FCA had confirmed the launch of a three-row Jeep SUV in India last year. This model will be nothing but a 7-seat version of the Jeep Compass. IAB's digital artist Shoeb Kalania has come up with a rendering which shows the profile of the SUV.
The rendering shows that the Jeep Grand Compass will be nothing but a stretched version of the Jeep Compass. This means that in terms of overall design and looks, it won't be much different. The rear-end will likely be elongated to put the extra row of seats and the lengthening of the body will likely lead to it looking a little more boxy and traditional. As suggested in the rendering, the wheelbase could be the same as that of the 5-seat version.
As for the engine options, the BS-VI 2.0-litre MultiJet II diesel engine producing 173 PS of maximum power and 350 Nm of peak torque is a given. It will likely be offered with 6-speed manual and 9-speed automatic transmission choices. The 1.4L MultiAir petrol engine (163 PS/250 Nm) that is yet to be upgraded to BS-VI should also be available to keep the pricing attractive. The transmissions available with this engine would be 6-speed manual and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The Grand Compass/7-seat Compass will be FCA's second locally manufactured Jeep model for India and it will be pitted against the likes of Honda CR-V and VW Tiguan Allspace (TBC). The competition will include ladder-frame mid-size SUVs like the Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner as well. However, the Jeep offering is expected to be way cheaper than all these rivals.
Though the Compass has been a very successful product in India, but the current slowdown in the auto industry has put pressure on FCA to find ways to boost its sales. Last month, it launched the off-road-focused Trailhawk variant of the C-SUV. The company was earlier also considering the Jeep Renegade for our market India, but since it's reaching the lifecycle change globally, the launch has been postponed.