• Image Credit: Brenda Priddy & Co.
  • Image Credit: Brenda Priddy & Co.
  • Image Credit: Brenda Priddy & Co.
  • Image Credit: Brenda Priddy & Co.
  • Image Credit: Brenda Priddy & Co.
  • Image Credit: Brenda Priddy & Co.
  • Image Credit: Brenda Priddy & Co.
In 1948, Willys-Overland, the forbearers of Jeep, built a vehicle called the Jeepster. It was a funky little thing, designed as a mix of the more rugged Jeeps that came before with what was then a modern car, which arguably makes it the world's first crossover. The name was later revived from 1966 to 1972, which means for Jeep enthusiasts, it has some history.

Now, the modern Jeep brand may revive the Jeepster name for a new product, likely based on Fiat bones, that will slot in at the bottom of the brand's range underneath the soon-to-depart Compass and Patriot. The report comes from Australia's Drive, which cites a dealer source that has seen the vehicle.

That same dealer confirmed there is a link between the Jeepster and the rumored Fiat 500X, and that the former will be available in both front and all-wheel-drive variants. The source also claims both gas and diesel engines will be available, although as this is an Aussie site, we shouldn't take that to mean we'll get a diesel Jeepster in the US.

We still don't have a great idea of what the production Jeepster will look like - those spy shots we have up top are all we've seen of it testing - but the new baby Jeep will reportedly make its production debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, a clue that parent Chrysler has true global ambitions for its small CUV.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      Street King
      • 1 Year Ago
      No matter what its based on it can be no worse than the current Patriot / Compass Mitsubishi lancer platform.
      1guyin10
      • 1 Year Ago
      TFLcar has some video up of similar mules testing at altitude in Colorado. It should be interesting to see what they do with the styling. I hope the rumors of an open top design is true.
      johnnythemoney
      • 1 Year Ago
      In Europe this could be a hit, the Grand Cherokee is having a second youth since the refresh, but it's quite expensive and the Wrangler is just too rough. Both Fiat (as a brand) and Jeep need something like this. As for the North American market, I can't see why not. A company can't survive with two/three models (Grand Cherokee, Cherokee and Wrangler) and this isn't like selling an off roader side by side with a sportscar... OH WAIT! Want to talk about brand dilution? Really? MB is selling almost in every segment, with Renault diesel engines and utility vehicles, BMW is inventing new pointless segments, Audi is following, Porsche sells more SUVs than sportscars, Maserati is about to introduce an SUV after AWD and a diesel engine (just as Porsche did), Jaguar is re-entering the "small" sedan segment and releasing an SUV as well. I can continue all day.
        _I_I_II_I_I_
        • 1 Year Ago
        @johnnythemoney
        Mercedes, Ford, and Toyota seem to cross all segments successfully. Jeep could stand for something. BMW has lost the thread. Audi, jury's out— great execution, but can they break away from the "same sausage/different length" design problem they have, without following BMW into silliness?
          johnnythemoney
          • 1 Year Ago
          @_I_I_II_I_I_
          Well Ford in Europe is basically this: - Ka, no so much - Fiesta, big deal - Focus, big deal - mixed results with the vans (B-Max still lagging behind, C-Max not as sharp as the first gen, S-Max basically forgotten, same with the Galaxy). - Bring the damn new Mondeo to the market! Basically same for Toyota, in EU I mean. That said, if done properly from a sort of generic company, it makes sense and profits too. What Mercedes is doing is "ok" because they have been offering cars oriented to the family for quite a while and they are basically just evolving. What BMW is doing is a disgrace as it's too fast and too overdone, trying to be special by inventing something but unrequested and calling it unique, cashing in on the brand. For how long though? Jeep has a lot of room to evolve, sure, but like anything from Subaru which hasn't a rally or sleeper attitude can't sell well outside of Asia, Jeep will always be an off roader brand.
      jj360
      • 1 Year Ago
      Opinions of the car aside Jeepster is a killer T-Rex song and the perfect name for a tiny Jeep product.
      ffelix422
      • 1 Year Ago
      'Mini Jeeps"! Jeep would be a fool not to create a family of Jeepster products. They could match Mini one-for-one. Would love to be on the marketing-team at Chrysler with this product.
      mylexicon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Someone please make them stop. Jeep cannot survive this kind of unrestrained brand dilution.
        ehisforadam
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        I don't think this is going to stop people from buying a Wrangler or a Grand Cherokee...I don't know how many people will walk into a dealership, see this and walk out in shame. They said the same thing about the Compass and Patriot and now they can barely make enough Wranglers to keep up with demand.
        Bradford
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        Unfortunately, what you're calling "brand dilution" is probably the only way that the Jeep brand can remain viable in the long-term. They've done a great job at keeping their flagship Wrangler true to it's roots, and they know that they have to continue to do that to keep the enthusiast segment happy. Unfortunately, that segment can only carry them so far in sales. The way Chrysler has split up their brands is *basically*: *Dodge = Cars *Ram = Trucks *Jeep = SUVs *Chrysler = Luxury *SRT = Performance Of course there are a couple exceptions and bleed-over currently, but expect that to go away with time. In order for Jeep to stay competitive as the SUV/CUV brand, they have to have an SUV/CUV in every size, shape, and price point. As long as they keep the enthusiasts happy with a solid Wrangler as a brand halo and a decent Grand Cherokee, they can easily offer other models with less capability to meet the needs of less-hardcore buyers.
          psychosuse
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bradford
          I agree about the Wrangler, but it's still too overblown and expensive.
        psychosuse
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        You are right. Jeep should be the Wrangler, a new version of the Jeep Cherokee Classic and maybe a square pickup truck. All four wheel drive and not so fancy. They should be basic utilitarian cars at a reasonable price. I have had two Wranglers and 2 old style Cherokees and one old 80's AMC Jeep pick up. I stopped buying Jeeps in 2001 because they just seemed to lose sight of what Jeep should be. Now it's just a Chrysler with a Jeep badge.
        starsixnine00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        You mean like the Jeepster of yesteryear? https://www.google.com/search?q=jeepster&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=g7SwUsvUEfPjsASD04KwBg&ved=0CEsQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=784
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Patrick F
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a great way to tarnish the Jeep brand even more.
      A M
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, if it's based on a stretched Fiat 500, it's going to be ugly.
      psychosuse
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why can't they make a Jeep kinda like the old Suzuki Samurai? Something small that gets good gas mileage.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @psychosuse
        I've been saying that for awhile. That size vehicle-they couldn't make it fast enough!
        starryknight936
        • 1 Year Ago
        @psychosuse
        I totally agree with you. A Samurai type mini jeep like the late, great Suzuki had back in da day. A simple and SMALL 4x4. Peace... AladdinSane :-)
        Stuka87
        • 1 Year Ago
        @psychosuse
        There have been rumors of a "mini Wrangler" for the last year now. This could slot into that area.
        johnnythemoney
        • 1 Year Ago
        @psychosuse
        Because the present Panda 4x4 and derivatives can't be quickly adapted for US regulations. I just hope they are considering it for the next gen Panda though. The EU 500 is based on the EU Panda, the US 500 is based on an updated platform, something like a mid step between the present Panda/500 and the next. So it's not that unlikely, I guess.
        mikeybyte1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @psychosuse
        So half the posts are crying that this small CUV will kill the Jeep brand and you want smaller! Love it! Just goes to show that they are going in the right direction with the Jeepster. And if it proves to be a success they could look to go a notch smaller. Maybe the Jeepet? Jeepers? Jeepini?
      Timotheus
      • 1 Year Ago
      And commence killing the brand in 3, 2, 1...
        JohnTaurus
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Timotheus
        Yeah! They should just keep building the wonderful Patriot and Compass instead! That will certainly help their image! /sic
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Say what you want about the looks of the new Cherokee, but every test has said it is fully capable off road. So there is no reason to doubt they won't be able to do the same with the smaller platform. It makes perfect sense. Fuel economy requirements continue to get tighter and this will help Jeep in that area. Smaller CUVs are also becoming more popular, so this is another reason for Jeep to get into this market segment. Hopefully the styling will be less polarizing than the current Cherokee. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with. And this in no way dilutes the Jeep brand. It just expands their product offering. You can still get a true rough and tumble Wrangler.
        sixsix
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Unlike most people commenting here I am a die hard Jeep guy and have owned many top of the line GCs and Cherokees. I was pumped about the new Cherokee, until I saw it. When a car is that hideous (for it's segment) no amount of performance will ever win me over. My 2014 SRT Jeep is perfect in every way. I prefer it over the competition. The Cherokee is terrible. CHRYSLER, LISTEN. Keep your FIAT people and Cherokee/Jeepster think tank AWAY from the next generation Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. The GC has always been my go to daily vehicle and I'd hate to shift brands.
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