Jeep is one funny automaker. Jeep maintains a close group of SUVs, which almost look alike. The Compass, for example, is almost identical to the Renegade, Cherokee and close cousin Fiat 500X. However, this was not so in the not so distant past as Jeep was staring at the oblivion. However, the fall in fuel prices sparked a craving for Crossovers and SUVs worldwide giving the brand a new lease of life. Jeep has quickly regained ground to the level of inventing a segment on its own. This is what the automaker has done with the Compass. The automaker has created a new body size between the compact Cherokee and subcompact Renegade. In a real sense, the 2017 Jeep Compass does not have a direct competitor but competes with models bigger and smaller than it. For example, it slots in between Mazda CX-3 and CX-5, between the Chevrolet Trax and Equinox as well as between the Nissan Juke and Rogue. Jeep is particularly a hit in Brazil hence the automaker’s decision to launch it in the land of the “Samba”. Read along to find out more:
2017 Jeep Compass Exterior
Jeep has hooked up the Compass with a more family-like face, which makes it look more mature than the outgoing model. At the front, the lower fascia is steeply racked to help approaches on off-road terrain. The models also come with HID projector beam lights, LED DRLs and lower fog lights that help when driving through dimly lit terrain. The Trail Rated trim, in fact, has a 30-degree approach angle and an inch longer ground clearance level. The Trailhawk also has a 19-inch founding depth. The belly features underbody skid plates for additional protection.
All trims feature blacked-out roofs along with blacked-out A-, B-and C-pillars. However, the D-pillar features the body color. I hoped Jeep would add the detachable roof like the case with the Renegade but it has a panoramic moonroof as a consolation.
At the rear, the Compass features an attractive rump, a deeply scalloped tailgate and an attractive rump. Chrome accent strips flank the rear window. The bumper is integrated with twin exhaust tips only on the Limited trim while other trims feature only a single exhaust tip.
Overall, the Compass is attractive than the model it replaces. The chassis is made up of 65% of high-strength steel, which has enhanced its rigidity, crash performance, suspension tuning as well as weight efficiency. The structure is held together by structural adhesives.
2017 Jeep Compass Interior
Inside, the Compass looks identical to other Jeep models, particularly the Cherokee. On the dash, you will find a twin-barrel center stack with an air vent on each side. The model features the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system (Lower trims get 5.0 –inch or 7.0-inch touch screens). The screens come with pinch-and-zoom capability. Below the infotainment system are dual zone HVAC controls. Further below is a USB port, a 12-volt power outlet, Aux-input jack and the AWD rotary knob. On the center console, Jeep features a carried over shifter integrated with manual shift controls and other switches. The steering wheel is integrated with various controls such as speed, audio and voice controls.
The cabin is comfortable for both front and rear passengers. The seats are wrapped in 2-tone leather with a red contrast stitching. The front seats have 4-way headrests. The second row of seats provides ample seating space for up to three passengers. However, while the front seats are cooled, it is not clear whether the back seats are cooled. The rear will, however, feature USB ports and cup holders for rear passengers to put their drinks. The seats feature a 60/40 split folding function to expand cargo capacity from 438 liters to 1,251 liters when needed.
On the tech department, the Uconnect system features Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Siri voice control which enable drivers to access music, make phone calls and to receive voice-guided navigation.
On matters safety, the model is well loaded with up to 70 safety and security features. Among other things, the model features 7 airbags, a rear back up camera featuring dynamic grid lines, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and rear cross traffic alert.
The automaker offers a panoramic dual-sunroof as an option.
Engine Specs and performance
As of this writing, Jeep has not confirmed the drive-trains that will power the Compass. However, I understand that the lineup will be revamped to offer more off-road credibility. According to rumors, the base Compass will be propelled by a 2.0 L mill capable of producing 160 hp.
Next up is a 2.4 L Tiger shark 4-cylinder turbocharged mill that has been refined to offer more juice. The engine has been hooked up with the automaker’s MultiAir2 valvetrain system, which features 4 valves per cylinder. The system is operated by an electro-variable valve timing system that is hydraulically controlled. This bumps output by 8 hp and 10 lb-ft of torque to 180 horses and 175 lb-ft of torque.
The mills will be offered with three transmission choices. The first option is a 6-speed manual transmission system offered as standard. This transmission is on the other hand paired with a FWD or AWD system. A 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission is offered as an option for FWD models. Top trims will have an option for a 9-speed automatic transmission system available on models with 4WD. The 4WD system is offered in two flavors (Active Drive As well as Active Drive Low).
Price and release date
Jeep is still keeping the pricing card close to its chest waiting to play it at the right time. I think the base models will carry an MSRP of $18,990 while top trims could fetch around $25,000. I expect the model to make an appearance at the Los Angeles show this November with sales starting early 2017.