LOS ANGELES—Jeep introduced a redesigned version of its compact Compass SUV at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass slots in between the subcompact Jeep Renegade and the slightly larger (but still compact-class) Jeep Cherokee. The new Compass replaces both the previous Compass and the Patriot (which is being discontinued) in Jeep’s model lineup.
The new Compass’s styling should appeal to Jeep fans; it looks like a perfect mix of Grand Cherokee and Cherokee design cues. Trim levels follow Jeep’s regular roster of Sport, Latitude, and Limited, and off-road-ready Trailhawk models.
The new Compass is intended as a global-market vehicle. It will be built in four different countries—Brazil, China, Mexico, and India—for worldwide distribution. Five engine choices will be available worldwide, but the U.S. just gets one for now: a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder engine that is rated at up to 30 mpg. A choice of three transmissions is offered: a 9-speed automatic for 4WD models, a 6-speed automatic for 2WD models, and an available 6-speed manual transmission for both 2WD and 4WD models.
Two Active Drive full-time 4WD systems will be available; the enthusiast-oriented Active Drive Low version has a 20:1 crawl ratio. Active Drive Low is standard in the Trail Rated Compass Trailhawk model, which also comes standard with aggressive off-road tires, hill-descent control. Selec-Terrain with exclusive Rock mode, skid plates, tow hooks, an increased ride height, and unique front and rear fasciae.
A dual pane sunroof; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; the latest-generation UConnect touchscreen infotainment system with pinch and zoom capability; and fuel-saving engine stop/start technology are other available Compass features.
Available safety features include lane-departure warning, a forward-collision warning system, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera with dynamic grid lines.
The original Compass was a good seller for Jeep, but it came up a bit short in the refinement department. This new model should be a solid entry in a very important market segment—it promises better fit and finish than its predecessor, along with appealing Grand Cherokee-esque styling at a more accessible price point.