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2017 Jeep Compass Preview

2017 Jeep Compass Preview

By Christian Wardlaw, November 17, 2016
  • New compact crossover SUV with genuine off-road capability
  • Replaces both the existing Compass and Patriot in Jeep’s lineup
  • Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk trim levels
  • 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel or 4-wheel drive
  • Built in Toluca, Mexico
  • On sale in spring of 2017

Introduction:

For a short period of time, your local Jeep dealership might be selling two distinctly different versions of the 2017 Jeep Compass.

The Compass shown here is the redesigned Compass. It does not go on sale until the spring of 2017. The Compass sitting on your local Jeep dealership’s lot until the new one arrives is the old Compass. You can tell the difference between the two because the old Compass is a Jeep you do not want to buy, while the new Compass is a Jeep you probably do want to buy.

Built in four different countries and sold in more than 100 countries, the new 2017 Jeep Compass comes in Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk trim levels. It is a compact crossover SUV with genuine off-roading capability, and it slots into Jeep’s lineup between the smaller Renegade and larger Cherokee.

Exterior Features:

Another way you can tell the difference between the new Compass and the old Compass is that the new Compass is an attractive, balanced design that looks like it was styled by someone with 20/20 vision. Clearly inspired by the Grand Cherokee, the new 2017 Compass is a balanced and cohesive design, lacking the Renegade’s cuteness and the Cherokee’s weirdness.

Depending on the trim level, wheel sizes range from 16 to 19 inches, and the larger the footprint the better this SUV looks. A gloss black roof treatment is an option, providing an even more distinctive appearance.

Compass Trailhawk models are designed for off-roading, so they have revised styling and a higher ride height for improved approach, breakover, and departure angles. Wheels are smaller, at 17 inches, but the turning radius is also tighter, helping when trying to maneuver in tight situations. A black hood graphic helps to reduce sun glare when traversing trails.

Interior Features:

Interior design is modeled after the Cherokee, and this is a good thing. Because the cabin is rather narrow, four people will be happier than five. Notably, Jeep offers a front passenger’s seat height adjustment to improve comfort levels.

As befits a Jeep, the Compass is said to possess plenty of interior storage, and the cargo area is equipped with a multi-level floor. Space measures 27.2 cubic feet behind the rear seat. Fold the rear seat down, and the Compass can swallow 59.8 cu.-ft. of cargo.

Optional Features:

Jeep offers numerous option packages for the Compass. One of the most important for cold climate dwellers is the Cold Weather Group. It includes heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a windshield wiper de-icer, remote engine starting, and all-season floor mats.

Additional highlights from the Compass’s optional equipment list includes leather seats, an 8-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, an open-air dual-pane sunroof, a 115-volt power outlet, and a power rear liftgate.

Under the Hood:

Every redesigned 2017 Jeep Compass will have a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 180 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 175 lb.-ft. torque at 3,900 rpm. An automatic engine stop/start system helps to conserve fuel, and Jeep says the Compass will get up to 30 mpg on the highway.

A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard equipment, depending on trim level. Versions with front-wheel drive can be fitted with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while Compass’s with 4-wheel-drive come with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Equipped with 4WD, Jeep says the all-new 2017 Compass supplies “best in class off-road capability.” Jeep Active Drive is a full-time 4WD system equipped with a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit that helps to conserve gas when four driven wheels are unnecessary. A Selec-Terrain system supplies Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud driving modes.

Upgrade to the “trail rated” Trailhawk model for a Jeep Active Drive Low 4WD system that adds a 20:1 crawl ratio, a Rock mode for the Selec-Terrain system, and Selec-Speed Control with hill descent control. The Compass Trailhawk also provides nearly an inch of increased ride height, skid plates, front and rear tow hooks, 17-inch off-road tires, 19 inches of water fording capability, a full-size spare tire, and 8.5 inches of ground clearance (vs. 8.2 inches for other Compass models with 4WD).

Jeep says the Compass 4WD can tow up to 2,000 pounds. Towing is not recommended for front-drive models.

Safety:

Jeep reports that the new Compass uses plenty of high-strength steel in its construction, the goal in part to provide excellent crash protection. This is a good thing, since the old Compass is not particularly safe.

A Safety and Security Group is available for the new Compass, installing a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking assist sensors, rain sensing wipers, and more. An Advanced Technology Group adds a forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, automatic high headlights, and a handful of other features.

Technology:

Compass will debut with Jeep’s next-generation Uconnect infotainment systems, equipped with 5-inch, 7-inch, or 8.5-inch touchscreen display sizes. Highlights include improved processing power, faster start-up time, and high-resolution graphics.

The Uconnect 7.0 and Uconnect 8.5 versions add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection technology, and a navigation system is available.

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