The compact crossover is finally read to go off-roading

Launched in 2006 alongside the Patriot, the Compass was Jeep’s smallest modern crossover until the Renegade was launched in 2014. Come 2016, and the Compass received a much-deserved redesign that brings it into the 21st century design- and technology-wise. The crossover was initially unveiled in September 2016 in Brazil, but it has now made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Criticized for not looking like a true Jeep and lacking the off-road capability of other vehicles from the brand, the Compass was overhauled into a crossover that appears to fit much better in the brand’s current lineup. Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like a shrunken Grand Cherokee, but that’s a good thing. Let’s face it, the SUV’s aggressive front fascia looks pretty hot and works well with the Compass’ narrower, yet still imposing front view. Around back, it has a more Fiat-inspired, European stance that reminds me of the Cherokee, but it’s a massive improvement compared to the dull rear end of the first-generation model.

For the first time, the Compass gets a Trailhawk model, which comes with unique fascias, a revised suspension, Hill Descent Control and Rock Mode with the Selec-Terrain system, which, and a 20:1 crawl ratio. Sweet!

Inside, there a pretty simple looking dashboard that feels modern and more upscale than the outgoing model. Jeep offers three center LCD screen sizes, starting with a five-inch unit for the base model. The seven- and 8.4-inch touchscreens are optional. The same goes for the instrument cluster, with a standard 3.5-inch display and an optional seven-inch unit. Jeep also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two apps that are mandatory for any automaker that wants to stay relevant.

In the U.S., the new Compass will get its juice from the familiar 2.4-liter "Tigershark" four-cylinder engine. The mill is rated at 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, an eight-horsepower and 10-pound-foot update. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual with either two- or four-wheel-drive, a six-speed automatic for FWD versions, and a nine-speed auto for all-wheel-drive models only.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

2017 Jeep Compass Arrives In L.A. with Grand Cherokee-inspired Design and Trailhawk Model High Resolution Exterior
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The Compass was in dire need of a redesign and I’m actually surprised it took Jeep some ten years to replace the first-generation model. The good news is that it was worth waiting all this time. The new Compass comes with improvements in just about any department and the new features should make it one of the best vehicles in its class. The new Trailhawk model is also a great addition to the lineup that will enable the Compass to live up to its full potential on the unbeaten path.

Press Release

The all-new 2017 Jeep® Compass expands the brand’s global reach with an unmatched combination of attributes that includes legendary and best-in-class 4x4 off-road capability, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, premium and authentic Jeep design, superior on-road driving dynamics, open-air freedom, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings.

A truly global all-new compact SUV, the 2017 Jeep Compass will be manufactured in Brazil, China, Mexico and India, for consumers in more than 100 countries around the world.

2017 Jeep Compass Arrives In L.A. with Grand Cherokee-inspired Design and Trailhawk Model High Resolution Exterior
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“Our all-new 2017 Jeep Compass enters an extremely important and growing segment worldwide, and does so with an unmatched list of attributes that includes benchmark 4x4 off-road capability, exceptional on-road driving dynamics, fuel-efficient powertrains, countless advanced technology and safety features, all wrapped in a premium, authentic Jeep design,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “Built around the world for customers everywhere, Jeep Compass raises the bar in the compact-SUV segment.”

The 2017 Jeep Compass is available in four different trim configurations: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk.

2017 Jeep Compass Arrives In L.A. with Grand Cherokee-inspired Design and Trailhawk Model High Resolution Exterior
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Best-in-class off-road capability with two leading 4x4 systems
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass delivers best-in-class off-road capability, courtesy of two advanced, intelligent 4x4 systems, each of which can send 100 percent of available torque to any one wheel:

Jeep Active Drive – full-time 4x4 system
Jeep Active Drive Low – class-exclusive full-time 4x4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio

Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on- or off-road and in any weather condition. For even greater Trail Rated off-road capability, Selec-Terrain includes Selec-Speed Control with Hill-descent Control on Trailhawk models.

2017 Jeep Compass Arrives In L.A. with Grand Cherokee-inspired Design and Trailhawk Model High Resolution Interior
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Compass features a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU), in order to provide 4x4 models with enhanced fuel economy. Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems instantly engage when 4x4 traction is needed.

Trail Rated Jeep Compass Trailhawk
For those who seek adventure off the beaten path, the Compass Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4x4 capability with:

Standard Jeep Active Drive Low 4x4 20:1 crawl ratio
Selec-Terrain with exclusive Rock mode
Increased ride height of almost one inch, skid plates and Jeep signature red front and rear tow hooks
Unique fascias with 30-degree approach angle, 24-degree breakover angle and a 34-degree departure angle
Hill-descent Control
Aggressive 17-inch off-road tires
Up to 19 inches of water fording
Up to 2,000-lbs. towing capability

Superior on-road driving dynamics
FCA’s “small wide architecture,” a fully independent suspension, segment-exclusive Koni frequency damping front-and-rear-strut system, and precise electric power steering combine to deliver superior on-road driving dynamics in the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass.

Compass boasts a rigid foundation. The upper body structure and frame are engineered as a single unit for a stiff and more mass-efficient structure, and it is designed and built with an extensive use of high-strength steel and liberal use of structural adhesives. More than 65 percent high-strength steel is used for maximizing vehicle dynamics and crash performance while optimizing weight efficiency.

Advanced fuel-efficient powertrains
A total of five engines – three gasoline and two diesel – will be offered, depending on the market worldwide. In North America, the proven, fuel-efficient 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine will power the Compass, delivering up to 30 miles per gallon (mpg).

2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2
Efficiency and refinement also are hallmarks of FCA‘s 16-valve, 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 engine with the MultiAir2 electro-hydraulic, fully variable valve-actuation system. The advanced technology engine produces 180 horsepower, 175 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to the choice of three transmissions in North America:

Class-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission for 4x4 models
Six-speed manual transmission (4x2 and 4x4 models)
Aisin six-speed automatic transmission for 4x2 Compass models

Class-exclusive nine-speed transmission
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass is the only compact SUV to offer a nine-speed automatic transmission, enabling the vehicle to optimize engine output and for aggressive launches and smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds. The nine-speed transmission is standard on all Jeep Compass 4x4 models.

2017 Jeep Compass Arrives In L.A. with Grand Cherokee-inspired Design and Trailhawk Model High Resolution Exterior
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Six-speed manual transmission
All-new 2017 Jeep Compass 4x2 and 4x4 models are equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission. This proven transmission features a 6.68 ratio spread and a 4.438 final-drive ratio for fuel efficiency at faster speeds. Thanks to its first-gear launch ratio of 18.4:1, the gearbox delivers quick acceleration with smooth, precise shift quality.

Six-speed automatic transmission
Available on Jeep Compass 4x2 models, the Gen III six-speed automatic transmission features a 6.635 ratio spread and a 3.502 final-drive ratio for a responsive, enjoyable drive.

Authentic Jeep design with premium features and open-air freedom
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass features a premium, sculptural design aesthetic. The exterior design is expressive and emotional with a wide stance and exceptional glass-to-wheel proportions. The all-new compact SUV is immediately recognizable as a Jeep with its distinctive traditional Jeep design cues. Jeep designers gave the legendary seven-slot grille a fresh look by setting each of the individual chrome slots in a Gloss Black field. Headlamp bezels featuring a black outline add personality and attitude to the front of the all-new Jeep Compass.

The exterior of the 2017 Jeep Compass features a traditional clamshell hood with a double break line and center bulge.

A fast, dramatic roofline and muscular fenders and shoulders create a stunning profile. The available Gloss Black painted roof adds a unique, premium appearance in the compact SUV segment. An available dual-pane sunroof provides the largest opening possible, connecting Jeep drivers and passengers to the outdoors and open-air freedom.

A standout feature of the rear of the Compass is its unique LED tail lamps. Slim and rectangular in shape, the tail lamps flow into the liftgate for a commanding yet premium appearance instantly recognizable as a Jeep Compass on the road or trail.

For added consumer convenience, the 2017 Jeep Compass features a power liftgate helping ease cargo storage.

2017 Jeep Compass Arrives In L.A. with Grand Cherokee-inspired Design and Trailhawk Model High Resolution Exterior
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Upscale interior design boasts premium features and technology
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass interior design showcases a premium interior highlighted by sculptural surface elements and precise technical detail.

The trapezoidal center stack bezel is a characteristic Jeep design cue and sports a color and finish that complements the interior choice. The center stack houses the 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreen displays. The center console neatly integrates the functional features of the Jeep Compass, including gear-shift selection, Selec-Terrain controls, electronic parking break, engine stop-start (ESS) controls, climate and volume control knobs, and easily accessible media charging and connectivity ports within the cubby bin.

The driver’s cockpit is thoughtfully designed and features a 3.5- or 7-inch LED driver information display (DID) instrument cluster. The available full-color 7-inch DID – the largest in the segment – displays information that the driver may configure for easier access while driving. The Jeep steering wheel with integrated audio, voice and speed controls enables drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and attention focused on the road ahead.

Clever and thoughtfully designed storage solutions are abound throughout the cabin, including a stylish mesh side pocket in the front passenger footwell that can hold a notebook or tablet device, and an inventive multi-level rear cargo floor.

Advanced technology that delivers thorough use of all-new infotainment systems
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass offers four new Uconnect systems for North America (Uconnect 5.0, 7.0, 8.4 and 8.4NAV), delivering communication, entertainment and navigation features that drivers and passengers desire, including the segment’s largest full-color LED instrument cluster.

The new lineup includes easy-to-use features, enhanced processing power, faster startup times and touchscreens that display high-resolution graphics.

New Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass is equipped with the Uconnect 7.0, 8.4 or 8.4NAV systems and includes the new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features.

Apple CarPlay
Seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the vehicle’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri Voice control. iPhone-equipped drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, and receive voice-guided navigation optimized for traffic conditions and more, while staying focused on the road.

Android Auto
System shares useful information when driving and makes it easy to access the best of Google technology. Featuring Google Maps with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, lane guidance; on-demand access to 30 million songs with Google Play Music; plus the ability to place phone calls or send and receive messages while keeping hands on the wheel; and ask Google search any question. Android Auto also makes it easy to access popular apps and content from the Uconnect system’s touchscreen.

Drivers and passengers also have an abundance of infotainment features at their fingertips with SiriusXM Radio, Travel Link, Traffic and Guardian Connected Services that provide real-time information.

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