Built on a car-based platform shared with the Dodge Caliber, the Compass is one of two front-wheel-drive models from Jeep — the other being the compact Patriot. Both cars are examples of why so-called crossover vehicles are supplanting traditional truck-based SUVs. Trim levels include the Sport and better-equipped Limited.
Jeep's compact, car-based Compass lacks the off-road chops its larger siblings boast, but it can tread lightly off the beaten path thanks to optional four-wheel drive. Compass competitors include the Honda Element and Ford Escape.
New for 2010
There are no significant changes for 2010.
The Compass looks like the child of an older Liberty model and the current Grand Cherokee. The doors have matching moldings that dress up a deliberate accent groove. Body-colored door handles are available, in addition to standard black handles.
- Standard body-colored front and rear bumpers and grille
- Standard fog lamps
- Standard side roof rails
- 17-inch aluminum wheels (Sport)
- 18-inch aluminum wheels (Limited)
- 18-inch aluminum chrome-clad wheels (optional on Limited)
- Optional sunroof
- Optional bright overlays for bumpers
For 2010, interior changes are minor, with the Compass gaining optional automatic climate control. The interior features a 60/40-split folding rear seat, plus an optional power driver's seat, optional fold-flat front passenger seat and optional power windows.
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard illuminated cupholders
- Available cloth, stain-resistant cloth or leather upholstery
- Optional hands-free communication system
- Optional navigation
Under the Hood
The Compass and Patriot are Jeep's first models with four-wheel-independent suspensions. The brand's other SUVs retain a solid rear axle, which offers advantages in some off-road situations.
The Compass has floor and engine-compartment silencers and an exhaust resonator that Jeep says will provide a quieter ride. Suspension tuning on Sport models is designed to provide a smoother, more comfortable ride.
- 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 141 pounds-feet of torque
- 172-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 165 pounds-feet of torque
- Five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission
- Front- or four-wheel drive
- Optional remote start
Safety features include:
- Standard hill-start assistance with manual transmission
- Standard side curtain airbags
- Standard electronic stability system with electronic roll mitigation
- Standard antilock braking system
- Standard traction control
- Standard Smart Key that immobilizes the engine in a theft attempt
- Optional seat-mounted side-impact airbags (front only)
- Optional alarm system