2017 Jeep Compass, Small Size, Large Adventure
There are 2 versions of the 2017 Jeep Compass; one being a reissue of the 2016 compass and the other being the all new version that greatly resembles it’s big brothers the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. The new edition has been redesigned from the ground up including power, transmission and infotainment. The mid-production switch confounds consumers and journalists.
The obvious change is the front grill that now sports the seven slatted iconic nose found on the Cherokee. Also copied from the larger Jeep are the aerodynamic, wrap around headlamps and lower facia.
Less noticeable but more important are the improvements to the interior fabrics and trim as well as the more substantial power plant and transmission.
Starting with the base Sport model you get the 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine coupled to either a 6 speed manual transmission or the well respected Aisin 6 speed automatic. This 180 horsepower plant greatly improves the driving ability of the Compass. If you move up the all wheel drive option you get a 9 speed automatic.
The sport model comes well equipped with a six speed manual transmission, keyless entry, push button start, backup camera, air conditioning, 5 inch U-Connect with steering wheel mounted controls, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows and Bluetooth. Safety is enhanced with 7 airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes and roll mitigation. With a starting sticker price of 20,995 there is a lot of value in even the bottom of the lineup.
Our test car stickered at 24,680 that included the Aisin automatic transmission, Sports Appearance package and Technology package.
You can move up the Latitude, Trailhawk or Limited editions adding more included equipment at each level. The most popular version of the Jeep Compass will probably be the Latitude as it includes the most wanted add ons in safey and technology. If infotainment and connectivity are important the Latitude includes the 8.4 inch U-Connect with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
Keeping with the Jeep “DNA”
The Compass is available in a Trail Rated, Trailhawk configuration that gives the Jeep Compass true off road capabilities. Increased ground
clearance, under body skid plates, Jeep’s Active Drive low range transfer case with a 20 to 1 ratio crawl mode make the Compass a crossover not only in car class, but in terrain it can traverse.
Driving the Jeep Compass is effortless with little wander, good steering response, effective road dampening and decent if not really good acceleration. After a bit over 300 miles I was averaging about 28 miles per gallon in the Sport test car we had.
Front seat room is good and the cloth seat was comfortable after a couple of hours behind the wheel. The Jeep Compass gets an A+ for maneuverability in town and being able to park in even the tightest spots. Rear seat leg room is a bit short but not cramped if all passengers are average sized.
The 5 inch standard U-Connect is a big improvement over the similar unit found in the Wrangler, but far short of the features offered by the 8.4 inch system. I found
connecting easy but reconnect a bit slow and often had to reset the media player. There was no Apple Car Play or Android Auto to allow you to piggy back a navigation system into it.
I missed the automatic headlamps that are so common on most cars, and the keyless remote does not provide a proximity sense for unlocking the doors. I was also unable to find a way to change the lock unlock programming to allow for unlocking all doors when I shut the car off.
The all new 2017 Jeep Compass offers a lot for the low price and provides a safe and well equipped small crossover SUV for the buyer wanting a practical option. The 5 year, 60,000 mile power train warranty will give the buyer a bit of extra peace of mind.
Reviewed on air April 8, 2017, listen here: