The 7-Seater Jeep SUV could be named Grand Compass, to rival Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Mahindra Alturas in India
In the mid-term 5-year plan revealed just over a year ago, FCA confirmed 2 all-new SUVs for India. One is a compact SUV sitting well below the Compass SUV to compete against Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, XUV300, Nexon and EcoSport while the other is a three-row SUV waiting to be positioned above the Compass.
While the sub-4M SUV could be based on the Small-Wide 4×4 platform underpinning the Renegade, the upcoming seven-seater will have plenty in common with the Compass. Internally codenamed Low-D, the monocoque SUV will reportedly be a proper Jeep and thus a Trailhawk variant could top the range perhaps in a later stage.
It will likely go up against ladder frame-based Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Mahindra Alturas G4 and Isuzu MU-X alongside CR-V and Kodiaq. Just as the compact SUV, Jeep could export the Low-D to several right-hand-drive markets across the globe as the Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra will face the expansion of 80,000 units to reach 2,40,000 annual production capacity.
Jeep could expand the presence of the nine-speed automatic gearbox in the regular variants before April 2020 when the 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines are upgraded to meet BSVI compliance. According to media reports, the Low-D is expected to launch in the second half of 2020 at the earliest or in H1 2021.
It will reinforce Jeep’s domestic portfolio and the project was said to be approved. It could be christened the Grand Compass and sit at the top of the range. The Compass has been facing major stumbling blocks in recent times as its regular monthly average of 2,500 units is nowhere to be seen.
The American manufacturer definitely needs to bring in the compact SUV and the seven-seater Grand Compass as soon as it could to steady the ship. Since the Low-D will compete against big guns like Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour, the off-roading nature of the SUV will take the centre stage more than ever and this is where the brand’s expertise could come into play.
*pictures are representational