They call this a Jeep?

May 22, 2007 at 10:48 pm (Cars & Trucks, Die Rat Bastard) (, , , , , , , )

Somehow or another, this vehicle got completely under my radar until I saw one in a local parking lot. The Jeep Compass.

Jeep Compass

Ugh. One horrified glance at this pompous rig and it becomes apparent why Daimler-Benz wants to sell their interest in Chrysler. Styled (if the word can be tortured into applying here) as if it were some sort of Transformers action toy, it has every chance to become a complete embarrassment to the Jeep heritage.

The original (Willys) Jeep has an honest charm that derives from its utilitarian design. It was made specifically to go anywhere, as a workhorse for the infantry of WWII.

Willys Jeep - WWII Era - and no damn cupholders

The Compass can make no such claim – it’s dishonestly ugly.

Jeep Compass

It looks as if it’s smuggling acorns in its cheeks, and was obviously engineered to appeal to suburban posers who will never take this atrocity more than a hundred feet off-road. And I mean the Trader Joe’s parking lot.

It’s really sad. Chrysler has shown that they can do chunky and retro properly, if they put their minds to it. Just look at the Chrysler 300. Nice. Oh, nice. Want one. Want it baaaaad.


But the Compass? It looks as though, instead of making a clay model of the design, they carved it from a bar of soap. Bah. It’s bad enough that Chrysler is selling a damn ugly car, but to call it a Jeep is an affront to the intellect.

Yes, it looks like people will not quit designing ugly crap, and other people will not stop buying ugly crap, at least not within my lifetime. But I can speak out. And I can dream. I can dream.


  1. Philippe Starck says it’s all been wasted time. « We all in trouble now…. | Dlock’s Pop Culture Blog said,

    […] products in the marketplace that are poorly, haphazardly designed (see my earlier entries on the Jeep Compass and Subaru Tribeca); or are simply designed to look great but fail to function […]

  2. mehboob said,

    1952 model willys jeep is remrkable nobody can make this kind of jeep again

  3. lordhelpus said,

    Yeah, I’m afraid that’s true. The original didn’t have any cup-holders… What have we Americans become?

  4. DHAVAN MS said,

    The proud to be an owner of willys.

  5. Willys Jeep said,

    I second that, proud owners of original Willys Jeeps and Trucks. The new ones are nothing like the old jeeps. Our favorite jeep is our 1949 Willys CJ2A. That is one heck of a machine.
    Jamie Dolan
    Neenah, WI

  6. Ryan said,

    I truly dont see where these bitter emotional comments are coming from? the vehicle is not much of an offroad machine. on the road its steady controlled, safe with all the standard safety features, the clearance and suspension allows for handling and bumps to no longer be an issue(speed bumps/pot holes) when driving in and around the city. this vehicle is a crossover stop thinking its willy 1940 ? something army vehicle. we dont live in the 40’s the compass is ideal for where we REGULARLY go. its priced that way and marketed that way. in my opinion its safer than most mid sized vehicles, great on gas, and offers space instead of offroad uttility, I have an 07 compass sport and im grateful to jeep for there crossing over and designing a realistic vehicle that to me looks fine, you want looks buy an acura,lexus,mercedes or a bmw. i hope you are ready to pay there engineers (laugh out loud) for there design. bottom line if they priced it more therefore raising the class of the vehicle they would call it a JEEP PATRIOT they made one of those, you want jeep heritage feel free to consider one of there other models. compass was made for me.

  7. lordhelpus said,

    Hey, Ryan. I’m glad that you found a vehicle that works for you, and I’m sorry that your ox got gored by my critique, which was targeted entirely at the styling of the vehicle. That being said…

    You do make some valid points, but I wouldn’t go as far as characterizing my comments as bitter. Very definitely emotional, yes. Passionate, in fact. I am very passionate and strident when expressing my visceral response to design.

    And design is all about visceral, gut-level impact. That’s what makes art or design work. If a piece of art or a design concept doesn’t provoke an emotional response, either positive or negative, then it has failed. Your response was positive, mine was negative. Neither one is objectively correct. They simply are.

    I did make a stylistic error common to most critics. I presented my opinion as the voice of “authority”. Maybe I am an authority, maybe not. I have made an informal study of automotive design going back to the dawn of the industry. And I know what I like, and what I don’t. The Compass isn’t the only car whose design I dislike, if you’ve read any other entries, such as “Fugly then, fugly now.”

    And there you have it. I write this blog to express myself, and to get read. To provoke thought, to encourage discourse, but definitely to get read.

    In all these things, I have succeeded. You read, you responded, you thought. We have connected. We may not agree 100% on automotive design, but we’ve had a shared moment. Wish it could have been over a stout, instead of a keyboard. ‘Cause I’m thirsty.

    (And believe it or not, this entry is the most popular one on my blog, getting hundreds of hits every week. I know, I was pretty amazed, too.)

    Have a good weekend, Ryan, and enjoy your Compass.

  8. FloRida Spins Us Right Round (Like a Record) « We All In Trouble… | Dlock's Pop Culture Reflux said,

    […] in the immortal words of Columbo. I had a really interesting comment on my most popular entry, They Call This a Jeep? Click the link to read the comment, and my response. Possibly related posts: (automatically […]

  9. Jeep Compass Owner said,

    As the owner of a Jeep Compass..

    Frankly sir, you are a complete and utter idiot.

    It’s a very stable, comfortable smaller sized SUV with a great gas mileage. It drives and handles very well and all I have ever gotten are complements on its exterior and interior design.

    Clearly, you are one of those vile, miserable people who spend all their time searching desperately for something to complain about in order to cover up the fact that in truth – you are nothing but a petty, unhappy and small minded little man. You, like so many others, have found a niche on the internet with which to spew your bile – as no one else in your day to day life will tolerate being in your presence for more than a few minutes at most and as soon as you open your mouth, people leave in search of more pleasant company.

  10. lordhelpus said,

    Wow, looks like I got another one. People really seem to like their Jeep Compasses. Love the ad hominem attack, too.

    But, like I told the last person to leave an unhappy comment on this blog entry, this blog is about being read, and provoking dialog. In that, I have truly succeeded. This blog entry is the most visited entry on my blog, bar none. I know, surprised the hell out of me, too.

    Sorry, though. Design is a matter of taste. This fellow clearly likes the looks of his Jeep Compass. More power to him. As for me – not so much. I think the design staff at Chrysler really could have done a far better job.

    And no, I don’t have to “spend all [my] time searching desperately for something to complain about” – I just trip over stuff all the time. Nice to know I’m having an effect, and making people think.

    And we’re all entitled to our opinions. This guy’s opinion of me isn’t very high though, huh? Too bad we can’t agree to disagree with each other without getting all bent out of shape and calling each other names.

  11. GMC Terrain – Another Ugly Truck « We All In Trouble… | Dlock's Pop Culture Reflux said,

    […] back to abuse GM’s styling department once again. Sorry, but it’s just the sort of hateful, bilious, unhappy little man that I […]

  12. Charlie said,

    lol, i love watching people argue

  13. lordhelpus said,

    Yep. It’s really entertaining! Pity that some people can’t manage to make a point without resorting to “…and so’s your mom!”

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