DETROIT -- The 2007 Compass is taking the Jeep brand in a new direction.
Unlike the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee and other Jeep models, the front-drive Compass is not intended for severe off-road adventures.
The Compass has an optional all-wheel-drive system. The awd's lock mode is engineered for activation in deep snow and sand, and other low-traction surfaces -- not the severe Rubicon Trail that other Jeeps can traverse.
The Compass is scheduled to debut Monday, Jan. 9, at the Detroit auto show.
Pricing has not been announced. The Compass will compete with vehicles in the compact-car and small-pickup segments.
The Compass is "designed to reach consumers who may not have previously considered the brand," said Jeff Bell, Jeep vice president, in a prepared statement.
Models sold in North America will be offered with one engine, a 172-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The engine was co-engineered with Hyundai Motor Co. A continuously variable transmission is optional. A Volkswagen four-cylinder diesel engine will be offered in export markets.
Standard equipment includes side-curtain airbags, stability control, traction control and antilock brakes. Options include power windows, locks and foldaway mirrors; air conditioning and seat-mounted side airbags.
The Compass will be available in North America and some global markets in the third quarter. It will be assembled at the automaker's Belvidere, Ill., plant.
You may e-mail Rick Kranz at [email protected]