Chrysler pondering diesel for U.S. Jeep Compass and replacement

2011 Jeep Compass – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler is looking at a diesel version of the Jeep Compass, or its replacement due in 2013 for the States, according to company officials.

The newly refreshed Jeep Compass (which we reviewed earlier today), which goes on sale in early 2011 in the U.S., Europe and other markets, will be offered in some places with a Mercedes-Benz 122kW/320Nm 2.2-liter turbo-diesel (164 horsepower/236 pound-feet) that has a claimed average of 6.6 liters/100km (around 43 mpg).

The diesel for the U.S., though would be a Fiat engine, according to officials who spoke to us on background. If the company decided to do it, it would likely show up in the Compass/ Patriot replacement, due two years from now, built off a modified engineering platform derived from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

The interest in diesels for the U.S. is always controversial. Volkswagen sells close to 40,000 Jetta and Golf TDI models per year. European automakers always try and make a case for diesels in the U.S. to extend their investments made for EU markets and to boost sales, but it isn't clear if VW is making any money on these sales in the States.

Despite the fact that diesel prices can run higher in the U.S. than regular gas, a reverse of the situation in Europe, there is a dedicated and slowly growing base of enthusiasts for clean diesel in America.

The price of a diesel Compass would be close to $28,000, including the upmarket all-wheel drive package.

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