Jeep will likely consider launching the second generation Renegade in India as the compact SUV plans appear to be frozen
We got both good news and bad news and let us put the latter out of the way first! Jeep India appears to have temporarily stopped the development of a compact SUV that has been on the rumour mill for many years now. It was even listed on the ambitious product strategy planned by the American SUV specialist and it was expected to be positioned below the Renegade.
It must be noted that Jeep will introduce the facelifted Compass Trailhawk in the coming weeks in India and it will be followed by the Meridian seven-seater SUV in May 2022. Later this year, the brand will launch the locally assembled Grand Cherokee as well. Initial reports suggest that the sub-four-metre SUV could share the CMP platform with the upcoming Citroen C3 Sporty.
Since Jeep and Citroen are part of Stellantis, sharing a platform will help in reducing the production costs big time in theory. However, it does not appear to be the case as Jeep expressed earlier that it wanted the compact SUV to carry true Jeep DNA. In 2021, FCA India’s President and MD, Partha Datta told in an interview that he is keen on getting the sub-4m SUV to the domestic market.
The plans to bring up a Jeep compact SUV seem to have been put on hold. Jeep’s CEO, Christian Meunier, told that the project is still being studied and it does not mean “it’s never going to happen, but we need to do it in the right way” as Jeep is not going to strap an SUV body onto a hatchback as it wants to stick by its roots.
The small SUV below Renegade could become a possibility in Europe and Latin America but for India, developing a 4×4 SUV in the compact segment would drive up the costs reportedly. The sub-four-metre SUV space is highly price-sensitive in India and thus a perfect balance between having an SUV with Jeep’s 4×4 credentials in a competitive range has proven to be a challenge.
Thus, the good news is that the upcoming second-generation Jeep Renegade could be a perfect fit for India. The Renegade has been in production since 2014 globally and is due a big upgrade but the platform may continue to be the Small Wide LWB 4X4, which is closely related to Compass’ Small Wide LWB 4X4 produced in India. It could also use a new 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine that will be available in the Meridian and Compass locally.