Here’s the view from 10,000 feet: The black-on-black Jeep concept introduced at this year’s Houston Auto Show was so popular that the brand is using the same look—and the same name—for a trio of limited-edition “Altitude” models for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.
It’s the culmination of an effort that began in January, when the Grand Cherokee show vehicle debuted with a sharp new look but no catchy new name. Jeep used a consumer contest to come up with a fresh moniker for the vehicle, as well as to gauge public interest in the production version, and the results were overwhelming.
“The fact that well over 100,000 consumers entered our ‘Name My Ride’ contest reinforces the passion behind the Jeep brand, and its position as one of the most recognizable and popular brands in the world,” said Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Chrysler Group’s Jeep Brand. “The extraordinary response to both the concept and the contest resulted in an easy decision to produce ‘blacked-out’ editions of the Grand Cherokee—and the Compass and Patriot. These new Jeep Altitude editions will clearly have a broad appeal among consumers, especially those looking for something distinctive, edgy, and just plain cool.”
In the end, the “Altitude” name was chosen because it represents “the new heights the Jeep brand is reaching, with an array of new vehicles and special-edition models consumers have been seeking, a wide variety of vehicle and brand awards, and a string of recent sales successes that includes 23 months of increased sales—up 24 percent in 2010, 44 percent in 2011 and 34 percent so far in 2012.”
Mark Johnson of Sanger, Calif., took home the contest’s grand prize, a new 2012 Grand Cherokee, for his winning name submission.
All three vehicles will showcase plenty of dark matter on the outside, with black-gloss grille surrounds, headlamp bezels and wheels, but each one also gets its own distinct package:
The Grand Cherokee Altitude edition will be available in Deep Cherry Red, Brilliant Black, Mineral Gray, Bright Silver Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic and Stone White, with an MSRP that starts at $35,595 in its two-wheel-drive configuration and $37,595 for the four-wheel-drive model. Along with the accents mentioned above, that price of admission also brings a platinum-chrome mesh grille and lower-fascia applique, a black liftgate light bar, and 20-inch black-gloss aluminum wheels, as well as a highly refined leather-swathed interior with goodies ranging from the Chrysler Group’s award-winning Uconnect hands-free communications system to a nine-speaker, 506-watt audio setup.
For the Compass Altitude, exterior highlights also include black roof rails and black step pads, and the vehicle rides on 18-inch black-gloss aluminum wheels wrapped in Firestone BSW all-season performance tires. Power heated exterior mirrors, heated seats, remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls help fill out the Compass Altitudes spec sheet, as do plenty of safety measures, including side-curtain air bags and an electronic roll-mitigation system. Prices begin at $22,190 for the 4x2 model and $23,940 for the 4x4 model, with both available in Deep Cherry Red, Black, Mineral Gray and Bright White.
The Patriot Altitude gets much the same equipment as its Compass cousin, but takes a slightly shinier approach with its exterior; that’s courtesy of cues like bright polished-steel roof rails, a bright chrome lower fascia and bright chrome rear step-pad appliques. And speaking of exteriors, the Patriot Altitude can be had with four different outside colors: Deep Cherry Red, Black, Mineral Gray and Bright White. Both an IIHS Top Safety Pick and the vehicle with the “Lowest True Cost to Own” (according to Edmunds.com), the Patriot will offer its Altitude edition with a base MSRP of $20,240 with rear-wheel drive and $23,275 in its four-wheel-drive configuration.
All three are due to reach Jeep stores in May.