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First Drive: 2011 Jeep Compass

20 posts in this topic

Filed under: Crossover, Jeep, First Drive, Off-Road

What A Difference A New Face Makes

2011 Jeep Compass
2011 Jeep Compass Limited - Click above for high-res image gallery

The needle is finally pointed in the right direction.

The original 2007 Jeep Compass was the first production Jeep that wasn't. Beyond its "Jeep" badge and trademark seven-bar grille, the Compass was a compact crossover derived from the front-wheel-drive Dodge Caliber, a product that lacked the hardware and personality to provide the foundation for a genuine Jeep.

Hampered by ungainly styling, modest power and no transfer case, the Compass never achieved much success on trails or in showrooms. Compass sales always lagged behind the Caliber and its closer platform relative, the Jeep Patriot. In short, the Compass didn't accomplish its mission of being an attractive entry-level Jeep for shoppers who aspired to own a Grand Cherokee but couldn't afford a real Jeep.

Chrysler improved the Compass's interior for 2009, but given the national economic climate and the company's bankruptcy, it's likely that even more substantial product changes wouldn't have moved the sales needle. Things should be a bit different for the 2011 model year.

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Photos copyright ©2010 Rex Roy / AOL, Jeep

Continue reading First Drive: 2011 Jeep Compass

First Drive: 2011 Jeep Compass originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Dec 2010 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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14-2011-jeep-compass-fd.jpg

It is truly amazing what a new face, an inch more ground clearance, and some lower cladding make. This is the Compass it it should have always been. Especially in the mud and snow, it looks quite at home. It's nice to see they made subtle but important interior improvements. It looks like a nice place to spend time in. It's also nice to see they didn't stop with exterior and interior tweaks, and went even further buy reworking the suspension, powertrain mapping, and NVH.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the new starting price.

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This remake brings it much closer to the Forester in look and amenities. It's base price is about a grand lower... but the Subi comes with AWD standard.

I don't buy what the article is selling about the Compass being CR-V and RAV4 competition. An absolute base CR-V LX is $21,6 but good luck finding one like that. An AWD EX (the most popular trim regardless of drive) pushes you over $25k. RAV4? Bases at 22k after destination charge. Adding AWD on just the 4-cylinder base model gets you most of the way to $25k.

The Tuscon is the worry.

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And Sportage, which IMO is still the best looking CUV in the segment.

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It's now a genuinely cool looking little SUV. But $25K to $30K is waaaaay too much for a well-equipped model.

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And Sportage, which IMO is still the best looking CUV in the segment.

Agreed.

This update puts the Compass squarely mid-pack in price and pretty close in hardware. Being that it now looks like a baby Grand Cherokee may seal the deal for many buyers.

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Being that it now looks like a baby Grand Cherokee...

Ain't that the truth.

13-2011-jeep-compass-fd.jpg

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Too expensive for what you get, and it still has the crappy CVT and compact CUV me-too upswept quarter glass. I prefer the Patriot 100%, but would not buy one because of the CVT in Trail Rated guise.

Edited by ocnblu
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It would have been nice if they offered or replaced the CVT with a conventional automatic.

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Jeep basically is doing what Oprah's makeup and hair staff have done everyday for eons. Take something bad and make it viewable.

I have to admit, Chrysler really did a bang up job making this thing look fit for human consumption. Amazing.

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And Sportage, which IMO is still the best looking CUV in the segment.

in certain colors and trims, the interior of the new Sportage does not live up to the zippy new exterior. which is a shame. It's off enough to be a pause to purchase. I can't wait to see the revisions inside this thing.

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Still has a hood with panel gaps so big it always looks ajar...

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That's because its a clamshell hood. There needs to be a gap so that when you slam the hood the rebound bumpers don't let it hit the fender sheet metal.

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A Patriot 2-door with the Caliber SRT-4 motor, six speed manual, and Trail Rated package would be wicked sweet.

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That's because its a clamshell hood. There needs to be a gap so that when you slam the hood the rebound bumpers don't let it hit the fender sheet metal.

It's a huge gap. To the majority of people, it looks like the hood is always ajar/poor build quality. Think Saturn and their polymer body panels: even though the gaps were "needed" to deal with expansion and contraction, the end result looked like poor build quality to most potential buyers, especially in the later years when panel gaps were drastically reduced across the industry.

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You're worried about panel gaps in the only brand to still source the tail lights on it's best selling models from JC Whitney?

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You're worried about panel gaps in the only brand to still source the tail lights on it's best selling models from JC Whitney?

1) Calm down, I'm not "worried" about panel gaps, but it's the first thing I noticed, and it looks like $h!.

2) Previous incarnation had the same issue

3) I comment on what I see. I don't see any taillight pics in this thread.

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1. it was a joke

2. so will the next one, it's a Jeep

3. I was referring to the Wrangler

4. The current Forrester has the same issue from the front (not looking closed) and Subaru can't keep 'em on the lots.

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A true Jeep has considerable engineering work done to make it acceptable to drive ON-ROAD. It is engineered for off-road capability first. That's how I want to see it.

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