For the most recent model year, the Limited model is available in a 4x2 powertrain layout. Otherwise, the Compass remains essentially unchanged.
The Compass is a compact crossover, slotting above the Jeep Renegade and below the Jeep Cherokee. It seats five adults in a similar configuration to most midsize sedans.
The previous-generation Compass was, frankly, an unlovable design. Now, the exterior is a compromise between the elegant, upscale musculature of the Grand Cherokee and the youthful, athletic lines of the Renegade.
Jeep has simplified the Compass to a single engine with multiple transmission and 4x4 system options to suit customer needs.
Inside, the Compass features excellent visibility along with a handsomely designed and ergonomically sound center stack. Many surfaces which once felt cheap have been upgraded with the latest redesign.
The dash design flows outward from a prominent infotainment surround, drawing from the same basic design of the Renegade and Cherokee dashboards. The base model comes with a five-inch touchscreen backed up by FCA's updated Uconnect system. As you step up through the trims, that screen grows to seven and then eight-point-four inches (those two larger units also boast Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration).
Elsewhere in the cabin, prominent improvements include new seats with far more attractive designs and accents; a thick, attractive three-spoke steering wheel; a new surround for the leather-wrapped gear selector (along with a stitched leather boot); a redesigned instrument cluster with a digital information display and significant updates to the dash and trim materials found throughout.
Rear cargo area checks in at 27.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 59.8 with them folded.
Chassis and powertrains
The Compass now rides on a platform boasting a MacPherson strut setup in the front and a Chapman strut setup in the rear.
The Compass is offered with several powertrain configurations, depending on whether you prefer a milder or wilder crossover experience.
The basic configuration is a 2.4L four-cylinder engine paired with front-wheel-drive and a manual transmission. The engine is rated at 180 horsepower and 175lb-ft of torque. This combo is rated at 23 MPG city and 32 highway. 4x4 can be added, at the expense of fuel economy (22/31).
The basic automatic transmission offered on the Compass is a six-speed unit. It's available only in front-wheel drive configurations. The automatic transmission paired to 4x4 models is FCA's nine-speed unit.
Standard and optional equipment
The Compass is offered in Sport, Latitude, Altitude, Limited and Trailhawk variants.
Sport is the base model. Standard equipment includes manual six-way adjustable seats, a 60/40-split folding rear bench, cloth seating with brown contrast stitching, 12-volt power outlets in the cabin and cargo area, a 3.5-inch black and white cluster display, steering wheel controls, single-zone climate control, one-touch front power windows, 16-inch steel wheels and Selec-Terrain drive mode adjustment.
The standard infotainment system includes Media hub (USB port, aux input and in-cabin USB charging) along with six speakers and a 5-inch Uconnect 3 touchscreen display.
Upgrades include seven- and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreens with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, a leather seating package, heated seats and side mirrors, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a Beats premium sound system, 115-volt power outlets and an entire suite of upsized wheels befitting each trim and its mission.
Trailhawk is the big daddy. It's equipped with Jeep's Active Drive Low 4x4 system, which includes a step-down gear to simulate a low-range transfer case for serious off-roading, giving the Compass more all-terrain flexibility than other models in its class.
The Trailhawk also gets unique wheels, tow hooks and badges. More importantly, it boasts extra ground clearance, more underbody skid plates and aggressive tires. It also gets unique front and rear bumper covers to improve approach and departure angles.
Standard safety equipment includes seven front driver and passenger air bags, traction control, an electric parking brake, a rearview camera, active headrests, trailer sway damping and hill-start assist.
LaneSense lane departure warning and lane keeping assist is available in a package from the Latitude trim on up, as is forward collision warning with active braking and ParkSense.