The Jeep brand is expanding into new territory with the all-new Jeep Compass – a modern-styled compact Jeep that delivers a competitive package of size, performance and fuel economy.

The Compass extends the Jeep brand to compete for the first time in the compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment and is the first Jeep vehicle to offer fuel economy in excess of 43 mpg, on the combined cycle with its diesel engine, which is best in class. Compass will also be the Jeep brand’s first front-wheel-drive-based product and also the first with a fully independent suspension for comfortable on-road ride and handling.

Peter Lambert, Managing Director of Chrysler Group UK, said “The Jeep Compass is designed to reach younger and female customers who may not have previously considered the brand but value the distinctive Jeep look and see four-wheel drive as a must-have on their daily drive. Customers are increasingly interested in family hatchbacks with four-wheel drive systems as they offer better handling and enhanced safety on the road.

“The new Jeep Compass offers a roomy interior, a choice of fuel efficient diesel and petrol engines and an all-new Freedom Drive 4WD system in a package the size of a Ford Focus.”

Freedom Drive I is a full-time, active four-wheel drive system that offers the driver tangible benefits in every day driving conditions such as wet and icy tarmac. The car operates in front-wheel drive for 90 per cent of the time and automatically switches to 4×4 when more traction is required.

“This family hatchback-sized car represents a new chapter in the history of the Jeep brand – the compact 4×4 segment in Western Europe is expected to increase to nearly 400,000 units by 2010, and this new car-based four-wheel drive vehicle means the Jeep brand is ideally placed to meet this growing demand.”

“The whole compact-4×4 segment is shifting – our competitors are pricing themselves out of the sub-£20,000 segment and we aim to fill this space this year.”

In the UK the Jeep Compass Limited model will launch in May 2007 with a VW-sourced 2.0-litre six-speed manual diesel engine and 2.4-litre petrol engine with a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. The Jeep Patriot shares the Compass platform and engines, but has a more traditional Jeep look and design. The Jeep Patriot Sport and Jeep Patriot Limited models launch in July 2007 and will be the new entry-level price point for the Jeep brand (pricing to be confirmed). The Jeep Compass will be priced from £17,990.