Jeep is reportedly planning a sub-4m SUV that could be introduced in India to take on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Honda WR-V and others
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is planning to introduce an entry-level Jeep SUV that will sit below the India-bound Renegade and will take on SUVs such as the Ford EcoSport globally. The automaker is still evaluating the development of the SUV, which could be sub-4m in length. That said, it could get the green light on June 1, 2018, when FCA announces its next five-year plan. The new baby Jeep SUV is believed to be slated for Europe and other emerging markets such as India and Brazil.
“A smaller car than the Renegade is very interesting to us and we are actively looking at the project now,” said Jeep CEO, Mike Manley. The Renegade is 4.2m long, similar to other compact SUVs here such as the Renault Captur, Duster and the Hyundai Creta. However, since India is likely to be one of its main markets and given the popularity of sub-4m SUVs in India, we expect the upcoming Jeep SUV to be less than 4 metres in length. Moreover, that will also help it enjoy tax benefits like its rivals.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
Fiat is believed to play a crucial role in the development of the new entry-level Jeep SUV like it did in case of the Renegade and the Compass. Both the Renegade and the Compass use Fiat’s Small-Wide 4x4 platform, which also underpins the Fiat 500X compact SUV.
Pictured: Fiat 500X
However, the new SUV, due to its compact dimensions, will not be able to underpin the bigger platform and is believed to be based on the next-gen Fiat Panda. The ageing Fiat 500 and the Panda share the Fiat Mini platform and are likely to be replaced with new models in the near future, especially the 500.
Pictured: Fiat Panda Cross
Since it is a Jeep, it will presumably offer an all-wheel-drive setup. The current Panda is an acclaimed model in Europe and also comes in 4x4 avatars, including a rough-looking ‘Cross’ version. The next-gen model should offer the same as well, making it easier for the new Jeep to borrow its underpinnings. It is too early to speak about the powertrain options of the SUV in question, but it is expected to feature Multijet diesel and MultiAir turbocharged petrol engines from Fiat.
Riding high on the success of the Compass, Jeep is expected to launch the Renegade in India soon. While prices for the Renegade are expected to start from around Rs 10 lakh, the new sub-4m, if launched, should ideally start from around Rs 7 lakh in the country.
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