2017 Compass is improved and impressive

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, May 20th, 2017

All-new 2017 Jeep® Compass makes North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Compass expands the Jeep brand’s global vehicle reach with a world-class compact SUV that enters a growing segment worldwide delivering legendary benchmark capability. Built in four countries – with 17 powertrain combinations – it will be available for markets all around the world.

Jeep® Compass Limited
By David Goodspeed
Special Contributor

Jeep, a name synonymous with off-roading around the globe, is
earning quite the urban reputation for itself, too. In recent years
the iconic wonder brand of the Fiat Chrysler Automobile group has been
winning over car buyers who will never take their vehicles off paved
surfaces thanks, in part, to models such as the Jeep Compass.
For 2017, Jeep moves the Compass compact cute ute to its small
wide 4×4 global chassis as it expands to some 100 markets worldwide.
Compass gets all new styling as well as it reappears as a definite
younger sibling to the Grand Cherokee.
While Jeep will offer up to 17 powertrain options around the
globe, North American shoppers get the Tigershark 2.4-liter inline
four-cylinder gas engine mated to six-speed manual, six-speed
automatic, or nine-speed automatic gearboxes, depending on which model
and running gear configuration they choose.
The new Compass is offered in front- and four-wheel drive
models. Should you opt for the latter you can then also select from
Active Drive or Active Drive Low 4×4 systems. These both include
Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system with Auto, Snow, Sand, Mud, and even Rock
modes to match your Compass with the type terrain or road conditions
you encounter. And despite its pampered lifestyle appearance, a new
Jeep Compass with 4×4 can send up to 100 percent torque to any one
wheel at any given time for maximum traction.
We found the 2017 Jeep Compass to not only look so much better
than its predecessor but its ride and drive has improved greatly as
well. This new chassis is a bit wider and longer than the one it
replaces and it is much more rigid. While it still occupies somewhat
of a small footprint it is much more stable a ride while also being
smoother and quieter. It is easy to operate and maneuver and is
perfect for the modern urban Jeep lifestyle.
This slightly larger Compass arrives to not only replace the
outgoing nameplate but sends Patriot to the archives as well. Compass
fits in between Renegade and Cherokee in the Jeep showroom. I
questioned Jeep’s decision to even bring this model to market years
ago but sales have done quite well and with the improvements for 2017
this may be a best-seller.
Our recent tester arrived in the new Compass Sport form with
front-wheel drive and equipped with the six-speed automatic. I am not
exactly sure what the Sport designation is supposed to be significant
of as I found there to be very little sport in this model. Other trim
levels include Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Sport is the base
model and as such features all of the basic amenities to get a
consumer to drive one off the showroom floor. It features cloth
interior, push button start, remote keyless entry, speed control, and
ParkView rear backup camera. Infotainment display is smallish at only
five inches of touchscreen acreage and the audio system, while basic,
gets the job done. No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on this base
Uconnect 5.0 system.
Jeep did throw on a few optional items in this tester that
include sport appearance and technology packages that basically add
more stylish 16-inch wheels, black side roof rails, ParkSense rear
park assist, SiriusXM satellite radio, and deep tint sunscreen glass.
Pricing for the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass begins at $20,995 with
this tester coming in at $24,680.
Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway.
Engine power is rated at 180hp and 175 lb. ft. of torque. We
drove in city and highway conditions and even loaded it up with four
adults and found acceleration to be quite adequate. There is a bit of
engine noise but I have rarely found any four-banger to be luxury
With all of the improvements Jeep has made with this
next-generation Compass I am moving my recommendation of “don’t waste
your time” to a status of “make sure you cross-shop this model” for
those looking at compact utility vehicles.


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