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Jeep to launch 7 seat Compass SUV in mid-2021

Jeep India will launch a 7 seat version of its best-selling Compass SUV in mid-2021, according to a new report by ACI. While the 7 seat SUV will be based on the Jeep Compass, but will get a new top-hat design. It’ll be positioned above the Jeep Compass, as the American SUV maker’s rival to the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and the MG Gloster. While the Fortuner, Endeavour and Gloster get body-on-ladder frames, the 7 seat Jeep will share its monocoque platform with the Compass, but with a longer wheelbase and a different seating layout. The 7 seats offered on the new SUV will be divided across three rows: two in front, a bench seat in the middle accommodating 3 people and a two seat bench making for the third row. Here’s a render that shows what the 7 seat version of the Compass looks like.

Render courtesy Kleber Silva

Mechanically, the new 7 seat Jeep SUV is expected to use the tried and tested 2 liter-4 cylinder Fiat Multijet turbocharged diesel engine outputting 170 Bhp-350 Nm. 6 speed manual and 9 speed torque converter automatic gearbox options are expected to be on offer. A front wheel drive layout will be standard with an all wheel drive layout offered as an option.

While Jeep India offers a off-road spec TrailHawk version of the Compass, such a version is unlikely for the 7 seat Jeep, given its longer wheelbase, which isn’t ideal for off road trails. It remains to be seen if Jeep India offers a petrol engine on the 7 seat version of the Compass, which is likely to get a new name as well. The new name is expected to give the SUV a distinct identity.

The Compass has been Jeep India’s best seller, and the automaker has been exporting the right-hand drive version of the SUV to markets across the globe including the UK and Australia. A similar approach is likely to be taken with the 7 seat SUV as well. This will allow Jeep India to price the 7 seat SUV quite competitively in the Indian market, and utilize the production facility at Ranjangaon to the best possible extent. The facility that produces the Compass is high-tech, with a lot of robotization. The end-result is a top-class product like the Jeep Compass. The 7 seat SUV is expected to be no different. While the 7 seat version of the Compass will add volumes to Jeep India’s Indian operations, the real volume spinner will arrive slightly later.

In 2022, Jeep India is expected to introduce a sub-4 meter SUV, priced under Rs. 10 lakh. This will be the biggest launch of the brand as it will position Jeep squarely in the mass market segment, competing with the likes of the Maruti Brezza and Hyundai Venue. The baby Jeep is expected to carve out a distinct identity for itself, replete with an all wheel drive system on the top-end model. This is expected to make it an aspirational product, and differentiate it from the other compact SUVs, which are front wheel-drive only.