Chrysler has officially lifted the covers off of the 2011 Jeep Compass, giving the brand a nice little sidekick to their highly-touted flagship model, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Combining an improved aesthetic design with a surprisingly efficient drivetrain – 23 mpg on the city and 29 mpg on the highway in all-wheel drive – and an affordable price tag, the 2011 Compass is looking more and more like a worthy contender in the compact SUV market.
“With the new 2011 Jeep Compass, we’ve applied the premium design cues of our award-winning new Grand Cherokee,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO - Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Combined with new interior appointments, and refinements to the suspension and steering systems, Jeep Compass provides consumers the ultimate combination of styling, capability, fuel economy, efficiency, safety and value in the important compact-SUV segment.”
The 2011 Compass is going to be built at Jeep’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois. The vehicle is expected to arrive in Jeep showrooms across America in the coming weeks.
UPDATE 03/07/2011: Check out our review of the 2011 Jeep Compass by clicking here!
Details on the 2011 Jeep Compass after the jump.
The 2011 Jeep Compass is replete with new styling features. Over at the front, there’s an enhanced hood, new front fenders, new fascia, and a new grille that’s been treated with small amounts of chrome to complement the seven slots that’s universal in all Jeep models, making it much more aggressive and sophisticated-looking than past models.
The Compass also gets new quad reflector headlamps and fog lamps that have been systematically turned into high output projector lamps. Another notable addition is the band of protective cladding that not only gives the SUV a new aesthetic look, but also provides protection whenever the car heads out to the dirt roads.
Over at the back, the Compass also has a new rear fascia, new body-color rear spoiler and subtle, upscale touches including new LED tail lamps. The Compass Limited model also gets its share of unique features, including a bright trim on the step pad and a chrome exhaust tip. The Compass also gets a new set of roof rails as well as 17” aluminum wheels for the standard model and 18” aluminum wheels for the Limited model.
Finally, interested buyers will also get the chance to choose from a number of exterior colors available on the 2011 Compass. Among the available colors are: Blackberry Pearl Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Clear Coat Deep Charcoal Gray (limited availability) and Mineral Gray Pearl Coat (late availability).
In the interior, the 2011 Compass was given new soft touch front-door trim panels with a padded upper surface. There’s also a new center armrest and a steering wheel that comes equipped with various integrated controls that works on the radio, cruise control, available handsfree phone and other vehicle functions. All these controls on the steering wheel allows the driver to operate features on the SUV without having to take their hands off of the wheel.
The Compass also has a new cloth interior with premium cloth bucket seats in the front; a standard speed control on all models; new backlighting of door switches, door locks, windows and power mirror controls.
Technology is also another unique element found inside the Compass. These features allow the driver to enjoy the benefits of a rugged SUV that’s been infused with state-of-the-art technology. There’s a Uconnect media center with iPod interface, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link, a power sunroof, a premium audio system with nine Boston Acoustic speakers, illuminated cup holders, liftgate speakers and fold-flat rear seats. All these features come with the Compass, leaving no shed of doubt that Jeep has done a masterful job in making this vehicle as attractive as any model in their line-up.
The 2011 Jeep Compass will be come with a standard 2.0-liter World Engine that produces 158 horsepower and 141 lb/ft of torque coupled with the continuously variable transmission (CVT2). This power train allows the Compass to deliver 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway when mated to the five-speed manual transmission.
Meanwhile, the higher grade Compass will be powered by a 2.4-liter World Engine that produces 172-horsepower and 165 lb/ft of torque and has dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT) on both intake and exhaust camshafts. What’s impressive is that this particular technology – Dual VVT – is not usually found in vehicles of the same price class as the Compass. Similar to the 2.0-liter variant, the 2.4-liter model will be mated to a five-speed manual transaxle in front-wheel drive configuration that delivers 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The 2011 Compass also comes with a retuned suspension that has higher spring and damping rates, added rebound springs, and an increased diameter of the rear sway bar.
Then there’s the matter of drivetrain configurations with which the 2011 Compass is available in three different set-ups. In addition to the SUV’s standard front-wheel drive system, Jeep also gave the 2011 Compass two unique drivetrain packages: Freedom Drive I and the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package.
Freedom Drive I is an available full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with a lock mode that gives drivers a vehicle that’s tailor-made for everyday use. This drivetrain is perfectly suited to handle rough weather and low traction weather conditions, including rain and light snow. Freedom Drive I also comes with a lockable center coupling that puts the Compass in four-wheel-drive lock mode, allowing for better handling in deep snow, sand and other low-traction surfaces.
For the off-roaders in all of you, Jeep has the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package, a four-wheel-drive system that delivers Jeep Trail Rated capability in Compass form. Among the notable additions to this package includes a second-generation continuously variable transaxle that is automatically activated when the SUV goes into full off-road mode. Aside from that the Freedom Drive II Off Road Package also comes with 17-inch all-terrain tires and aluminum wheels, a one-inch raised ride height, a full-size spare tire, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps and manual seat height adjuster.
As for safety features, the 2011 Compass is not lacking in that regard. Boasting more than 30 safety and security features, including standard side-curtain air bags, electronic stability program (ESC), electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist (with manual transmission), side curtain air bags for all rows and available front-seat-mounted side air bags, Jeep certainly did their homework in giving the Compass enough safety options to make driver and passengers feel as safe as they can be while inside a vehicle.
There’s no official word yet on the pricing for the 2011 Jeep Compass but word has it that the new SUV will come with a base price of $18,720 with higher-level models expected to also come with higher price tags.
The compact SUV market is as competitive as any segment there is in the industry so it’s already expected that the 2011 Compass will face some stiff competition from a number of other SUVs, including the Toyota Rav4, the Hyundai Tucson, and the Ford Escape. And that’s only naming a few of them. For the 2011 Compass, Jeep is banking on a combination of redesigned aesthetic styling, fuel-efficient powertrain, and overall affordability to push their new SUV to the top of the charts.
Pretty affordable compared to others in its range
Plenty of drive system options
Over 30 safety features will give you peace of mind
Plenty of other options to choose from
The rear exterior’s appearance looks recycled
The interior looks a little bare