Compass, Patriot dump CVTs, get new 6-speed
DETROIT -- Chrysler Group will abandon continuously variable transmissions and instead offer a new six-speed automatic in its re-engineered 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot compact crossovers.
The crossovers also will get back-up camera systems.
The mid-cycle changes will be revealed today at the Detroit auto show. The two vehicles are scheduled to be replaced by a single model in 2015.
The compact crossovers have used CVTs since the vehicles were introduced in 2006. Jeep engineers say the new six-speed automatic is quieter and improves acceleration and highway fuel economy.
"We're really going to address the final customer points on this vehicle, which is around the transmission," said Mike Manley, head of the Jeep brand.
Exterior styling changes will be limited primarily to new headlights and taillights and more chrome trim. Inside the cabin, the crossovers will have new optional leather seats that use the same materials as the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Added sound deadening efforts and the transmission change reduce cabin noise, and new interior color schemes will use more earth tones. Refinements will include a backup camera and seat-mounted side airbags.
The 2014 Compass and Patriot will go on sale this summer.
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