The Jeep brand has treaded into new territory with its all new Compass. The Jeep Compass is a modern, compact Jeep that is loaded with performance, capability and fuel economy rolled into one competitive size. Its right hand drive version has already debuted in the UK and very soon in South Africa. The Jeep Compass was based on the 4×4 version of the Dodge Caliber which is already on sale in South Africa.
According to Jeep, “The Compass extends the Jeep brand to compete for the first time in the compact sport utility vehicle segment. It is also the first Jeep vehicle to offer fuel consumption of better than seven litres/100km on the combined cycle from its diesel engine.”
The Compass is also the first front wheel drive product under the Jeep® brand plus it will also have the first full independent suspension which is designed to provide comfortable on-road riding and handling capabilities.
Peter Lambert, MD of Chrysler UK said, “The jeep Compass was designed to reach younger and female customers who may not have considered the brand but value the distinctive Jeep look and see all-wheel drive as a must-have on their daily drive.” He also added, “Customers are increasingly interested in family hatchbacks with all-wheel drive because they offer better handling and safety. The new Jeep Compass has a roomy cabin, a choice of fuel-efficient diesel and petrol engines and an all-new Freedom Drive 4×4 system in a package the size of a Ford Focus.”
The Jeep Compass that are to be sold to South Africa will be the same as those that are to be offered in the US and Canada. The Freedom Drive I that the Jeep Compass has is a full time active 4×4 system that offers lots of benefits to the drivers especially in everyday driving which exposes them to wet or icy roads. The Freedom Drive allows vehicles like the Jeep Compass that operates with front wheel drive to automatically shift to 4×4 once more traction is needed.
Lambert explained, “This family hatchback sized car represents a new chapter in the history of the Jeep brand- the compact 4×4 segment in Western Europe is expected to increase to nearly 400,000 units by 2010, and this new car –based 4×4 means the Jeep brand is ideally placed to meet this growing demand.” He also stated, “The whole compact 4×4 segment is shifting-our competitors are pricing themselves out of the sub- £20,000 segment and we aim to fill this space during 2007.”
For the UK market a Compass Limited will be made available this coming may 2007 complete with VW 2-litre, 6-speed manual diesel engine and 2.4-litre petrol engine with a five speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. In keeping with the long tradition of building quality off-road utility vehicles, the Jeep Compass will be equipped with top-of-the-line auto parts like Jeep brake pad.
The Jeep Compass shares the same engines and platform with the Jeep Patriot but in terms of looks the Compass possess a more traditional Jeep design. The starting cost of the Jeep Compass is £17 990.