The 2017 Jeep Compass is in a bit of an odd spot, rolling on-stage in Los Angeles at the 2016 LA Auto Show at the same time you can still buy a….2017 Jeep Compass, hailing from the previous generation, in Jeep showrooms across the country. Our suggestion is to wait for the latest and greatest, however, rather than try to snag a deal on the existing model because the off-road brand has put a lot of effort into improving what the compact SUV has to offer.
Here’s the breakdown: the redesigned Jeep Compass features a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine good for 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, allows you to choose between a six-speed manual and a six-speed (front-wheel drive) or nine-speed (four-wheel drive) automatic, and offers two distinct 4×4 systems. The more aggressive Active Drive Low incorporates low-range gearing, while the regular Active Drive physically decouples the rear axle during normal driving to help save fuel.
If you want to head off-road, this is one of the very few small SUVs that will let you do it without breaking an axle and voiding your warranty. The best option for adventure in the Compass is the Trailhawk trim, which incorporates a more focused suspension system, skid plates, a number of all-terrain driver’s aids, and the previously-mentioned 20:1 gearing for its four-wheel drive setup. The Compass Trailhawk joins the Cherokee Trailhawk and the Renegade Trailhawk to give Jeep total off-road dominance at the entry-level.
Other good things about the fresh Compass: styling that seems lifted almost directly from the larger, and handsome, Jeep Grand Cherokee, expanded access to improved interior materials, infotainment features, and safety gear from other Jeep models, and a reasonable, although not class-leading amount of cargo space. With a trio of compact SUVs now available, Jeep is poised to generate big bank from the current craze for all things lifted amongst family buyers.