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History of the Jeep Compass

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History of the Jeep Compass

History of the Jeep Compass

The Jeep lineup is a household name, with this being the 75th anniversary since the original precursors to Jeep were built for the Second World War there's plenty of reason to celebrate. Let's take a few minutes to go over the Jeep Compass and how it was spawned from the original 4x4 vehicles that started it all. Now, the Jeep Compass (MK49) is a compact crossover that, technically speaking, launched in 2006 as a 2007 model, but the truth of the matter is that these are vehicles designed from a legacy that goes back decades.

Jeepster Commando (C101)

Jeepster Commando

Introduced as a concept vehicle first in Detroit back in 2002 at the North American International Auto Show, that early model was a 2-door, all-wheel drive SUV backed by a powerful 3.7-litre V6 engine. Of course, the Power-Tech engine never made it onto the actual launch model, as the intention was to create a more urban-inspired Jeep that could handle the streets as well as it could handle the Great Outdoors. Another notable change were the doors - with the production model rolling off the manufacturing line with 4-doors.

There were changes that came, too, but we'll get into that in a few sentences after we first hit on some of the inspirations behind the Compass. The Compass along with the Patriot were the first generation Jeep that fit into the compact crossover SUV segment, one that would be further expanded when the subcompact crossover SUV - The Renegade - was in introduced in 2014. Still, if we follow the compact SUV lineup we come back to the 1970s, and the Jeep Commando.

Before the brand fell under the Chrysler corporate tent, the Jeep brand existed in various forms - in this case, Kaiser Jeep was developing models under the name Jeepster Commando (C101), and was produced from 1966 - 1973. The Jeepster Commando was offered with the F-Head Hurricane Straight-4 ending, which is a direct descendent from the original Go Devil engine on the WWII models. Otherwise, it could be equipped with the Dautless V6 for more power.

Willys-Overland Jeepster

Willys-Overland Jeepster

In 1972 the Jeepster name was re-designated as Jeep and Jeep Commandos continued to be produced for two more years under this new naming convention.

Now, if we want to go way, way back we can see many of the design decisions on the modern compact crossover owe their referencing material to the Willys-Overland Jeepster - a model that was designed and produced from 1948 until 1950. This was their 'utilitarian' truck model, as they called it then, intended to over truck-like capabilities with extra space for people along for the ride.

Models changed from year-to-year on the Jeepster, but the body style was kept in form with the 2-door phaeton/convertible model. With 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive, the Jeepster was well-received in its day, but one can't help to appreciate, looking at the modern Jeep Compass, how far we've come with our automotive design and development. Learn more today about the Jeep Compass at your store for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram products - Coquitlam Chrysler!

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