specialisation, the second is retaining flexibility with our powertrain strategy, and the third is launching new products, including renewing the models we have now.”

Q: How will you ensure the retention of Jeep’s character and identity?

A: “All Jeeps converge on one point, and it’s that they must be the most capable off road in their segment. Not all Jeeps will be good off road like a Wrangler, but compared with rivals, all of our cars need to channel that sense of adventure.”

Q: What’s the next step in your plans for Jeep?

A: “The Wagoneer S is our first global BEV, and will be the fastest Jeep ever. The range for some versions will be over 600km (378 miles). This car will be only available as a BEV, but it can be adapted for other powertrains. After this will come Recon, which we’re really excited about.”

Q: What is your plan for the Wrangler, and how will that evolve over time?

A: “It’s simple. The Wrangler will stay as our heart and soul. It’s our most important model, and is a halo product that embodies Jeep’s core values. You know the Rubicon trail [in California]? Well, that’s where our soul lies, and is where the Wrangler belongs. Internally we rank all our models between one and 10 in terms of their off-road ability, and the Wrangler 4xE is currently a 10.

“But we know when we go electric, we can make this into an 11, and use the benefits of electric powertrains to make the most capable Jeep ever. Our customers, even ones that still need to be convinced about electrification, will respect that and this is why we know Jeep and electric work.”

Click here for our list of the best small SUVs...

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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