2006 Detroit Auto Show Index by TCC Team (1/7/2006)
By Ken Zino
Here’s yet another crossover set to do battle this fall with long-established compact cute-utes such as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape, among others. Jeep’s Compass is the brand’s attempt to capitalize on this growing segment and to introduce the notion of a more carlike Jeep to the Rubicon-tested lineup.
2000 Ford Focus SedanEnlarge Photo
The addition of the Compass can’t come too soon for Jeep, which figures that current compact crossover volumes of 300,000 units for the calendar year 2004 will double or triple during the Compass’ life cycle.
shares its platform with the Dodge Caliber, the upcoming replacement for the
compact Neon that appeared in concept form last year at
“The Jeep Compass is an all-new design statement for Jeep,” says Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Design. Still, the front is clearly Jeep with the traditional seven-slot grille, round headlamps and trapezoidal wheel wells. It’s the profile and rear views that depart from traditionally styled Jeep vehicles. It’s really the wells and the 17-inch aluminum wheels (optional 18-inch aluminum or chrome-clad wheels) that set it off from the Dodge. Look and take your choice.