When you hear the name Jeep, you think of a Wrangler scaling boulders on the Rubicon trail. Well, the Compass isn’t that kind of Jeep. The Compass is Jeep’s first attempt at a crossover SUV. It’s far more at home on city streets than in the backwoods.
When the Jeep Compass was first introduced in 2007, it caused quite a stir. Jeep purists everywhere petitioned against a Jeep made solely for the on-pavement use. Much of the Compass’s underpinnings are based on that of its stable mate, the Dodge Caliber. It carries cushy independent suspension both front and rear.
There are currently three trim levels available on the Compass: Sport, Latitude and Limited. Engine options include either a 2.4L 4-cylinder or a 2.0L 4-cylinder. Transmission options include a 5-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). There is an optional full-time four-wheel drive system, which diverts power to the front wheels most of the time, and sends power to the rear wheels when needed.
In 2011, the Jeep Compass got a refresh allowing it to look more like its big brother, the Cherokee. At the same time, it got a revised interior and more standard equipment and a revised four-wheel drive system.
For model year 2014, the Compass got a new 6-speed automatic to replace the rather problematic CVT in most models. It also received minor styling tweaks both inside and out, as well as a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen audio interface, front seat side airbags and a review camera on limited models.
Not everyone can agree on the Compass – it’s unlike anything Jeep has made before. What no one can argue, however, is that the Compass sells well for Jeep. No matter what purists think, there is definitely a niche for a pavement-centric Jeep.