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Future models - Jeep - Compass

First look: Compass is Jeep's soft-core future

Crossover: Compass is longer than a Forester and powered by a 128kW 2.4.

Jeep's first soft-roader makes its Detroit debut and is due here in 18 months

12 Jan 2006

DIEHARDS will wince but Jeep has definitely moved away from its flannelette-shirt, rugged off-road image with its new Compass wagon, which is due Down Under within 18 months.

The Compass will also be the first Jeep available in front-wheel drive guise as well as all-wheel drive. The newcomer seats five, has the customary Jeep grille and chunky looks.

It rests on a 2626mm wheelbase, which is slightly longer than a Subaru Forester, and will be powered by a 128kW 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine.

Jeep claims the vehicle "combines the packaging and functionality of an SUV with the performance, handling, fuel economy and price of a compact car or small pick-up".

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