In an attempt to raise Jeep's profile in Europe, the DaimlerChrysler division is showing two Euro-sized concepts at Frankfurt. The Compass, and its show-stand sibling, the Patriot, are close to the current Liberty in size, but they preview two new entry-level models that would be priced below the Wrangler in the lineup. (The cheapest versions of the Wrangler would then disappear.) The Compass and the Patriot are both based on Dodge's upcoming Neon replacement, the Caliber, which also had its coming out party in Europe, as a concept at the Geneva auto show last March. With their ties to the Caliber, the Compass and Patriot would be the first car-based Jeeps, and would offer front-wheel drive as well as four-wheel drive and would use four-cylinder power. The Compass concept is dressed up like a rally car to better catch the attention of rally-loving Europeans, but the real version would shed that conceit. The Compass is designed to appeal to buyers--particularly women--who've have previously shunned the brand, but it runs the risk of diluting Jeep's image.
Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand pricesubscribe