We've known that a refreshed Jeep Compass is on the horizon for the 2011 model year, and we've even seen a few heavily camouflaged spy shots of prototypes running around. That said, we haven't been able to judge the scope of the redesign until reader Adam M. sent in this snapshot of a flotilla of undisguised testers.
Even with the grainy quality of this spy photo and the unflattering light, it's easy to see that Jeep has authored a substantial refresh that leverages the styling language of its handsome new Grand Cherokee.
Forsaking the outgoing model's round-light, drop-shouldered look in favor of a boxier and more traditional front clip instantly gives the new Compass a more serious and polished appearance. Gone is the awkwardly styled triangular bumper cap, and in its place is a more organic form with round outboard foglamps and what looks to be a small horizontal breather slat below the chrome-lipped seven-slot grille. The squared-off headlamps look like they wrap around a bit, and they clearly have more elements and definition than the outgoing model's historically minded 'lantern eyes.' There also appears to be a nice power bulge in the hood, although it's impossible to know at this point whether that's just a design element or an engineering necessity because we don't know what lurks underhood.
We only have this one spy shot to go on, so we can't really make out what additional work has been done to clean up the Compass' profile and greenhouse, or its rear-end. We're guessing that since it isn't expected to be a clean-sheet redesign that the rump will look much like it does on the 2010 model, albeit with different taillamps and revised lower fascia.
No word, too, on what's gone on in the cabin of this new model, but we've seen some very positive signs from Auburn Hills' designers of late, what with significant material upgrades and cleaner looking surfaces in other Jeep products including the refreshed Patriot (with which the Compass shares the lion's share of its greasy bits) and the 2011 Wrangler, so it seems reasonable to expect similar improvements. For what it's worth, the latest Patriot didn't get any new powertrains.
If Jeep can manage to clean up the interior half as well as it appears to have edited the Compass' front end, it ought to be a much more compelling vehicle all-around than its lackluster predecessor. Thanks for the pic, Adam M!
UPDATE: More reader spy photos of the 2011 Jeep Compass! Click here.