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Jeep, a name virtually synonymous with SUVs for more than three-quarters of a century, has hit the mother lode in recent years as buyers suddenly began flocking to that market. And in the hottest segment of that market – compact SUVs – the company has long had three entries, together accounting for half of its entire model portfolio.
LOS ANGELES—Jeep introduced a redesigned version of its compact Compass SUV at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass slots in between the subcompact Jeep Renegade and the slightly larger (but still compact-class) Jeep Cherokee. The new Compass replaces both the previous Compass and the Patriot (which is being discontinued) in Jeep’s model lineup.
Chrysler’s Jeep division kicked off the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (also called the North American International Auto Show) by unveiling a series of updates to its volume compact and midsize SUVs.
You may not realize it, but the Chrysler Group cleared a huge symbolic hurdle when introducing the 2013 Dodge Dart compact car earlier this year—that hurdle being auto critics like us. As the first significant offspring of the Chrysler-Fiat alliance, the Dart had to be light-years better than the mediocre Caliber it replaced for the partnership to have lasting credibility with the public or its lenders. Happily for the Pentastar folks, the Dart has so far met with wide acclaim, thanks in part to its stout CUSW architecture, which looms as Chrysler’s most commercially important platform since the K-car appeared more than 30 years ago. That’s because CUSW—(“compact U.S. wide”) will eventually host eight small and midsize cars and crossovers for Chrysler and Fiat, according to trade weekly Automotive News.
Badlands Off-Road Park in Attica, Indiana, is something like heaven on earth for off-road aficionados. It’s an incredible facility that spans 800-plus acres and encompasses a broader variety of off-road terrain than you’d ever expect to find in the Midwest. There are sand dunes, forested areas, streams for fording, several types of gravel (part of the park was previously a quarry), loose rocks and solid-rock trails, and lots of good ol’ dirt and mud. There are trails that are easy enough for children, trails that will challenge the most-experienced off-roader, and trails at most every level in between those extremes.