It's no secret that the Jeep Compass is the least-capable off-roader in the brand's history. In an effort to ramp up the Compass' off-road cred, Jeep is unleashing a wave of vital updates for the 2011 model year to help it earn some much-needed "Trail Rated" points.

With the New Year right around the corner, the Jeep Compass already is checking off its resolutions list, beginning with a refreshed body reminiscent of its Grand Cherokee big brother. The front has been beefed up with the addition of a redesigned hood with a power bulge, tweaked fascia, altered grille design, revised fenders, and quad-reflector-style headlights. Bright metallic trim and lower protective cladding encompass the small SUV to demonstrate the convergence of the on- and off-road worlds.

The rear end was also given an adapted fascia with a more modern look. Fresh LED taillights, a spoiler, and lower-profile roof rails were part of the equation; the top-of-the-line Limited trim will have even more exterior chrome. Alloy wheels with 17-inch diameters are new and supplemented with 18-inch aluminum or chrome-clad rollers at the Limited level.

Inside, it's the same feel-good story we've seen throughout the rest of the Chrysler lineup. Little was left untouched, as the materials and overall finish were significantly overhauled. A reformed, three-spoke steering wheel gets a sound system, voice recognition, and cruise controls, while soft-touch trim panels and a padded dashboard were put on the build list. The center armrest and interior backlighting throughout the cabin are new. And a more attractive and appealing navigation system with available Uconnect residing in the center stack.