By on December 30, 2016

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited red

Amid all the hand wringing and social media sobbing over the celebrities we’ve lost in 2016, no one thought to mention the Jeep Compass and Patriot — strong-selling, affordable yet archaic vehicles that were loathed by the automotive press.

Well, the decade-old twins are dead. Gone. Finito. Pushing up daisies. The Toledo Blade reports that the Patriot and Compass ceased production on December 23, paving the way for a much-improved second-generation global Compass.

While the new, larger Compass prepares for its launch, the next-generation of the Jeepiest of all Jeeps — the 2018 Wrangler — remains heavily shrouded. We’ve seen details leaked about its appearance and drivetrain, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles remains silent on a production timeline. Well, always count on a union representative to spill some beans.

According to the Blade, FCA’s Toledo assembly plant will cease production of the Jeep Cherokee in early April to make way for the next-gen Wrangler. The move is part of a larger game of production musical chairs that’s only just begun. A six-month shutdown follows the Cherokee’s Toledo exit, during which time the plant will retool for body-on-frame assembly.

Bruce Baumhower, president of United Auto Workers Local 12, told the Blade that production of the 2018 Wrangler will begin in November. Pre-productions models should appear “much earlier.”

As the plant gears up for the new Wrangler, production of the existing model should continue uninterrupted, Baumhower said. He added that the current generation should see production wrap up in March 2018. After that, the line will convert to next-gen Wrangler pickup production — a shadowy model that has played a starring role in the fevered dreams of Jeep aficionados for years.

Once out of Toledo, Cherokee production moves to the Belvidere, Illinois facility recently vacated by the Heaven-bound Patriot and Compass. Retooling is already underway at that plant, UAW officials claim.

(H/T to Tom!)

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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53 Comments on “Jeep Patriot and First-gen Compass are Truly Dead; 2018 Wrangler Details Leaked...”


  • avatar
    EAF

    V8 Hemi Wrangler? :-) Please?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Considering how much 4-door Wranglers weigh and especially their killer wind resistance, a Hemi V8 would fit the bill, nothing insane. Perhaps de-tuned for economy. None are real “Hemis” anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @EAF
      They already sell the 6.4 in the Cherokee, that has not made much difference. FCA has a lot of problems at the moment. It will be interesting to see how they attempt to resolve them.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The 6.4 would be the SRT. It’s not exactly built for the green movement, but gets a respectable 19 hwy mpg, for what it is.

        The 5.7 Hemi gets 22 hwy, to the 3.6 Grand Cherokee’s 26 hwy. Not bad either, for the Hemi. Except more could be done, like a 2.70 gear ratio, and not tuned for hauling ass or towing, unless you opt for that specific package or edition.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        RobertRyan,
        I just came back from my sister’s and they have just bought a 5.7 Grand Cherokee to pair it up with their diesel Grand.

        My sister’s husband said the FE ranges between 18 to 20 litres per 100km. That’s 14 to 15 mpg (US).

        The 5.7 Ram I had last year with the 5.7 achieved similar FE results. The lighter Grand Cherokee’s poor FE is most likely different operators.

        The diesel is nearly double in FE.

        So I think the FE figures quoted above by that person are a bit of a fantasy.

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      Sure, I could see wanting a V8 if you were running 40″ tires or just like doing burnouts with expensive off-road tires (isn’t that what we always see done with those Hemi conversions on TJ/JKs?!), but for most Wrangler owners, the current Pentastar V6 is enough.

      To me, more importantly, I’d like to see another transfer case option (along with of course that the Wrangler still has the manual lever over a push button or worse on the touch screen). I assume Jeep will again have the NP231, which I’d like to also see something like the NP242 also made available (the NP242 was previously used as an upgrade with the original Jeep Liberty that added a full-time setting along with the part-time and 4-low… which is very useful for winter driving/ mixed road conditions).

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Why does it gotta be just for burnouts or 40″ tires? A V6 Wrangler in 4-Lo is fine for off-road, but V8 power would be just right the rest of the time, and hardly overkill for a 4-door Wrangler, because occasional passengers, baggage, small trailer, 33″ tires and it’s similar to pushing a shed down the highway.

        • 0 avatar
          AJ

          Why? Because that’s exactly what you see people do with a Hemi conversion on YouTube.

          I actually drive a lifted TJ and tow a trailer with it. It’s all about weight.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So any dude going to all the trouble (and it is a lot of trouble!), of doing the V8 conversion, is just gonna finish the conversion and put up a Youtube video of him driving it around like a normal Wrangler owner, then leave it close to stock, in terms of wheels/tires/lift/suspension? Really??

