Stellantis sent out a teaser of the new Jeep midsize SUV (codename: Jeep 598), which is planned for launch in the first markets during the second half of the year. The new Jeep SUV is expected to get a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant in the future and use the name Jeep Commander. The Commander brand is already in use on a Chinese SUV that is the premium alternative to the Cherokee.
Video Source: youtube.com
The teaser provides a glimpse of the new Jeep midsize SUV’s grille and headlights. The Jeep 598 has the signature seven-slot grille in a new look where the top portion is gently swept back, just like on the Jeep Wrangler JL, and for the same reason – better aerodynamics. The top and bottom portions of the seven slots are tipped in chrome, and the grille is designed to look connected to the headlights, which would be full-LED clusters. The Jeep badge apparently carries golden accents for a luxurious touch.
Also referred to as the Jeep Low D 3-Row SUV and the Jeep H6 SUV, the Jeep Commander has been frequently spied on tests in Brazil, where much of its road trials are being conducted. Announcing the Jeep 598 in October last year, Stellantis (FCA) had said that it had been developed from the beginning entirely in Brazil.
Jeep Commander to feature 48V mild-hybrid system
In emerging markets where electrification is vital, but PHEVs are impractical due to cost and the lack of government subsidy, a mild-hybrid variant is planned. That’s according to a report from Autocarindia.com, which claims that the Jeep H6 will come with a 2.0-liter diesel engine featuring 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. It is worth noting that the low-end mid-size SUV is likely to get a different name in that market because of potential trademark disputes with another automaker that has already used the Commander name in the past.
The Jeep 598 mild-hybrid will employ the Fiat MultiJet diesel engine combined with a 48-volt Belt-driven Starter Generator (BSG) electric motor and a Lithium-ion battery. This would mark the debut of this engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology.
Jeep Commander design & interior
The Jeep 598 is a three-row midsize SUV offering seats for up to seven occupants. Spy pictures suggest that it will be reminiscent of the Jeep Compass (Jeep 551), from which it is derived. However, it won’t be a ‘Jeep Grand Compass’ with simply an extended overhang, as many speculate.
Ralph Gilles, Head of Design, FCA (now Stellantis), has suggested that the Jeep H6 will be a separate model with its own character and is not a lengthened Jeep Compass. In an interview with autox.com, Gilles said that “it’s really a new vehicle” and “has very little to do with” the Compass.
The new vehicle has its own design, its own element, and its own theme, and it’s going to be optimized for what it will offer. It’s going to be the first 3-row SUV in that segment from us, and we take that quite seriously. It has beautiful unique proportions and is very functional and very capable.Ralph Gilles, Head of Design, FCA (now Stellantis)
The new Jeep midsize SUV will be positioned below America’s Jeep Cherokee and China’s Jeep Commander twins. That explains FCA calling it the “Low” D 3-row SUV in the Jeep product plan at the Capital Markets Day 2018 event. The same presentation confirmed several midsize models of the Jeep brand getting plug-in hybrid and/or pure electric variants. The 598 will be derived from the Compass (551), and so, it could similarly have a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant.
The Jeep Commander would feature a higher and flatter roof to provide enough room to third-row passengers. Spy photos suggest a longer body with noticeably extended rear overhang, and a longer wheelbase. For reference, the US-spec pre-facelift 2021 Jeep Compass measures 173 inches in length, 73.8 inches in width, and 64.6 inches in height, and it has a 103.8-inch wheelbase.
According to a report from Autos Segredos, the new Jeep SUV will feature unique bumpers, larger rear doors for easy access to the third-row seats, and distinctive tail lamps for a higher road presence. The interior will be the same as that of the refreshed 2022 Jeep Compass, but it will likely have golden highlights to communicate premium positioning.
Jeep Commander release date
There’s no official word on the American launch of the Jeep Commander yet. Reports suggest that the new Jeep midsize SUV is designed as a competitor to the VW Tiguan Allspace (VW Tiguan L), which in the U.S. is just marketed as the Tiguan.
In Brazil, the new 7-seat Jeep SUV will be launched in the second half of the year and is expected to be priced from above BRL 150,000 (around $29,700). The Jeep Compass costs BRL 135,990 or approximately USD 26,900 onwards.
Featured Image: Stellantis