The 2017 Jeep Compass will be delivered to Monken Dodge Chrysler Jeep in 2 weeks. Here is an article we recently read in USA Today by Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press.
The new compact SUV’s upscale looks outclass similarly priced competitors, and its off-road ability would literally leave them in its tracks.
Priced from $22,090 including shipping and arriving in Jeep dealerships within a few weeks, the Compass seats five. On size, it fits between Jeep’s Renegade subcompact and midsize Cherokee SUVs.
The Compass has about the same size and power as compact SUVs such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson, but its off-road ability and upscale looks lift it above most of the competition.
The 2017 Compass is all-new, sharing almost nothing but its name with the previous Compass, a dreary model Jeep developed when DaimlerChrysler owned the brand. The old Compass and its sibling, the Patriot, went out of production late last year.
The new Compass looks a bit like a scaled-down version of the Grand Cherokee, Jeep’s most prestigious model. It’s rounder and more sophisticated than the squared off Renegade and Wrangler SUVs.
Two-tone paint adds an elegant black roof and pillars that combine with LED taillights, projector head lights, leather upholstery, soft interior materials, big touch screen and optional 19-inch wheels for a ritzy look and feel.
The seats are comfortable. Cargo and passenger space are good. The storage bin under the front seat’s center armrest is small.
The 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and 9-speed automatic transmission deliver plenty of power for everyday driving. The new Compass, in its front-drive, manual transmission version, is rated at 23 miles per gallon in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined. A 4-wheel-drive Compass with the 9-speed automatic scored 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. It can tow up to 2,000 pounds.
The Compass is quiet on the highway and over rough paved surfaces, even with the top $30,090 Limited model’s optional 19-inch wheels.
I drove a 4-wheel-drive Compass Limited through sweeping interstate highways and among free-roaming livestock on twisty ranch roads. The SUV was surprisingly fluid through curves and dips. The brakes were easy to modulate, and the 9-speed transmission shifted quickly and smoothly. The steering was direct and responsive.
I took an offroad-ready Trailhawk with the same engine and greater off-road capability over a challenging course of hills, rock, sand, mud and water on a ranch a couple of hours drive from San Antonio.
The Compass forded fast streams swelled by thunderstorms. The most off-road capable model, the Trailhawk, has 8.5 inches of ground clearance and can make it through 19 inches of water. Its low gears allowed the Compass to negotiate steep hills, boulder-strewn arroyos and ruts that left one wheel suspended in the air. The chassis was devoid of creaks as it clambered over the obstacles.
The Compass’s short front and rear overhangs will serve it well as it navigates between trees and other obstacles on tight off-road trails.
No other compact SUV on the market, with the possible exception of the $41,800-up Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, could handle the course.
Few owners will use it, but that level of capability validates the new Compass’s credentials as a legitimate Jeep. Add value and upscale looks, and it’s easy to see why Fiat Chrysler expects the Compass to carry Jeep sales to new heights around the world.