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LA show: Jeep reveals new Compass in Brazil

Comeback kid: The current Jeep Compass will be discontinued by the end of the year before the arrival of the all-new replacement in late 2017.

Late 2017 Australian arrival for next-gen Jeep Compass, Patriot axed

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Jeep logo27 Sep 2016

By ROBBIE WALLIS

JEEP has held the worldwide reveal of its all-new Compass SUV at its new Goiana assembly plant in Brazil ahead of the new model’s arrival Down Under toward the end of 2017.

The American SUV brand has also announced that the current Compass and Patriot small SUV twins will be discontinued from the Australian line-up by the end of this year, with the all-new Compass to fill the role of both models when it arrives next year.

Until the arrival of the new Compass late next year, the Renegade compact SUV will be the company’s sole sub-Cherokee SUV offering.

Visually, the new Compass has grown compared with the outgoing model, and while dimensions are yet to be revealed, GoAuto understands that it will sit just below the current Cherokee in terms of size.

The completely redesigned Compass has an almost shrunken Grand Cherokee look to it, with the chunky SUV bringing Jeep design into a new era.

The front headlight bezels are more rounded and shapely than the squared-off look of the previous model, while the new model retains the signature seven-split Jeep grille, but with narrower, squarer intakes than the old model.

At the rear, styling has also been updated, with rounded tail-lights and a twin-pipe exhaust.

It also gets two-tone paint, with the underguards, fenders, A-pillars, side mirrors, roof, wheels and part of the bonnet accented in black. This paintwork will likely be reserved for the trail-rated Trailhawk variant.

Jeep said in a statement that the upcoming Compass, which will be built at Jeep’s all-new factory in Brazil, will be sold in over 100 countries worldwide and will be produced with 17 powertrain options. It is unclear how many of those options will make it to Australia.

It is also a possibility that Australian-spec right-hand-drive Compasses will be built at FCA’s recently-expanded Maharashtra assembly plant in India, which was expanded to produce the Renegade and Compass replacement.

Having a facility on the subcontinent will allow the American car-maker to avoid being exposed to the poor exchange rates between the United States and Australia which can potentially result in price hikes for the local range.

Speaking in July 2015, FCA Australia president and CEO Pat Dougherty said the Indian plant allowed for more financial stability with pricing.

“For us that's huge, because it takes these big currency swings and it balances them out,” he said.

“It doesn't eliminate them, because we still have product in North America, but what it does is says we can make more money on these, it doesn't put as much pressure to make money on these from a business perspective.”

The axed Patriot has struggled to make a splash since launching in Australia in 2007, with its best year of sales coming in 2014 when 2717 units found homes.

Jeep has sold just 561 units this year to the end of August, trailing comparable models such as the Mitsubishi ASX (11,686) and Nissan Qashqai (8543).

More information on the new Compass will be revealed when it makes its North American debut at the LA auto show in November.

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