Catering to the market

Jeep's 2011 Compass near Cape Point during its launch.
Popular Mechanics
Date:2 August 2011 Tags:, ,

South Africa’s first 4×2 Jeep has been introduced in response to a trend towards 2-wheel drive SUVs, says Chrysler.

Like its predecessor, the Compass offers a crossover SUV look, with raised ride height and Jeep styling cues such as the 7-slot grille and straight-edged wheel arches. However, the 2011 model introduced in Cape Town this week comes in just one flavour: 4×2. If what you want is an SUV like the Compass, but with a 4×4 drivetrain, R30 000 more buys you the next Jeep up – a Patriot. A 4×4 Compass isn’t part of the current strategy for this market, according to Chrysler South Africa CEO Trent Barcroft.

The Compass’s 2,0-litre World Engine produces 115 kW and 190 N.m and consumes 7,6 litres/100 km on the combined cycle. The 5-speed manual version offered at launch will be joined towards the end of the year by a CVT-equipped automatic. Chrysler says that this second-generation CVT has been calibrated for “pleasing engine response and precise ratio control”.

Pricing is a strong point: the Compass Limited specification offered here undercuts the opposition, yet features new 18-inch aluminium wheels, leather upholstery with power-operated heated front seats, and a 3-year/100 000 km maintenance plan. In addition to this, there are more than 30 safety and security features. Among these are electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist and side-curtain air bags that cover both rows of seats, Chrysler says.

 

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