Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass

In its quest to reinvent a model lineup dominated by off-road capable gas-guzzling SUVs, Jeep introduced the all-new Compass in 2007. The Jeep Compass is targeted toward consumers looking for a crossover SUV, but aims to retain the off-road capability and toughness that Jeep built its brand image on. Competing in the compact crossover market, the Compass was one of a number of new models introduced by Jeep with fuel efficiency and performance in mind.

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Model Overview

Jeep’s first Compass models in 2007 featured seating for five in a compact, four-door design and was powered by a 2.4L four-cylinder engine capable of a paltry 172-hp; hardly the stuff of Jeep legend. These early models looked like oversized station wagons on SUV tires, but they fit the need for an emerging consumer segment hungry for smaller SUVs that were more fuel efficient.

From its introduction with the 2007 model, the Jeep Compass remained largely unchanged through the 2008, 2009, and 2010 model years. It was not until the release of the all new 2014 Compass the vehicle received a more significant all-around upgrade.

The 2014 Jeep Compass comes in three trims: Sport, Latitude, and Limited. The sport comes in a 5-speed maual transmission while the Lattitude and Limited editions come in either 6-speed automatic tranmission or AutoStick® automatic transmission options. Some of the luxurious features that the 2014 Jeep Compass offers is a 1-year SiriusXM radio service and 6.5 inch touch screen display for the Limited edition owners.

Safety Ratings

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2014 Jeep Compass rated 3 out of 5 stars in frontal crash tests and 4 out of 5 stars in rollover prevention tests.

The 2014 Jeep Compass offers an array of safety features such as driver air bag, front and side air bags, electronic stability control, passenger air bags, rear head air bag, 4-wheel ABS, brake assist, and child safety locks.

Noteworthy about the Jeep Compass

  • The 2008 Jeep Compass was named as a finalist for Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year 2007” award.

  • The 2011 Jeep Compass was AutoPacific’s 2010 “Ideal Vehicle” award winner.

  • Jeep Compass models only significant redesign prior to the 2014 model year came with the 2011 Compass. The 2011 models were given a new front end with a sleeker design reminiscent of its older cousin the Grand Cherokee.

The Jeep Compass has struggled to ignite a fire in the belly of American consumers since its introduction, but there are positive signs that the remodeled 2014 Compass might expand the market for the smallest model in the Jeep lineup. According to Yahoo! Finance, the Jeep Compass posted the largest sales gain in the Jeep brand for January 2014.

At the end of the day, the Jeep Compass is geared more toward urban drivers looking for a higher profile on the road than a sedan will offer. While certainly capable of trudging through snow and dirt, it is not the ideal off-road vehicle. It is however, affordably priced for those looking for sturdier handling and performance in poor conditions without breaking the bank to get it.