            What do you expect when a dude installs a supercharger in a Mustang GT? How do you think his videos will go down?

            A regular V8 (nothing SRT/SVT/SS) in a midsize truck wouldn’t make it a race truck.

            If you ask me, all midsize trucks should have a V8 option. Especially considering how heavy midsize SUVs and pickups are getting.

            All midsize AWD/4WD SUVs have a problem with weight, but the Wrangler has exponentially worse aerodynamics. And I don’t know any Wrangler owners that don’t occasionally pull a trailer with it ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      EAF,
      The VM V6 diesel is a far better option than the Hemi, especially in a rustic tractor like vehicle.

      The V8 will work well, but the diesel will just as goog traction, using nearly half the fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Just offer both and let the market decide. I’m guessing even with some pent up demand for a Wrangler Diesel the V8 would outsell it in the US. Diesel just makes less sense in the US market in most areas of the Country. Yes, there are places where Diesel cost is on par with Gas, but most places it costs more and some places you have to go out of the way to get it.

        Modern diesels are not Cummins 4BTs…they are incredibly complex when saddled with the emissions stuff they require today and much of the allure the old school ones have. In rigs that work hard and pull the tradeoff is worth it. In something like this that may see trail duty (if the buyer is savvy enough to opt for the diesel they probably do some off roading) but overall the tradeoff is dicier. For most jeep buyers in the US honestly the best choice remains the V6.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Also the aftermarket has superchargers for late model jeeps. That would get my vote over the V8 but I doubt FCA wants to invest in an OEM development given the limited applications.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            Mopar has been working on a forced induction Pentastar. Reports vary from 400-450hp.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Flipper35,
            The V6 in the blown Maserati is based on the Pentastar.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s not that BAFO wasn’t serious, but he’s living in the past. So far, he’s only had access to pre-emissions diesel pickups from Thailand. Nothing nearly as complicated as our DEF, full emissions diesels.

            It’s true if you don’t need explosive power in a commercial and heavy-duty way, diesels don’t make any sense, not for private, light duty. The savings at the pump aren’t great enough. At this point, diesel fuel would have to be around free.

            There’s way too many sensors, hoses, high pressure fuel/oil/air/coolant lines, valves and misc, just waiting to ruin your day, and or cost you a lot of money, all in the name of clean diesel emissions.

            Pre-emissions, yeah I was a happy diesel pickup owner. Simpler than contemporary gas engines at the time.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    What do you call that stick barkeeps use to swipe the foam off a brewski?
    A “stick”?

    Whatever, I’ve learned to use a mental one on the first couple of paragraphs of nearly all TTAC articles except Bozi’s.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’m kinda surprised, but not that surprised. Cheap to build leftovers have been an FCA trademark thus far. I bet they would like to turn back the clock and undo Avenger/Sebring decommissioning, from what I remember people were buying those.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @28-Cars-Later
      Problems are a plenty, latest rumour and a very strong one,,that FCA will have to unload Alfa Romeo, Maserati and their Electronics division to stay afloat.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    :-(

    Bye bye Patriot.

    Cheap. Square and handsome. Selectable center low speed center diff lock. Tough engine (crap FE doesnt bother me).

    This and the SX4 hatch top my list of effective non-truck AWD vehicles I’d want to bang around jobsites and mountain roads around here.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Yeah, this vehicle is so ‘me’ that I’m now feeling forced to decide. I’m able to drive so little and gently that I’m not that afraid of FE or build quality. Non-Japanese is a real option.

      What puzzles me is that “hill start assist” is necessary for either AT.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I had a Patriot 4×4 6A rental like two months ago and the FE was okay. Despite the EPA numbers it really wasn’t worse in that area than a AWD Escape or Outlander Sport.

      That 4-cylinder though, it is not an impressive engine. Even if you are cool with relative slowness it is quite coarse. I think I’d have to spring the extra $$ for something with a V6.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “Even if you are cool with relative slowness it is quite coarse.”

        I have an ace up my sleeve there: over 45 years of driving I’ve become convinced of an absolute correlation between depressing that flappy thing under one’s right foot (not the bigger one in the middle) and the amount of sensory disturbance one notices from any engine.

        Armed with that certainty, I would chance my ability to modulate that 4-cylinder’s nasty.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        By all accounts and backed up by Danio, the 2.4 world engine is quite reliable. Good enough for me given what I’d want it to do.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        ajla,
        These vehicles are the cheapest vehicles of their type you can buy.

