2011 Jeep Liberty 70th Anniversary Edition, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 70th Anniversary Edition

2011 Jeep Liberty 70th Anniversary Edition, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 70th Anniversary Edition

Chrysler has been working its way through its lineup, giving nearly all 2011 Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles reworked interiors and revised mechanicals, if not outright redesigns. Along the way, Chrysler has been adding content to vehicles that had lost features and slipped in quality under Daimler and Cerberus Capital Management. The Jeep Compass, which made its debut in 2007 and was designed under Daimler ownership, never really had much content. It was widely panned for its cheap interior, buzzy engine, limited off-road prowess and overall lack of quality. For 2011, Jeep is aiming to fix many of those problems and to give the Compass an all-new look reminiscent of a baby Grand Cherokee. In fact, the look is unmistakable. In addition to the revised Compass, Jeep showed a 70th anniversary edition for every model in its lineup, each with special paint, badging and interior trim.

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2011 Jeep Compass

Click to enlarge picture2011 Jeep Compass (© Rick Dole)

2011 Jeep Compass

Click to enlarge picture2011 Jeep Compass (© Rick Dole)

2011 Jeep Compass

What is it? A needed update of Jeep's entry-level vehicle.
What makes it special? Though it rides the same platform as the outgoing model, the 2011 Jeep Compass gets more than just a midcycle update. The styling is all-new, helping to distance this product from its uninspired predecessor. The interior is also redesigned, eschewing hard plastic surfaces for soft touch points and a higher-quality look and feel. Off-road ability is improved, thanks to the availability of Jeep's Freedom Drive II package, which includes 4-wheel drive with low-range gearing, a raised ride height, skid plates and tow hooks. The powertrain lineup stays the same, featuring 2.0- and 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engines, but added sound insulation mitigates some of the engines' buzziness.
When will it be it available? Now.
How much will it cost? Starting at $19,295.
MSN Autos' take? The 2011 Jeep Compass may not be the best vehicle in the compact-SUV class, but it is no longer an embarrassment, and the Freedom II system makes it the most capable off-road. Fiat has a long way to go in revamping Chrysler Group products, but efforts such as the Compass make us think Fiat can make Chrysler competitive.

Video Review: 2010 Jeep Compass


Kirk Bell has served as the associate publisher for Consumer Guide Automotive and editor of Scale Auto Enthusiast magazine. A Midwest native, Bell brings 18 years of automotive journalism experience to MSN, and currently contributes to JDPower.com and Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com.