A silver 2024 Jeep Compass is shown driving to a Jeep dealership near me.

The Jeep Compass Enters the Spotlight

While the general public largely associates the name “Jeep” with the plucky Wrangler, fans of the brand know that there’s a solid lineup of SUVs produced by the automaker and may be sad to hear that the lineup will be getting a bit smaller for the 2024 model year. Both the Renegade and the Cherokee are getting discontinued, so you won’t see shiny new examples if you search for a “Jeep dealership near me” this year. But instead of getting hung up on the loss, fans of Jeep vehicles with securely attached doors and windshields might instead look at this as turning the spotlight onto the Compass, which is continuing production for the 2024 model year and beyond.

If you’re wondering what this shake-up means for the Compass, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to bid farewell to the Renegade and Cherokee (at least for now) and take a look at how the Compass fits into Jeep’s slimmed-down slate of SUVs. Let’s dive in and see what Jeep fans are looking at for the 2024 model year.

The End of the Renegade

The Renegade has been around for a little under a decade, having debuted for the 2015 model year. As a subcompact SUV, the Renegade has been serving as Jeep’s entry-level vehicle for drivers on a budget. It has held a unique position as a subcompact SUV that delivers proper off-road action, especially at the Trailhawk trim level. That combination of small size and rugged capability just isn’t something that many other automakers are offering.

While it’s sad to see such a unique model get discontinued, there are a few reasons why the move makes sense. As is often the case with these things, sales of the Renegade have slowed in recent years. The transmission isn’t known for delivering the smoothest ride and even though it’s a size down from the Compass, the 2023 Renegade has slightly worse fuel economy than the 2023 Compass, according to EPA ratings. The Renegade will live on in some other markets, but it just isn’t worth it for Jeep to keep the nameplate around in the US.

The black and brown dash is shown in a 2024 Jeep Compass.


The End of the Cherokee

While the Renegade’s nine years is longer than many models get, it pales in comparison to the history of the Jeep Cherokee, which stretches back to 1974. While it’s hard to get a firm consensus on something like this, many consider the original Jeep Cherokee to be the first modern SUV, with Jeep possibly being the first automaker to use the phrase “sports utility vehicle” in a marketing campaign. Whether or not that’s true, it’s undeniable that the nameplate has a long history.

Like the Renegade, the Cherokee has seen a dip in popularity in recent years, and the model was definitely starting to feel stale and was due for a major refresh. The Cherokee will likely get a successor in the years to come. That successor will probably be electrified to some extent (either a full EV or a hybrid), and it might not be called Cherokee. The Cherokee Nation openly asked Jeep to retire the name in 2021, with principal chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. saying, “I think we’re in a day and age in this country where it’s time for both corporations and team sports to retire the use of Native American names, images and mascots from their products, team jerseys and sports in general.” If the SUV does get a new name, it wouldn’t be the first time. From 2002 to 2012, the vehicle was called the Jeep Liberty in the US.

However, all of this only applies to the compact Cherokee. For now, the midsize Grand Cherokee will soldier on. It continues to be a very popular model and is unlikely to be discontinued. If Jeep ever decides to shift away from the Cherokee name, the Grand Cherokee will probably simply get renamed instead of facing the same uncertain future as the Cherokee.

Drivers Can Turn to the Compass Instead

If drivers are looking for something to replace their Renegade or Cherokee, the Compass is the obvious place to turn. Jeep’s other vehicles fill different niches: the Wrangler is a rugged icon, the Gladiator is a pickup truck, the Grand Cherokee is a more expensive midsize SUV, and the Wagoneer models are in such a different league from the rest of the lineup that they aren’t simply “Jeep” models, but rather “Wagoneer by Jeep.” The Compass, on the other hand, is an affordable compact SUV with a look and feel similar to the Renegade and Cherokee.

Looking across the starting prices for entry-level trims, the 2024 Compass is three thousand dollars cheaper than the 2023 Renegade and over ten thousand dollars cheaper than the 2023 Cherokee, so Jeep fans on a budget won’t have any sticker shock by switching. Across the lineup, the Compass comes standard with a 4×4 drivetrain and a turbocharged engine that produces 200 hp. That’s more powerful than the sole powertrain on the outgoing Renegade and fits right in between the standard engine and the available upgrade on the 2023 Cherokee.

Those who want to upgrade for better features will still have the option to climb the trim ladder up to the top. The Limited trim features leather-trimmed heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat with adjustable lumbar support, adaptive cruise control, and other comfort and convenience extras. It also sports a unique exterior with a two-tone paint job that helps it stand out.

But Jeep knows that its fans are more interested in paying extra for rugged off-road gear than luxury features, which is why the top-tier trim on the Compass is not the Limited but the Trailhawk. While the Trailhawk uses the same engine as other trips, it features a special “crawler” gear ratio and a Rock Mode for tackling boulders and rough terrain, as well as a suspension system that’s specially tuned for off-road action. Front and rear tow hooks are there in case drivers get a bit too adventurous, and exterior accents like an eye-catching hood decal and exclusive badging let fellow off-roaders recognize each other away from the trail.

When it comes to towing, the 2024 Compass has the same maximum capacity as the 2023 Renegade at 2,000 lbs. That’s more than other compact SUVs like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Honda CR-V, but only half as much as the 2023 Cherokee can tow with its top engine. Of course, Jeep drivers who need to tow over 2,000 lbs still have plenty of options in the wider lineup, like the Grand Cherokee, which can handle up to 7,200 lbs.

A silver 2024 Jeep Compass is shown parked near a city.


Where Things Stand Now and What Might Come Next

Jeep’s selection of small SUVs has suddenly become much smaller—there’s no denying that. Drivers looking for a subcompact or compact model are down to the Compass as their only option. While most will probably be able to find something that works for them among the trims available for the Compass, some will almost certainly feel the sting of having fewer options to choose from. But Jeep fans disappointed by the loss of these two models shouldn’t get too down in the dumps; this gap in the lineup is almost certainly temporary.

A Jeep spokesperson has said that the company has “plans for that important vehicle [the Cherokee] in that important segment, which we will reveal in due time,” meaning that a new compact SUV model is very likely in the works. Only time will tell whether we get an updated version of the Cherokee or Renegade or something completely new. But for now, the Compass is having a moment in the spotlight and giving compact SUV drivers a Jeep they can rely on.