Jeep's 'distinctive' Compass Rallye
13 September 2006

Ssangyong's Rodius might soon have some competition for the title of 'Britain's ugliest car' - here comes the Jeep Compass Rallye.Jeep claims the Compass Rallye, due on sale in the UK in 2007, has a design 'that reflects the Jeep Modern theme'. We say it's an odd blend of the traditional boxy profile with awkwardly flared wheel arches. At least Jeep is promising that it will only be available in limited numbers.

By contrast, the Jeep Patriot - also scheduled for a 2007 UK launch - looks positively understated. It's targeted at the sub-£20k mini-SUV market and is expected to outsell the Compass Rallye by a factor of 10 to 1.

Both models are based on the Dodge Caliber, and they will be available with 2.4-litre petrol and VW 2.0-litre diesel engines. The oil-burner should be the most economical Jeep ever to go on sale in the UK.

Peter Lambert, Chrysler Group's UK boss, said, "These two family hatchback-sized cars represent a new chapter in the history of the Jeep brand. The compact 4x4 segment in Western Europe is expected to increase to nearly 400,000 units by 2010, and these new car-based four-wheel drive vehicles mean the Jeep brand is ideally placed to meet this growing demand."

We could be wrong, but we suspect the Patriot will be easier for Jeep's sales squad to shift than the Compass Rallye...

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