10 things you need to know about the 2017 Jeep Compass Page 2


2017 Jeep Compass Limited

2017 Jeep Compass Limited

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One engine, three transmissions (unless you're reading this from another country)

American market Compasses are available in four flavors: 6-speed manual transmission models in front- and all-wheel drive, 6-speed automatic front-wheel drive, and 9-speed automatic all-wheel drive. The stick shift is only available on the Sport (FWD only) and Latitude (FWD or AWD). Jeep says it picked the 6-speed automatic over the 9-speed for front-drive models because it's less expensive, which helps keep sticker prices down, and because all-wheel drive models benefit more from the extra gears in terms of highway fuel efficiency. Those sold elsewhere will have at least one of 17 (yes, 17!) different powertrains

2017 Jeep Compass Limited

2017 Jeep Compass Limited

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Jeep now has two design languages

Jeep says its lineup is now divided into two distinct design languages. Tall, upright models are derived from the Wrangler, Jeep's icon that can trace its roots back to the original olive drab military vehicles deployed during World War II. For now, that list only includes the Renegade and Wrangler. The Compass is clearly linked to the larger Grand Cherokee, Jeep's more road-oriented upmarket model with its beak-like headlights, bulbous curves, and two-box shape. Jeep says its quirky Cherokee falls under the Grand Cherokee camp, but we are still convinced that it was delivered by aliens and not by the stork. Someone should do a DNA test.

2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

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It makes a lot of sense in Jeep's crossover and SUV lineup

From bottom to top the Jeep lineup is Renegade, Compass, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee. To our eyes, the Jeep crossover and SUV lineup now looks and feels complete, which is something the brand promised would eventually happen. The Renegade squares off against little 'utes like the Honda HR-V; the Cherokee rivals the Ford Escape and Subaru Forester; and the Grand Cherokee is kind of in a class of its own but draws comparisons to everything from the Ford Edge to the BMW X5. That leaves the Compass to do battle against everything from the similarly sized Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage to the upcoming Nissan Rogue Sport. If buyers are dead set on a Jeep, there's now one for every size and just about every pocketbook.

2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

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The Compass got a lot more expensive

Remember when we said that there are two 2017 Compasses? One is a lot cheaper than the other—and that's the old one, at $20,935. The new model comes in at $22,090 to start. That's a hefty bump, but where it's more noticeable is at the upper end of the lineup. With the old Compass, it wasn't possible to crest $30,000 even fully loaded. A highly optioned next-gen model runs more like $35,000. But the difference is immediately appreciable since the new Compass is available with high-spec features like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, 19-inch alloy wheels, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and an enormous panoramic moonroof. Plus, it's a lot better vehicle.

2017 Jeep Compass Limited

2017 Jeep Compass Limited

Enlarge Photo

All models are rated at least 30 mpg highway

The Compass ranks as one of the most fuel-efficient crossover lineups on the market, at least on paper. All versions are rated at more than 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined, and they use the same  2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 180-horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The thriftiest? That'll be the base front-drive, stick-shift model at 23 mpg city, 32 highway, 26 combined. At the opposite end of the spectrum (but not a lot thirstier) sits what's expected to be the volume choice: an all-wheel drive model with the 9-speed automatic, at 22/30/25 mpg.


 
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