NEWS

2017 Jeep Compass Preview

img244332076 1479145831396 jpg 2017 Jeep Compass | Manufacturer image

Competes with: Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue

Looks like: A Jeep Grand Cherokee had a “moment” with a Cherokee

Drivetrain: One engine (a 2.4-liter four-cylinder), two four-wheel drive systems, three transmissions (six-speed manual and six-and nine-speed automatics) 

Hits dealerships: To be announced

CARS.COM — Jeep is taking its Compass in a new direction as a modern global product to be built in Brazil, China, Mexico and India and sold in more than 100 countries. The new Compass replaces the decade-old “Compatriot” twins, the Jeep Compass and Patriot SUVs that rolled out in 2006 on a platform developed by DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi, and are having a short 2017 model year.

More 2016 LA Auto Show Coverage

In size, and likely in price, the new Compass slots in the Jeep SUV lineup between the almost mid-size Jeep Cherokee and new subcompact Jeep Renegade. It is a key product for the brand, fitting squarely in the hot compact SUV segment but with a distinct Jeep flavor: a more rugged look and at least some models with more off-road capability than the competition.

It will be offered in four familiar Jeep trims: Sport, Latitude and Limited, as well as an off-road-oriented Trailhawk.

Exterior

The Compass is instantly recognizable as a Jeep. If you mated a Grand Cherokee and a Cherokee, you might get this youngster; it has styling cues from each model in its side character lines and squared wheel openings. It sits wide with muscular haunches and has a Cherokee-like kicked-up beltline, but it eschews that model’s eccentric headlight design for a seven-slot Jeep grille and headlights more like the Grand Cherokee. Like both models, the new Compass’ LED taillights wrap into the liftgate, which is available with power. Roof options include stylish, chrome-trimmed gloss black or an anti-glare decal on the Trailhawk.

The more aggressive Trailhawk version also gets skid plates and its own bumper designed to offer a 30-degree approach angle and 34-degree departure. It also sits almost an inch higher for a 24-degree breakover angle. And it wouldn’t be a Trailhawk without Jeep’s signature red tow hooks front and rear.

Interior

Inside, the family resemblance continues with the six-sided pod in the center dash housing air vents and the 5-, 7- or 8-inch display; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ latest generation of Uconnect multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is available. Also available is a configurable 7-inch driver information display that Jeep boasts is the segment’s largest.

Charging and connectivity ports sit ahead of the traditional lever shifter with an open cubby for smaller devices and a mesh pocket for larger ones on the side of the console. The dash has a logical layout and the interior has a good-looking, clean design with interesting shapes and textures and color accents on upscale models.

Under the Hood

All models will be powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 180 horsepower and 175 pounds-feet of torque, has a start-stop system and will be good for up to 30 mpg, says Jeep. It will be mated to three transmission offerings and three drive systems. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic will be offered on front-wheel-drive models; all-wheel-drive models will have FCA’s nine-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.

The two AWD systems offered are the Jeep Active Drive full-time 4×4 system and the Jeep Active Drive Low full-time 4×4 system (standard on the Trailhawk) that includes a 20:1 crawl ratio. Both systems can send 100 percent of power to a single wheel and feature a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit to improve fuel efficiency.

Both systems also include a selectable drive mode with Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus a Rock mode on the Trailhawk, which also has selectable speed and hill descent controls.

Safety

Available safety features include a backup camera with dynamic lines, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.

img1520866705 1479145918793 jpg img1521790226 1479145922628 jpg img245255597 1479145834427 jpg img 1654717845 1479145804999 jpg img243408555 1479145828878 jpg img246179118 1479145837815 jpg img247102639 1479145839654 jpg img248026160 1479145841091 jpg img248949681 1479145842371 jpg img1478918359 1479145889273 jpg img 508539612 1479145863345 jpg img1505700468 1479145910909 jpg img 507616091 1479145867114 jpg img1476147796 1479145881642 jpg img1473377233 1479145874411 jpg img1474300754 1479145876404 jpg img249873202 1479145843790 jpg img250796723 1479145845262 jpg img272037706 1479145846819 jpg img244332076 1479145831396 jpg img 1653794324 1479145807344 jpg img272961227 1479145848570 jpg img273884748 1479145849696 jpg img274808269 1479145851035 jpg img275731790 1479145852033 jpg img276655311 1479145853069 jpg img277578832 1479145854038 jpg img280349395 1479145856552 jpg img 1652870803 1479145811013 jpg img300666857 1479145858719 jpg img301590378 1479145859972 jpg img302513899 1479145861115 jpg img303437420 1479145862261 jpg img 1651947282 1479145813403 jpg img 1651023761 1479145816131 jpg img 1650100240 1479145819180 jpg img 1649176719 1479145821927 jpg img 1648253198 1479145825612 jpg img1475224275 1479145878566 jpg img1448442166 1479145871894 jpg img1479841880 1479145892750 jpg img1502929905 1479145904354 jpg img1502006384 1479145900947 jpg img1503853426 1479145907191 jpg img1504776947 1479145909168 jpg img1507547510 1479145913484 jpg img1508471031 1479145914645 jpg img1529712014 1479145916945 jpg img1509394552 1479145915812 jpg img1530635535 1479145917737 jpg img1520866705 1479145918793 jpg img1521790226 1479145922628 jpg img245255597 1479145834427 jpg img 1654717845 1479145804999 jpg img243408555 1479145828878 jpg img246179118 1479145837815 jpg img247102639 1479145839654 jpg img248026160 1479145841091 jpg img248949681 1479145842371 jpg img1478918359 1479145889273 jpg img 508539612 1479145863345 jpg img1505700468 1479145910909 jpg img 507616091 1479145867114 jpg img1476147796 1479145881642 jpg img1473377233 1479145874411 jpg img1474300754 1479145876404 jpg img249873202 1479145843790 jpg img250796723 1479145845262 jpg img272037706 1479145846819 jpg img244332076 1479145831396 jpg img 1653794324 1479145807344 jpg img272961227 1479145848570 jpg img273884748 1479145849696 jpg img274808269 1479145851035 jpg img275731790 1479145852033 jpg img276655311 1479145853069 jpg img277578832 1479145854038 jpg img280349395 1479145856552 jpg img 1652870803 1479145811013 jpg img300666857 1479145858719 jpg img301590378 1479145859972 jpg img302513899 1479145861115 jpg img303437420 1479145862261 jpg img 1651947282 1479145813403 jpg img 1651023761 1479145816131 jpg img 1650100240 1479145819180 jpg img 1649176719 1479145821927 jpg img 1648253198 1479145825612 jpg img1475224275 1479145878566 jpg img1448442166 1479145871894 jpg img1479841880 1479145892750 jpg img1502929905 1479145904354 jpg img1502006384 1479145900947 jpg img1503853426 1479145907191 jpg img1504776947 1479145909168 jpg img1507547510 1479145913484 jpg img1508471031 1479145914645 jpg img1529712014 1479145916945 jpg img1509394552 1479145915812 jpg img1530635535 1479145917737 jpg

 

Photo of Fred Meier
Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

Latest expert reviews