        You will not have a well balanced prestige product. Only Chinese SUVs/CUVs are cheaper than these in Australia.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      The Patriot could have been something had they bothered to update/upgrade it at all.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Updates/upgrades are not Sergio’s way. What he’s done to Fiat models – take a good selling model and produce it unchanged until the sales drop, then kill it – is what he’s been doing to Dodge, Chrysler, and will do to all Jeep models eventually. He’s a deal-maker, not a car guy.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “Update” regarding cars is now as loathed a word as it is for my work computer. It’s the Patriot’s miraculous escape from any that makes it attractive.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    Patriots are like the modern incarnation of the Eagle. They didn’t really look like much but they could get done what needed getting done. I appreciate them for what they are. And I’ve never seen a Patriot commercial showing a bunch of outdoorsy hipsters carting a canoe in front of a green screen forest- so bonus points.

  • avatar
    mister steve

    About a month ago in Arizona, I was “upgraded” to a Jeep Patriot. Damn, what a piece of work that car was. This was the low-rent front wheel drive version with a 2 liter engine and CVT transmission.

    The upside was the seats were comfortable enough to put on 1,500 miles in the week we had it, and the boxy design offered good visibility.

    But the downside was you could put your foot down and wait for the car to accelerate. And wait some more. It was truly a chore to drive over even the slightest hills on the interstate between Phoenix and Prescott, and forget about being able to zip through the heavy freeway traffic in Phoenix. This thing just didn’t move.

    Aside from the seats, the interior was pretty inferior as well. Swathed in cheap plastic, very little covered storage and a speedo that had numbers so small it was difficult to read.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I could actually see someone needs inexpensive new wheels for themselves or their kid look at the leftovers at a FCA Jeep dealer. The last Dart’s for $15-20k. 200’s for $20k and up plus the Patriot and Compass in the $20-25k range.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      who is buying $15-25k cars for their kids?

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        You’d be surprised. Folks who want their kids in a reliable vehicle and don’t want to deal with a $4-6k bill at their local Autohaus for their 10-15 year old BMW or Benz.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          You’re right, but nobody should be surprised. In the old days, you gave your kid your old car and got a new one. Today, you look for a smaller car than the family car that’s easier to maneuver, with all the latest safety features and crash protection to qualify for the lowest insurance rate, and a base engine with acceleration times that teaches your kid patience and not to take chances.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            It’s a very select and dwindling segment of the American population that can pursue this optimal and completely rational solution.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        JimZ,
        Like the US, here many moms and dads buy their kids cars.

        My friend just bought his 16 year old daughter a 2 litre diesel Golf.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I like the new Compass a great deal. It would probably keep me out of a BEV or a hybrid of some stripe.

    I trolled my wife with a Patriot awhile back. She’s been itching for another CUV, but I can’t stand most of them. I like the 80’s era Cherokee vibe that the Patriot emanates, but she likes the current Grand Cherokee. We decided that the Compass would be acceptable to both of our demands.

    For cheap wheels, the current and now deceased Compass/Patriot would be high on my list, appropriately optioned.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Must be alot of people out there with nothing to do except mourn the passing of another FCA product. FCA is on its last leg as a result of poor.corrupt management and unions. Have one of their Fiat vans but i don’t think it will stand the test of time so i am selling it soon. Poor quality and construction using dodge carvan powertrain on a vehicle that is almost twice as heavy. Love the way the van handles but hate the fact that FCA managed to cheapen it out and shorten its life, thereby ripping off the end consumer. Too bad but when you have a con man like Sergio running the show, what else can you expect.
    FCA’s power train warranty is a joke. another ripoff of the customer.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I once had hope for Chrysler but now I think it will be gone in five years.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “I once had hope for Chrysler but now I think it will be gone in five years.”

        China happy! Make loom foah us! We alleady can say “L” in bling!

        Know our theme song?

        “Kill Japs – Kill Japs – Kill Moah Japs!”

        (We got it off you guys… xie xie!)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Chinese firms may scoop up the carcass.

          So is that PRC’s theme song now?

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “So is that PRC’s theme song now?”

            How could it be otherwise? Pretty much everybody in Japan’s old Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere is waiting with popcorn for the show despite their own tensions with the Chinese.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That will be an interesting show to watch, but I suspect the Japanese Defense Forces have access to nuclear warheads (either their own or those of US origin). The GE Mark nuclear design of Fukushima Daiichi I was particular good at enriching uranium which is why it was so popular stateside. These were the only ones of the GE Mark I/II type of the 45 or so reactors in Japan and they were also the oldest. I speculate, and have read speculation, this design was chosen because USG wanted Japan to enrich its own uranium during the Cold War and have its own secret stockpile of weapons in the event of an all out conflict.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            One of the Thousand Points of Fright about Thump’s victory is the possibility that Japan’s starkly crazy Right will feel emboldened and gain significant public support in the inevitable territorial showdowns with China.

