A significant portion of the lineup of products from brands Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler has been new or significantly refreshed for 2011. The updates are impressive, with redesigned models like the 200 and 300 at Chrysler, the all-new Magnum at Dodge and Grand Cherokee at Jeep.
The Grand Cherokee has been a huge hit for Jeep, setting a red-hot sales pace of 12,573 units for December. Jeep is hoping to emulate that success with its smaller sibling, the Compass.
Last month the redesigned Compass crossover was introduced, and it sports a mini-Grand Cherokee look. The previous Compass was an unloved vehicle, with ungainly styling and an uncompetitive interior.
The 2011 Compass changes that significantly – but you’re going to have to pay for it. While the 2010 Compass started at $15,365, the new model will set you back $19,295 (not including destination).
That is a $3,930 increase. But is the premium worth it over the 2010? The answer is yes every area. For one, standard equipment has been added, with new additions like air conditioning, keyless entry, heated power side mirrors, power windows and locks, tinted glass, cruise control and even fog lamps. Those were features not standard on the $15,365.
On top of that is the dramatic improvements to the exterior and interior. Inside the Compass gets a tasteful, more upscale look with upgraded materials.
It is very likely that few Compass sales were at the base price level, and the Compass is undoubtedly a far more attractive product for 2011. We’ll see if a bit of the Grand Cherokee’s sales success wears off on the Compass when it goes on sale.