• Mar 6, 2011

Jeep
CEO Mike Manley let word slip at the Geneva Motor Show that his company is looking to build a subcompact-sized B-segment SUV by 2013.

Manley said that Chrysler's partnership with Fiat would be critical to building the new car, as Jeep is looking at using Fiat's 1.6-liter and 1.3-liter JDTm diesels, as well as the 1.4-liter Multiair gasoline mill.

The package would likely be based on the Fiat Grande Punto, and most models would be front-wheel drive. Since this is a Jeep product, at least the top-of-the-line trim level would get four-wheel drive.

Expect the subcompact Jeep to be aimed at the Mini Cooper and the Audi A1, with a premium options list in a supermini. Despite targeting the premium hatchback market, the Jeep will carry at least a passing resemblance to the Wrangler, and won't totally abandon its rugged off-road ethos.

[Source: Autocar | Image: Matt Coors via Flickr (used w/ permission)]


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  • 41 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know, I really have no trouble with a Panda based SUV. The Panda did very well in a Fifthgear test against the Range Rover.
      Give it the 1.4 from the 500, give it an option of a softtop and an option of a 2 door, call it the Jeepster.
      • 3 Years Ago
      In terms of size, I see nothing wrong with them going with a subcompact, especially with the way that the Jeep lineup in general has been getting bigger and bigger over the years.

      They just have to make sure that its not some nurtured vehicle and it has at least a semblance of off-road ability.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ artandcolour2010

        "The best" compared to what?
        Compared to a mountain goat?

        I would venture to guess that Jeep owners probably take their vehicles off-road more than any other brand, but that still represents probably a small percentage of owners. I see absolutely no good reason not to sell a vehicle with decent (but not necessarily great) off-road capabilities as long as its not advertises as having military-class capabilities. True off-roaders will still gravitate toward the Wranger, but those looking for trail-rated capabilities in a smaller, more efficient package would at least have an option.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Jeeps need more than a "semblance" of off-road capability. They need to be the BEST at it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Agreed. I also think Chrysler has learned something from past mistakes. That and the new management actually has me anticipating how this will turn out.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Years ago I would have scoffed at the idea of a small Jeep cuv. However, nowadays, I'm actually looking forward to these models. A small diesel AWD cuv with some off-roading features (like skid plates, good ground clearance/angles, limited-slip differentials, and a good crawl ratio) sounds like a great vehicle if it's done right. Especially if it doesn't look like a ridiculously round jelly-bean looking thing, like most cuvs.

      All in all, if it looks good, can still go just about anywhere the average person wants to travel, is affordable, and gets good fuel economy while doing it (without relying on overcomplicated technology, like hybrid systems)....then I feel it fits into the Jeep brand perfectly. If they offer it with a manual transmission I could definitely see one in my future.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I never thought the Juke would sell. Certainly a vehicle in that class with actual off road capability as an option and better styling would do quite well. Add optional "take the top off"
        versions and diesel power and I think it's a huge winner.

        Ironically the biggest failure of the Compass/Patriot is the Nissan CVT transmission.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope this new Jeep will be more like the sidekick than the patriot/compass.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It would be a FIAT panda 4X4.
        I know because I asked a fiat distributor for the model and he toldme that de 4x4 model its no longer being sold at FIAT cause they are making it a JEEP.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Let me elaborate on that statement. I meant more like the first generation sidekick. It fit the bill for a small off road machine when you couldn't afford the wrangler.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Expect the subcompact Jeep to be aimed at the Mini Cooper and the Audi A1, with a premium options list in a supermini."

        This would probably rival to the likes of the VW Rocktan (rendered below)...now under development with partner Suzuki.

        http://www.autobild.de/artikel/vw-polo-suv-und-audi-q1-vorschau-1234491.html?bild=bild1

        http://i.auto-bild.de/ir_img/74904446_ae0676abb6.jpg

        Based on the New SX4 (also rendered):

        http://www.autobild.de/artikel/mini-suv-von-vw-suzuki-1183097.html?bild=bild1

        More competition is good for the American car buying public...Bring it on, Jeep!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Greenthumb - "sub-compact usually means sub-standards."

        Name an American brand this haven't be true of. In the past.

        The world is changing, though. Gas prices are going UP in the US now, too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Thats exactly what I was thinking too! I think it would be great for Jeep to do something that is similar in size to a Samurai/Tracker/Sidekick. Make it a small 2 door, removable top and a diesel motor, that will be a hit
        • 3 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly. In Chrysler speak, sub-compact usually means sub-standards.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I found this concept from a few years ago. I would love a Jeep like this!!

      http://hubpages.com/hub/Revealed-2011-Jeep-Phoenix-Based-On-Fiat-Panda-4x4
        • 3 Years Ago
        good job ruin Panda....
        • 3 Years Ago
        not a bad photoshop job. well thought-out specs, but it's way too much Fiat still.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let Dodge have the Crossovers and let Jeep stick to off-roaders.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Return of the CJ-1? (Or 2, 3?) If they do this right it could be cool, though if they mess it up it could be disastrous. Diesel is essential.
      • 3 Years Ago
      a sub compact FWD......yea I thought we just went through all this with the compass......

      I remember Marchionne saying Jeep was going to get back to its roots by making strictly offroad capable vehicles, hence the axing of the patriot and compass.....how exactly is a subcompact FWD accomplishing this?

      if they dare show a CAR, it better one helluva Subaru WRX eating rally car, or Jeep is screwed.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Marchionne never said they were axing both, they were replacing them with a new model that was based off Fiat mechanicals.

        Jeep was always slated to get a new B-sized and C-sized SUV. It was in the Five Year Plan Fiat showed to Congress.

        What is new is the knowledge that it will "have a more than passing resemblance to the Wrangler", which means "will look like a Willy's CJ." Now it just needs to perform like a Willy's CJ in offroad situations and we will officially have a winner for Jeep.
      • 3 Years Ago
      How bout a 1.5 L 3 D/G, with a possible electric option?
      • 3 Years Ago
      So wait they'll green light this first instead of a Jeep truck? I understand the Fiat Panda can be a rebadge job but c'mon give people what they want. I'd personally love to see a bare bones small truck that can go off road, in my eyes it would sell like hot cakes in certain area's and for people put off by Ford canceling the Ranger those people would flock to Jeep if the price is right.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Little typo in the first sentence. ". . . looking to buildg a subcompact-sized B-segment SUV by 2013."
        • 3 Years Ago
        And in the second sentence: "Chrylser"

        What in the heck, AB? Spell check?
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