SUV

Jeep Planning Junior Cherokee for 2014

A new Jeep model is coming next year that will be about the size of a Ford Fiesta.

In an effort to redeem itself from the embarrassments that are called the Compass and Patriot, Jeep is reportedly planning to launch a new subcompact model for 2014 that will be smaller than the upcoming Cherokee. A new report is claiming the automaker’s new model will roughly be the same size as a Ford Fiesta and be built on a Fiat platform. Interestingly, the still unnamed Jeep will be built in Italy and not at the automaker’s Detroit or Toledo, Ohio, production plants.

Jeep CEO Mike Manley has confirmed that the vehicle will also be marketed globally. To give you a clearer idea as to the new Jeep’s size, Manley stated it will be 165 inches long, while the Cherokee measures in length at 181 inches and the Fiesta hatchback is 160.1. From a ride and fuel economy perspective, it will be "competitive [and provide] the utility that you will get in an SUV in terms of cabin space and everything else," according to Manley. Only the Euro-spec version will be offered with a diesel engine. The US model will likely only have a gasoline engine, and even a hybrid version shouldn't be ruled out.

The question is, however, whether there's even a market, especially in the US, for such a small CUV. The new and strong-selling Buick Encore is another subcompact CUV that’s built on a small car platform (the Chevy Sonic) and Jeep seems to believe it can offer something new to this quickly emerging segment. Combined with the new Cherokee and this new Jeep, the brand can finally ditch the Compass and Patriot for good. Nobody will miss either of them.

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