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New Compass points the way forward for Jeep

UK Test Drive Review

The new-for-2011 Jeep Compass 4x4 has undergone a comprehensive redesign inside and out to appeal to a wider customer base.

On sale here in July, the new Compass heralds an exciting future for the iconic Jeep brand. As the company celebrates its 70th anniversary, its prospects have never looked brighter, and a wide range of new products, including an all-new Grand Cherokee, is already entering Western European markets.

Irish car buyers will see an early example of this activity in the shape of the sleek new Compass. Even though it’s the first new generation Jeep to offer two-wheel drive versions, Compass still personifies the brand’s unique DNA, symbolising free-spirited adventure, the authenticity of the original 4x4, and mastery of adverse conditions both off and on-road.

Jeep say that this will continue to be the foundation for every model and has proven appeal to customers’ emotional side. It adds that new Jeeps also aim to appeal to buyers’ rational side and the Compass is the ideal product to instigate this shift in perception.

Competing in the rapidly expanding compact SUV segment, Jeep’s new Compass range has been designed to appeal to a wide audience. New two-wheel drive versions put it within reach of hatchback owners who want to trade up. These buyers don’t need four-wheel drive, but want the styling, image and practicality of a sports utility vehicle (SUV). The Compass allows them to have just that with the authentic Jeep experience thrown in for good measure.

At the other end of the scale, Jeep claims that the new Compass also offers a credible 4x4 to buyers who are downsizing from larger models. The company says that the Jeep name has good credentials in this market and the Compass now has a true premium feel thanks to the improved quality of its new interior and the Grand Cherokee inspired looks.

Throw in the likely high levels of specification you’d normally expect in larger cars, plus a possible extended new warranty, and Jeeps say that a competitively priced Compass makes owning a Jeep not only attractive but also accessible.

Jeep also say that it blends strengths from the previous model such as high equipment levels, affordability, interior flexibility and economy, with a sophisticated design, revised chassis, advanced new line-up of engines and a completely revised cabin.

As Jeep's first compact SUV, the Compass brought the authentic Jeep experience to a new type of buyer. More on the new Compass ahead of the re-energising of this famous marque here in July.

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