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2012 Mopar Jeep Compass True North Debut

Mopar gives the Compass a little direction


2012 Jeep Compass Research Click to hide

What's New

The Jeep Compass hasn't received a lot of love from the Jeep faithful...or from the general public, for that matter. Granted, the new Grand Cherokee-inspired nose that debuted last year gives the Compass a more attractive appearance, and sales have improved. But there's one thing that keeps the Compass from being considered a "real" Jeep: Off-road capability. While a "Trail Rated" model exists, it's not exactly the stuff of trail-busting dreams. The 2012 Mopar Jeep Compass True North is designed to give Jeepers a reason to take another look at the Compass.

Who It's For

The Compass is essentially a modified version of the now-defunct Dodge Caliber compact. That is, it was designed for people who wanted the Jeep look, but didn't ever bother with the off-road stuff that was the whole point of the brand. The Trail Rated version added last year, plus the styling, helped broaden the appeal. Mopar's True North version takes that a step further, increasing ground clearance, and giving the Compass a few standout styling cues that are actually attractive. Still, the Compass remains true to its roots in one way: It's still primarily going to attract people who want the Jeep look, but don't intend on hitting the trail, Rated or not.

Key Features

The Mopar Compass True North is intended to bring off-road capability to the smallest Jeep in the lineup. But it packs a little more, too.

  • Off road: The True North gets a two-inch lift kit for better ground clearance, BF Goodrich All Terrain tires, front and rear brush bars, rear fog lights, and rock rails.
  • On road: Outside, there's a matte black finish to the roof, extended flares over the wheels, and other styling enhancements.
  • Inside: Apparently, there's a connection between earsplitting audio systems and the peace of the outdoors; in addition to off-road gear like pitch and roll inclinometers, there's a Kicker audio system.

What We Think

While it's nice to see the neglected Compass get a little love, the truth of the matter is that no matter how Jeep dresses it up, it'll never shake the Caliber-in-Jeep-clothes reputation, at least to us. This is certainly the best looking Compass we've ever seen, and the Mopar accessories give it an aggressive demeanor that's lacking in the standard-issue Compass. But there's a new Compass in the pipeline, one being developed with Fiat, and as nice as this is, we're more excited for that.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Chicago 2012

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