The only thing the 2017 jeep Compass has belonging with the model it replaces is its nameplate. And, considering that the previous Compass was never competitive in the hotly contested compact crossover section, that is a really good thing. Even better, after passing a strong day driving the redeemed Compass over the rivers, through the woods, and everyplace in between, we’re more than happy to forget the ill-conceived first-gen Compass entirely.
Put simply, to say that the new Compass is best than the previous one is an underestimation of Rubicon-size proportions. Whereas the previous Compass was encumbered with previous Chrysler’s MK rostrum, the 2017 model Compass shares its basic underpinnings with the smaller jeep Renegade, with the main difference being a 2.6-inch wheelbase stretch.
Jeep Compass Features
That does not sound like a lot, however in person the Compass feels much larger than the Renegade, partially because its bodywork bulges out in a more muscular way than its more playfully styled, smaller sibling. “Mini Grand Cherokee” could be a phrase that is been bandied about quite a bit, however only because it’s true. The Compass gets the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is standard in the Cherokee.
The naturally aspirated mill puts out 180 Horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torsion. Generally, the engine goes about its duties unobtrusively, however we definitely would not mind seeing a more powerful choice, particularly when competitors like the Hyundai Tucson offer small-displacement turbo engines. A six-speed manual is standard on Latitude and Sport models with either two- or four-wheel drive.
A six-speed auto is optional on front-drive Compass models, but we weren’t able to strive that combination. The nine-speed automatic that 4×4 models get – and that is also shared with the Cherokee – works pretty well in the Compass. Whether or not it’s revised software or the fact that it is a lighter vehicle than the Cherokee we do not know, however there is less hunting and unnecessary gear changing in the Compass than in its larger sibling.
Jeep Compass Price
Jeep did not have any base Compass Sport models for us to inspect, however we’re told they have cloth and vinyl seating surfaces in either black or tan and come standard with a small 5.0-inch touchscreen display. Base worth starts at $21,990 with a manual transmission, front-wheel drive, painted steelies, and zero choices. We spent the first half of the day in a mid-grade Compass Latitude, that starts at $25,290 and can probably be the volume model. A nicely equipped Latitude 4×4 with an automatic transmission, the largest Uconnect system, and Beats Audio rings the register at around $32,000.
Limited models begin at $29,990 and get four-wheel drive standard to go along with bells and whistles like heated leather seats (with power adjustments for the driver), dual-zone climate control, and 18-inch aluminium wheels. But real jeep enthusiasts will be most interested in the Trailhawk. The first-gen Compass was too soft, too ugly, and too cheap. None of these things are true of the 2017 Compass.
It has a trail Rated variant with more off-road capability than anything else in its class. It looks like – and, a lot of importantly, it finally seems like – a real jeep. Please, join us in welcoming jeep back to the compact SUV class that it invented way back in ’84.