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AutoGuide‘s compact crossover video comparison garnered plenty of attention this week, as we pitted eight of the market’s most popular crossovers against one another. Which one came out on top? Watch the video below, along with our other most popular videos of the week.
Price, content, fuel economy and style: which compact crossover has it all?
Chrysler released details on the Mopar Jeep Compass “True North” today, along with three other vehicles meant to mark their 75th anniversary, all of which will be on display at the 2012 Chicago International Auto Show.
Here’s what we’ve learned about the modified Compass since we published our earlier story featuring photos of all four cars.
First, we’ve found that Mopar knows better than to tinker with a Jeep owner’s pavement-optional perspective. They say it’s still an off-road capable, trail-rated vehicle, though nothing Mopar does really adds, or subtracts anything. The only modification that makes the “True North” Compass any more viable in the bush is the added brush bars on the front and back that might keep your undercarriage a bit safer from rocks.
That said, this is anything but a rock crawler. Realistically, most Compass owners probably don’t go off-roading unless you count driving on the beach or through a snowy parking lot.
The modifications are superficial, but at least they make the Compass look a lot cooler. For example, the two-tone burnt orange and matte black grille and bumper make the car look less like a boring suburb spelunker and more like a stylish SUV. The same matte black accents surround the front and rear fog lights and run along the edge of the fenders and fascia.
The interior really plays up the Compass’s appeal to the young outdoorsy types it’s aimed at. Mopar even added neoprene seats. Yup, the same synthetic rubber material that half the stuff in REI is made of. It’s a cool touch that screams out to people who own CamelBacks and Nalgene bottles.
A center stack gauge pod holds pitch and roll meters if you do decide to take that risky first trip into the wild, though you won’t be doing it without modern amenities. Aside from little interior touches, the last big change is a Kicker sounds system the company says transforms the car into a “rolling high-end sound studio.” We’re not sure what sort of audio work people do on camping trips, but maybe you can enlighten us in the comments box below.
GALLERY: 2012 Mopar Jeep Compass “True North”
The diesel will be a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, sourced from the Fiat mothership and built by VM Motori. It’ll come in two forms: one with 188 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque, and the other with 237 horsepower and 406 lb-ft, which also gets around 28 miles per gallon.
Meanwhile at Geneva, Jeep will introduce 70th Anniversary Editions of all its models, including the Wrangler, Wrangler Unlimited, Patriot, and Compass. The package includes exterior trim packages, brushed-aluminum door sills, 18-inch wheels, and some nifty badges; the interior will get Dark Olive perforated leather seats, shiny trim, and Berber floor mats.
Now that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is at the helm of the new Chrysler he is looking at making some changes. For starters, the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Caliber, as well as the Jeep Patriot and Compass may get the axe.
Marchionne is looking at cutting under-performing models from the Chrysler lineup, with a particular focus on the models mentioned, while also examining how the company can become more cost effective by adjusting prices and tweaking the trim levels and equipment offered on the company’s many vehicles.
The Caliber has the best chance of staying on but it is likely to receive major changes.
Fiat is also examining a plan that would see Alfa Romeo models rebadged as Dodges in North America, while some Dodge models that make it to Europe would wear the Alfa crest.
As for the Jeep brand, arguably the strongest name of the three, Fiat may look to make a push with it in emerging markets, something Chrysler never tried to do in the past.
Two new concepts at Paris Auto Show
Jeep used the Paris Motor Show to display two concept versions of its popular compact SUVs, the Patriot and Compass.
The Jeep Patriot Back Country is a rugged vehicle designed for a more active lifestyle. Looking familiar from the outside, the inside receives a significant update with earthy colors and textures. The SUV also features a list of authentic Jeep accessories by Mopar.
As for the Compass Overland concept, it moved the compact SUV up-market with a classy design and superior safety, connectivity and audio features. Many of the style highlights on the Compass Overland have been adapted from the popular Grand Cherokee Overland and Commander Overland production SUVs.
Both SUVs feature improved sound-deadening, an improved ride quality, redesigned instrument clusters, center consoles and door trim panels, as well as custom interior materials and colors. We expect Jeep will add these two vehicles to its lineup in 2010.
Jeep Patriot Back Country:
Jeep Compass Overland:
Official release after the jump: