Jeep Compass OverviewThe Jeep Compass has continued with the same platform and mechanical underpinnings since its 2007 introduction. A significant refresh in 2011 gave it a similar nose to the Jeep Grand Cherokee and added an updated suspension system for better handling. The 2011 model year also brought in a new interior and offered additional package choices, including an off-road package with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). A mid-grade Latitude edition was released that year as well and slotted between the Sport and Limited.
Throughout its model run, the Jeep Compass has offered a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. Beginning in 2008 and extending to the present, a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine has also been offered.
Originally, the smaller engine made 158 horsepower and was available only in the base Sport model with a five-speed manual transmission. Beginning in 2012, Jeep offered the smaller engine with both Sport and Latitude editions, and paired the latter with a CVT. Starting in 2014, Jeep swapped out the CVT for a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.4-liter engine makes 172 horsepower and was originally paired with a five-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT. Beginning in 2014, the CVT was replaced by a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Jeep Compass has a seven vertical slat grille and flush headlight assemblies. A raised front bumper is accented by the available fog lamps. On its sides the Compass is marked by square wheel arches, upper character lines and lower body sculpting, and rocker panel trim. This four-door model has a coupe-like appearance as the rear door handles are set within the upper portion of the door frame. To the rear is an available spoiler, vertical light assembles, fog lights and a single exhaust port.
Inside, the Jeep Compass provides room for five. It offers premium cloth bucket seats up front and a 60-40 split-folding seat to the rear. The Compass offers 101.3 cubic feet of passenger volume and 22.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the second-row seat. Fold that seat down and the storage capacity increases to 62.7 cubic feet.
The instrument panel features a four-analog display with the tachometer and speedometer representing the most prominent gauges in the cluster. All models come with air conditioning, a tilt steering column, an audio input jack, a 12-volt outlet and an audio system.
Beginning in 2015, Jeep added two more trim levels — Altitude and High Altitude — slotting these on either side of the Latitude edition. It is with the Latitude edition that more features are added, including power windows, power door locks, a USB port, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a 115-volt auxiliary outlet.
Customers can also choose from infotainment upgrades with select models that include a navigation system. A CVT with off-road crawl is available with the Limited edition only. A rear stabilizer bar is standard; an off-road package is available with the Sport 4x4.
Chief competitors for the Jeep Compass include the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V. Buyers might also consider the Subaru XV Crosstrek, Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan.