As part of its push to expand sales in Europe, Jeep chose the Geneva motor show to reveal plug-in hybrid versions of its Compass and Renegade crossovers. Interestingly, they weren’t street-focused front-drive models, either. They were both off-road-ready Trailhawks with a motor-assisted all-wheel-drive system. So even though they’re built for maximum fuel economy, they’re still Trail Rated.
Under the hood, there’s Fiat Chrysler’s new 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder tuned to make about 190 horsepower. (The Compass hasn’t been officially rated yet.) But the engine only powers the front wheels. An electric motor powers the rears, resulting in a combined output of 240 horsepower. By Jeep’s estimates, that’s enough to launch both plug-ins from zero to 62 mph in about seven seconds, which is quite a bit quicker than the nine-plus-second times the gas-only cars post.
Jeep hasn’t said how large the batteries are, but both the Compass and the Renegade should be able to travel about 31 miles on a full charge. Presumably, that figure is based on Europe’s WLTP test cycle, which is a bit more generous than is the EPA’s. In electric-only mode, top speed is limited to 81 mph. And because the motor only powers the rear axle, you may be able to do donuts. At the very least, it’s worth testing out.
Unfortunately for us, although Jeep has said it plans to introduce eight plug-in hybrids in the U.S. by 2022, a Jeep spokesperson told us, “The models announced are not available for the U.S. market.” It’s still possible FCA plans to bring plug-in versions of the Renegade and Compass to the U.S. eventually, but the company would not comment on timing.