            I am certain that any US Democratic admin (or sane Republicans) would back away and let Japanese forces get creamed in a few maritime battles before jumping in to mediate negotiations that would ensure the Chinese got whatever concessions they demanded.

            The Chinese would of course have skillfully picked their confrontations to widely and obviously avoid any threat to US bases while launching an enormous global propaganda campaign waving the nuclear skull & crossbones while simultaneously claiming the role of victim and the public in all the democracies would swallow it whole, squawking for an end to America’s imperial aggression, especially in a nuclear superpower’s back yard.

            Japan would have been ground between two giant millstones, the Chinese would have regionally gained incalculable Face along with disputed offshore resources and we’d have kept the only things that matter to us there, our bases, without any American body bags and certainly without missile trails across the Pacific.

            I fear Thump’s utter ignorance and kindergarten mentality allied with Japanese fanatics in their government, military and keiretsu could make the inevitable and necessary neutering of Japan’s sovereignty have a very different, possibly cataclysmic trajectory.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The Fridge is strong with this one.

            In my Presidential expectations outline I noted I believed foreign policy would shift to a rapprochement with the Soviets but cool with the Chinese possibly into a new Cold War in an effort to divide the efforts of Moscow and Beijing (assuming The President/Secy Tillerson follow Kissinger’s ideas, which I wouldn’t but well…).

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/12/no-fixed-abode-sorry-bout-chief/#comment-8742209

            Now you bring an interesting angle into this mix with the Japanese situation. Their society was already well below replacement rate and their air, soil, and water have been contaminated by the Fukushima disaster so I expect to see an above average die off in the near term (say next five years). Assuming this happens, the Japanese will be backed up against a wall and could become reckless as you describe. If they do in fact have access to nuclear weapons, it could certainly complicate the situation… of course Trump is the master of doing the unexpected so in such a situation he may *not* back Toyko’s aggression (look to see rhetoric coming out of DC and Toyko in the coming months, and see if Trump starts withdrawing US forces from their bases). A Chinese/Japanese armed conflict could actually further US power in Asia as they destroy each other, assuming it does not lead to the destruction the world of course (always a plus).

            Buy your Japanese assembled cars now people, while its still there.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            I don’t think we should hang too much hope on Japan’s ability to destroy China.

            India and Pakistan now….

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Going nuclear, anything is possible.

            I personally don’t see India/Pakistan happening but stranger things have happened.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            I think India-Pakistan is by far the likeliest candidate for the globe’s first nuclear exchange.

            China is a patient, masterfully calculating and relentless geopolitical player. Absent any incendiary stupidity from Thump goading the worst of the Japanese, I see the Chinese achieving their expansionist goals through a thousand skillful cuts against their opponents and lavish development spending among their clients.

            But the Indo-Pak situation is largely fueled by religion and, of course, has a rich history of mindless hatred allowed to become vicious slaughter (Wiki calls it genocide but they all look alike to me); there wouldn’t *be* a Pakistan without that history.

            However I need to research fallout models for such an exchange before becoming too optimistic.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Well it’s good to see some non aggressive political discussion.

            Some of what I read is plausible.

            I see it this way. The US needs to tread carefully with the Chinese. The Chinese are using much soft power, similar to how the West (US) achieved dominance. This soft power is largely ignored by the media. The whole Pacific region has had vast amounts of “aid” and assistance fom the Chinese over the past couple of decades. Africa is also well serviced by the Chinese.

            The US must stop thinking it must be dominant as the rise of China is inevitable. What the West needs to do is take the Chinese on by remaining dominant in trade. This is how to keep the Chinese at bay.

            The US, now more than ever must strengthen its global trade, ie, Pacific Trade agreement with 13 other nations. Doing this will greatly reduce the Chinese influence (soft power) in the Pacfic region.

            The US is not as representative in trade as it once was globally, so it must rely on others. To achieve this the US can’t set the “rules” as stringently as it was able to do after WW2. The US does not carry enough influence as it once had.

            Thumps ideals of making ‘ Murica Great Again will destroy or greatly reduce the US’es position.

            As a business man, why does Thump want to compete with the Chinese in manufacturing? This will only bring the US’es standard of living closer to China’s.

            Thump is fighting the wrong “war”.

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