Better mileage increases appeal for Jeep’s newest two-row crossover

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is doubling down on SUVs, crossovers, and pickups these days, which means its CAFÉ rating stands to take a hit. Thankfully technology and better design is coming to the rescue. Jeep’s newest vehicle, the 2017 Compass, has a respectable jump in fuel economy over its outgoing (and very outdated) predecessor.

The EPA estimated the 2017 Jeep Compass equipped with 4WD will achieve 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. That represents a two-, five-, and three-mpg jump over the outgoing Compass. The EPA has not tested a FWD Compass as of this writing, but we expect to see even better fuel economy in that model.

Much of the Compass’ economy improvements can be attributed to its new version of the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. The engine is upgraded with the new MultiAir2 valvetrain system, which uses electro-hydraulic mechanisms to operate the 16 overhead valves. The resulting power increase is also a welcomed addition, though it is a modest one. The 2017 Compass makes 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. That’s an eight-horsepower and 10-pound-feet improvement over the previous-generation Compass.

The in-house nine-speed automatic transmission comes only with 4WD models and is designed to “optimize engine output” and for “aggressive launches and smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds.” Those Compass models with the standard-fair FWD system will actually get a six-speed manual transmission. Optionally, a six-speed automatic transmission is offered and will likely be the volume-leading choice for average consumers.

The 2017 Jeep Compass will official hit showrooms in February of 2017 and be sold alongside the remaining previous-generation Compass models. Be sure to specify the new Compass to your salesman when asking about inventory. Once the EPA released its findings on the FWD Compass, we’ll bring you that information.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

Fuel economy has always been the downfall of crossovers and SUVs – one that holds them back from completely overtaking sedans in an all-out sales war. Automakers know consumers have reservations regarding fuel economy and feel pressure from the government to meet Federal standard, so the result is downsized engines and a growing number of transmission gears. The 2017 Compass is no different.

These changes will surely help improve the attraction consumers have with Jeep’s newest crossover. Of course, that’s on top of the far more handsome exterior the Compass wears and the exponentially better interior that graces its insides. Jeep likely has quite the sales king on its hands if it markets the Compass well.

Read our full review on the Jeep Compass here.

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