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Up Next: Subcompact Jeep

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On: Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 2:02PM | By: Chris Weiss

Up Next: Subcompact Jeep

Chrysler is nothing these days if not a massive rumor target. Among other things, we've heard that Dodge may not be long for this world and Jeep may be bringing back the full-sized Wagoneer to replace the Durango. According to new rumor, Jeep may have something planned on the other end of the spectrum as well. Edmunds reports that Jeep will follow up the all-new Cherokee with a Fiat-platformed subcompact crossover about the size of a Ford Fiesta.

As if the new Cherokee wasn't controversial enough on its own, Jeep will further incense loyalists with a tiny crossover that's sure to be useless off-road. More than just rumor-laced fluff, Edmunds' report is based on a conversation with Jeep North American chief Mike Manley.

"The weight of that market today is outside North America, predominately Europe," Manley explained to the site. "It is growing in China. I think when we launch our SUV here, you are going to see quite significant growth in that segment in the U.S."

The crossover will follow the new Cherokee in sitting atop a Fiat platform and will be built in Italy. The platform remains unnamed but is described as a front-wheel drive. The small Jeep will be about 165 inches long, 16 inches shorter than the Cherokee, and about 10 inches shorter than the 2014 Compass crossover. Jeep plans to launch the model in the US and global markets next year.

Jeep expects the new crossover to appeal to sedan and hatchback buyers, in addition to those looking specifically for a small crossover. Manley believes it will be competitive with those other segments in terms of ride and fuel economy, adding the extra bonus of crossover-style utility and cargo room. European models will have a diesel engine option, but Jeep does not plan to offer a diesel in the US.

Jeep began production on the 2014 Cherokee in Toledo last month. The new Cherokee, which was introduced at the New York Auto Show this spring, will hit dealerships by late summer, starting at $23,000. You can read more about the new model here.


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