• Oct 10, 2006

The Chrysler Group has gotten tons of PR mileage out of the popularity of the Dodge Caliber, to the point where dealers haven't been able to keep them in stock and consumers have to beg for a test drive (new Calibers net more profit than demos, after all). Unfortunately for the automaker, the Caliber's stablemate, the Jeep Compass, isn't enjoying the same successes. As the first car-based Jeep to hit the streets, the Caliber's sales have been lower than projected despite the vehicle's distinctive styling and sharp interior. The problem seems to be the 2006 models glutting dealer lots, giving potential Compass buyers food for thought -- a 2007 Compass doesn't represent the same kind of deal as, say, a loaded up 2006 Jeep Liberty.

Automotive News reports that the transaction price of the Dodge Caliber has risen since its introduction, beginning at $17,059 in March and then up to $18,276 by the end of September, while the Compass' price has lowered from $22,467 at launch to $21,534.

Jeep has quite a predicament on its hands if the Liberty and even Grand Cherokee are cannibalizing Compass sales -- evidently yet another drawback to Chrysler's resistance to cutting production when showrooms first started clogging up. We'll see how the situation evolves when the Patriot comes out.

[Source: Automotive News via AutoWeek]



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  • 38 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      PRESS RELEASE
      February 21, 2007

      All New 2007 Jeep® Compass is awarded a “Best Buy” from Consumers Digest®.

      The award-winning Jeep® brand recently added another impressive accolade to its long history of achievements, underscoring its promise to deliver vehicles synonymous with fun, freedom, and adventure.

      Jeep Compass was presented the impressive “Best Buy” award from Consumers Digest® magazine. A “Best Buy” represents the very best balance of attributes within its class.

      Each year the best overall values are selected in 8 model segments, ranging from inexpensive compact cars to premium luxury SUVs. The vehicle’s price, features and accommodations, as well as its performance during test drives are all considered.

      The Best Buy seal is a registered trademark of Consumers Digest Communications, LLC, used under license.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Cannibalized sales aren't the culprit. I agree with Brent - it's an ugly car. Especially given the concept car the production version is supposedly based on - http://media.truckblog.com/2002-Jeep-Compass-Concept.jpg - it's a huge disappointment design-wise. The Patriot won't help either, it's equally as unappealing. It just looks like the 80s version of the Cherokee. DC seemed to have turned the corner with design with the 300C, Magnum, and Charger. But now, all of their new designs (with the exception of the Avenger) are awful. I predict that the Compass, Patriot, Nitro, and the Sebring all bomb in the marketplace...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Has anyone seen these on the road yet? Or at any dealership? They're fugly. I give it 2 years, if that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Any buyer with half a brain in their head would know that a Liberty and a Compass are vastly different vehicles. The Liberty is a small truck with good off-road capabilities while the Compass is a small car-based SUV not designed for off-road use. Besides being a great in town vehicle with good utility, the Compass is capable of 30 mpg. This far excedes even a deisel powered Liberty. Both vehicles have distinct market niches and willl sell briskly.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The last good vehicle Jeep had was the 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, after that it's all been down hill which no JEEP can recover from..disapointed, YES...Pissed, YES...Come on, what's wrong with you guys, it's like your just throwing random ideas together just to get it out on the street as soon as possible. OPEN YOUR EYES....
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like the jeep compass. The black looks good. For the price you get nice storage space in the vehicle, more than a car. You can do forest roads and have all wheel drive for hikes that aren't incredible off the beaten path. Wife drives a Volkswagon Beetle it was getting destroyed on forest roads. This was a lower price and takes us off road. On road is a smooth ride with decent handling. I enjoy the gas mileage. If your a car enthusiast it might not suite you, mostly car enthusiasts write reviews. For an average person it seems to be a great car that doesn't have a million extras that you don't really need.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I commend Jeep for what they are doing. They knew they had to get into an entry-level market and instead of designing all of their cars to look alike (i.e., Chrysler and Ford) they are trying out different ideas. I think a possibility they built 2 cars on one platform anyway, may be just in case this fails. This trio of cars probably has more 'utility' than any other SUV or CUV on the market. I imagine the Patriot will do quite well upon release - Cherokee styling with decent fuel economy and a city-operable suspension.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My wife was looking at one and I test drove it. Engine was weak, drive feel was not that bad. Interior was also weak, but, while the following was not the deal breaker, I am partial to black interiors, the sales guy at the dealer's response to my wife was " oh...no car manufacturers make black interiors anymore " What you friggin idiot, no sale for you Mr. 10 above plant life. I mean come on, your excuse for not having a black interior in your model vehicle is buy from us because no one else does either. Total let down ! Jeep train your salepeople !
      • 8 Years Ago
      I called this one the moment I saw the Compass at the Detroit show.

      I don't quite buy the clogged lots excuse, as Dodge lots are just as clogged as Chrysler-Jeep lots. Still, I suppose there might be some truth to it, since C-J lots have both the PT Cruiser and the Liberty, while the next closest product at a Dodge lot was the nearly full-size Durango. (The Nitro is there now, but despite its many faults I don't think it'll have a problem finding buyers, either.)

      Even if this is the case, Chrysler created this problem by pressuring dealers to take so many 2006s.

      But clogged lots or not, I suspect that if the Patriot were in the same situation it would be doing much better.

      Price comparisons for the Compass, and my review:

      http://www.truedelta.com/models/Compass.php
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Sharp Interior"??? Whaaaat? Go read Car and Driver's review of this POS, they absolutely rip on the interior. I think Rubbermaid supplies DCX with interior components across the board. DCX builds horsepower, not nice interiors.
      • 8 Years Ago
      DUH! Just look at the thing- its freakin goofy looking. What did Jeep do, hire the moron who was fired from GM for designing the Aztec??
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think this is an attractive trucklet, but the pricing is way, way out of line. Base price of $15,995 includes crank windows, manual locks, and NO AC. And the interior quality is atrocious.

      The Caliber shares the same crappy interior, but at least you can get one for 3 grand less.
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