• May 14, 2007
When Chrysler introduced the Jeep Compass to the UK market last year, the automaker made the decision to only offer it in the more aggressive-looking (well, kinda) Rallye trim (above). That was based on market research conducted by the automaker in advance of the product launch. Now, a year into things, it's backtracking in a big way. According to UK media resource Headline Auto, Chrysler Blighty has shelved the Compass Rallye in favor of the standard-look Compass. Why? Simple: the regular Compass, contrary to all that prior research, tests better with consumers in clinics held by the automaker's marketing people. In particular, first-time SUV shoppers and women were drawn to the unkitted version of the car. Reading the writing on the wall, Chrysler has made the call to back-burner the Rallye. Don't throw dirt on the Rallye package quite yet, though. It could resurface in some form down the line.

Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, Chrysler hopes that American customers become smitten with that very same Rallye kit. It's now being offered as a Mopar option package in the US for the first time. Here at home, the Compass has become a bit of a piñata among enthusiasts, who have mercilessly derided the car for a variety of reasons. Those include problematic styling that in no way lives up to the promise of the original Compass concept, a chintz-heavy interior, a general lack of "Jeepness" and a powertrain selection that is uninspiring at best. The domestic Compass Rallye is obviously an attempt to "man up" the vehicle a bit, though based on Autoblog's reader comments, it's clear that a many view the package as little more than lipstick on a pig. However this all turns out, it's been interesting to see how the marketing approach for Compass has evolved on each side of the pond. Hindsight's 20/20, of course, but maybe Chrysler would have been better off if it launched the Compass Rallye here from "go" and just gave the Brits the regular version. Despite this inter-continental game of Three-Card Monte with the product, we think there's a way Chrysler can rectify everything and get all the naysayers on both ends of the ocean to stop yapping. How about a 300-horsepower, AWD Jeep Compass Rallye SRT-4? You know. Just a thought...


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  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      But we don't *want* that thing here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No matter what you put on it, Jeep Comp ass remains a salient reminder that every automaker needs a professional designer, and not a 5-year-old, to create new vehicles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      OMFG.
      I think I drew this in 3rd grade, except my lines were a bit more shaky.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was coming out of Walmart this last weekend and saw a Jeep Compass patrolling the parking lot with Security Company markings and a rent-a-cop at the wheel. I thought, "So THIS is who is buying this crappy thing." It already had a big old dent in the front fender.
      • 7 Years Ago
      UGLY nothing more to say!
      • 7 Years Ago

      A Jeep with no off-road abilities is not a real Jeep .
      • 7 Years Ago
      Rally version? So there's a chance this thing could break down and get lost in a desert somewhere never to be seen again or cause small children to retract in fear?
      • 7 Years Ago
      No one cares, the car is hideous and a gross underperformer in either form. The Compass got one of the worst car reviews I've ever read in the modern era. It seemed like the reviewer had been saving up his euphemisms and witty metaphors for just this car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Note to Cerberus: Kill this thing immediately!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      NO
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh God, the folks in the UK already have a low opinion of US cars. This is the last thing we need to be shipping over there.

      Chrysler deserves their bad fortune for bastardizing Jeep with this ugly P.of S.

      • 7 Years Ago
      as a six time Jeep owner (soon to be 7) I have only one word:


      EUTHANIZE.
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