Why Is Jeep Testing Camouflaged Commander Prototypes In Europe?

In August 2021, Jeep launched the Commander, which is a seven-seater SUV for South America based on the Compass. While deliveries have already started in Brazil, camouflaged prototypes of the SUV were spied testing in northern Europe, making us believe that Jeep might be considering a global version of the model.

Longer variants of the Compass, initially rumored to be called the Grand Compass, were spotted in Europe during winter testing in 2020 and in 2021. However, after the debut of the Commander, everyone thought they were prototypes for the South American SUV that happened to be testing in Europe. While it is not uncommon for automakers to test products for specific markets in other countries or continents, such a long testing period for an already revealed product doesn’t make much sense.

See Also: The Jeep Wagoneer And Grand Wagoneer Are Getting Long-Wheelbase Versions

Previous prototypes of the “Grand Compass” featured thick camouflage and dummy lighting units, but it seems that the latest ones are dressed more lightly. One of them has taillights from the regular Compass weirdly mounted at the back, but there is another with the final production units from the Commander. The same applies to the rest of the body and the interior, which appear to be identical to the Brazilian seven-seater SUV. What is different is the seating position, with two prototypes being right-hand drive and two more being left-hand drive.

There have been rumors circulating local media that the Commander could be offered in India under the Jeep Meridian moniker with identical styling. Unlike the Brazilian-spec model that is produced at the Polo Automotivo de Goiana factory in Brazil, the Indian-spec variant could be produced in Ranjangaon, India. It has also been reported that Jeep will export it to other markets in the near future which would explain the dual seating configuration of the prototypes. We don’t know if US or Europe are included in Stellantis’ plans for the Commander but we guess we are going to find out soon, as the Indian launch is rumored for 2022.

1.3-liter gasoline and 2.0-liter diesel options in South America

Brazil’s Commander is based on a stretched version of the Compass’ chassis resulting in a 4,769 mm (187.8 inches) long body and a three-row seven-seater cabin. The SUV is offered with either a turbocharged 1.3-liter bi-fuel engine producing 185 hp, or a 2.0-liter turbodiesel producing 170 hp. Power is sent to either the front or to all four wheels through a six- or a nine-speed auto.

The fact that the Commander is related to the Compass means that it could potentially inherit the plug-in hybrid powertrain from the 4Xe variant and the new E-Hybrid engine that was recently announced for Europe. Such offerings would bring it in more in line with the strict emission regulations and place it against other electrified rival SUVs in the D-Segment.

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Photo Credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for CarScoops

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