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Jeep officially releases 2011 Compass

by David Zatz on

Jeep has officially confirmed the launch of the 2011 Jeep Compass, boasting “unsurpassed 4×4 fuel economy and off-road capability” for a compact SUV. They noted its “host of interior refinements” and “improved ride and handling in all conditions.”

The Compass, seen clearly in spy shots, echoes the styling of the 2011 Grand Cherokee. It now has standard side curtain airbags for both rows, stability control with roll mitigation, hill start assist (with manual transmission), and optional seat-mounted side airbags.  Changes include a new hood, front fenders, fascias, headlamps, grille, quad reflector headlamps, high-output projector fog lamps, brightwork, protective cladding, body-color rear spoiler, LED tail lamps, roof rails, and standard 17 inch aluminum wheels (18 inch available on Limited).

Inside, upgrades include soft touch front door trim panels, a new center armrest, new steering wheel with integrated audio and phone controls, standard cruise, and new backlighting of switches and controls. Standard features include air conditioning, power windows and locks, power heated exterior mirrors, keyless entry, and fog lamps.

A new option package is the All-Weather Capability Group, with all-terrain tires, all-season floor mats, DRLs, engine block heater, and tow hooks. Also new is Jeep Freedom Drive II; Freedom Drive I, an active full time 4×4 system with lockable center coupling, continues. Freedom Drive II includes a continuously variable transaxle (CVT automatic) with a low range; the ride height was raised one inch and a full size spare, skid plates, tow hooks, and manual seat adjuster are bundled for moderate off-road situations including steep grades, occasional wheel lift, and rock or log climbing. Chrysler achieved Trail Rated status with this configuration.

The suspension includes higher spring and damping rates, added rebound springs, and heavier duty rear sway bar.

Engines continue with the base 2-liter four-cylinder, generating 158 hp and 141 lb-ft of torque to provide 23 city / 29 highway mpg with the five speed manual transmission (it is also available with a CVT). The higher end engine is the 2.4 liter with 172 horsepower and 165 lb-ft.  It, too, comes with a choice of five-speed manual (front wheel drive only) or CVT.

Towing capacity is up to 2,000 lb.

The new model range is Compass, Latitude, and Limited; all three are available with front wheel drive, Freedom Drive I, or Freedom Drive II.  Colors are blackberry pearl, silver metallic, white, black, deep cherry, charcoal gray, and mineral gray. The cars are expected at dealers in late December.

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