What Changed for 2008:
- Air conditioning becomes standard
- New chrome interior accents for all models
- Tire-pressure monitor now standard
- Manual shiftgate added to continuously variable transmission
- Engine and transaxle recalibrated to improve drivability and reduce noise
The Compass points a new way for Jeep. While Jeeps traditionally have been designed to conquer rugged off-road terrain, the Compass is designed more for urban streets. Introduced for the 2007 model year, it is Jeep's entry into the compact crossover sport utility (CUV) segment and is the first Jeep built on a front-wheel-drive (FWD) platform. It is also offered with a 4-wheel drive (4WD) system called \"Freedom Drive I\" that is designed for dealing with adverse weather rather than serious off-roading. Only 4-cylinder power is available. Seating is for 5 with a second-row seat that folds down for 53.6 cubic feet of cargo room. An available fold-flat front passenger seat allows for loading larger items.
For 2008, Jeep Compass Sport and Limited models are offered, each with FWD or 4WD. Standard on Sport are cloth upholstery; air conditioning; outside-temperature indicator; AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary audio jack; vinyl load floor; center console sliding armrest with cell phone or MP3 pocket; 60/40-split rear seat; tilt steering column; fog lamps; roof rails; and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The Limited version adds leather-trimmed and heated front bucket seats; height-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar adjustment; fold-flat front passenger seat; reclining rear seat; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; cruise control; Sirius satellite radio; power windows, mirrors and locks; remote keyless entry; electronic vehicle information center; auto-dimming rearview mirror; universal garage door opener; floor mats; and P215/55R18 tires. Options include a DVD-based navigation system; sunroof; premium sound system with 2 articulating liftgate speakers, 6 Boston Acoustics speakers, and subwoofer; YES Essentials cloth upholstery that Jeep says is stain-, odor- and static-resistant; chromed aluminum wheels; and a 6-disc CD changer.
The 2008 Jeep Compass comes standard with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 172 hp at 6000 rpm and 165 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. EPA fuel economy numbers are 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway with 2WD and manual transmission; 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway with AWD and manual transmission; 21 mpg city/25 mpg highway with 2WD and CVT; and 21 mpg city/24 mpg highway with AWD and CVT. Available as a credit option for the 2WD Sport model is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 158 hp at 6400 rpm and 141 lb.-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm. It comes only with the CVT and the EPA fuel economy estimates are 23 mpg city/27 mpg highway. The Compass's Freedom Drive I 4WD system does not have low-range gearing but does have a locking center differential to send 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels.
Standard safety features on the 2008 Jeep Compass consist of dual front air bags; head-protecting curtain side air bags; tire-pressure monitor; anti-lock brakes with brake assist; traction control; and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Torso-protecting front side air bags are optional. The Jeep Compass has earned 4-star ratings for the driver and front passenger in front-impact tests and 5-star ratings for front-seat and rear-seat passengers in side-impact tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It has also earned a 4-star rollover-resistance rating from the NHTSA.
Jeep's continuously variable automatic transmission doesn't use fixed gears. Instead, it uses two V pulleys and a steel push belt to provide an infinite number of gear ratios over a finite range, the automaker explains. It works much the way bicycle gearing works. The Compass's CVT is available with Jeep's AutoStick feature which allows drivers to choose from six preset gear ratios or to operate like a standard CVT, Jeep adds.