Let me get this out of the way, and just say that the Renegade looks funny with a pickup bed. It might actually be the rag top/pickup combo that’s throwing me off, but in any regard, it’s weird. Looking at what Mark Allen and the Mopar team used to build this little trucklette can probably tell us a lot more about future Jeep design than the exterior appearance can. So let’s focus on that.
First, the Renegade truck (I can’t bring myself to call it Comanche) is built on a stretched version of the Renegade platform, which is exactly what the Patriot/Compass replacement is said to be built on. So pay attention to how this thing handles in Moab as it might be our first glimpse into the capability of the new Patriot/Compass.
Second, one of my biggest questions about the new B-segment SUV is not what it will look like, but which 4WD system it will have. Will it lean more towards the Cherokee’s gear reduced low range? Or borrow Renegade’s pseudo low range (just lock it in first gear and call it 4 Low) type system? The Active Drive Lock 4X4 system fitted to a stretched renegade platform leads me to believe that the new Compass (Patriot is a better name, but I’m betting on Compass) will don the Active Drive Lock system in Trailhawk trim.
Third, it’s hard to notice at first, but the little BU Truck has a different front facia than the current Renegade, with a winch hiding behind it. Winch bumper plus a 2″ lift, able to fit 32″ tires, opens up huge possibilities for a new little off-roader.
We’ll just have to wait and see in a couple weeks if my presumptions are on point or completely out of line. Until then, I’ll be paying attention to what the Commanche (fine I said it) does on the trails in Moab.