6 April 2005

Jeep is pressing ahead with a new entry level vehicle to slot in below the Wrangler. Due in 2007, the new five-seater has been conceived to take on the Toyota RAV4 and Land Rover Freelander, and is inspired by Jeep’s 2001 Compass concept, from which it should take its name. The new crossover, thought to be a sister car to the forthcoming Dodge Caliber (right), marks a big departure for Jeep by placing more emphasis more on versatility than off-road ability. ‘In the past all Jeeps were engineered to drive the Rubicon trail. That won’t be the case in the future,’ a senior Jeep official told Autocar at last week’s New York Motor Show. ‘We’ve got products in the pipeline that will reflect a different set of values.’ The new Jeep is said to be styled along the lines of a high-roof estate car, and it’s projected to have a price of around £20,000. Its introduction will boost the number of model lines at Jeep from three to five.

A sixth model, based on the company’s Gladiator pick-up shown at January’s Detroit Motor Show, is also rumoured to be in the works.

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