What can I say about Jeep's new Compass model that I haven't already said about the Dodge Caliber? After all, in terms of DNA, these two vehicles are pretty close relatives.
Well no, not exactly. You see, to be honest, the Jeep Compass puzzled me. In fact, it left me wondering if the company hadn't maybe lost their bearings somewhat. After all, isn't Jeep renowned for rough, tough, go anywhere 4x4 vehicles? I have a slight problem picturing its new offering striding high and mighty along the Rubicon Trail.
So what is this vehicle all about?
The exterior styling is certainly different from that of its Dodge stable-mate. The known Jeep cues are there, like the bulbous wheel arches and the familiar slotted grille. But beyond that, it just appears to be a normal car, and that's not exactly what Jeep is known for producing.
This totally flummoxed me, to the point where I had to ask someone at Daimler-Chrysler's Head Office. It was explained to me that, although we,
Ah! It started to make sense to me. The Caliber is proving so popular for Dodge that the Jeep dealers down south decided that they wanted a similar entry level model for their forecourts. Who can blame them? As I understand it, Dodge is very happy with the response which their model has received. In fact, in Europe where it is also sold, there is said to be a waiting list to get one, Wow!
So how does this Jeep offering shape up?
Once you get past the exterior differences, the vehicles appear to become closer and closer. In fact, stepping inside, the only immediately obvious
There have been a few other minor cosmetic changes made to the interior, but these mainly consist of an effort to add a certain Jeep feel to the vehicle by the use of rubber over mats etc.
Then we come to the drive train, and once again there are but a few differences. The Jeep Compass Limited comes with a 2.4 4cyl DOHC 16V Duel VVT engine. This is then coupled to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and naturally, being produced by Jeep, the Compass is, of course, a 4x4 product.
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