The Jeep Compass is a compact or small crossover SUV with a front-engine, front-wheel or four-wheel drive layout. A concept for Compass premiered at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, having a two-door body, a 3.7L V6 engine, and a four-wheel drive. While the two doors and the Power-Tech 3.7L engine didn't figure in the production version, many design choices and features were carried over.
It went in production in 2006 and is currently in its second generation.
The First Generation (2006-2016)
At the unveiling in the 2006 North American International Auto Show, the first Compass did not have the 'Trail Rated' badge, as it was aimed towards first-time Jeep buyers who drive primarily on the road. It is based on the DaimlerChrysler/Mitsubishi GS platform, shared with the Jeep Patriot, Dodge Caliber, Mitsubishi Lancer, and Mitsubishi Outlander. To create a distinction between them, Patriot was designed as a classic Jeep wagon, while the Compass looks more like a hatchback, more similar to the Dodge Caliber.
Both by the Euro NCAP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tested the Compass, which performed poorly.
On the Euro NCAP test, Jeep scored an Overall safety rating of only 2 stars, with Adult occupant safety of 61% and 22 points, Child occupant safety of 76% and 37 points, Pedestrian safety of 23% and 8 points, and Safety assist of 43% and 3 points.
On the NHTSA test, it scored an Overall safety rating of 3 stars, along with 3 stars in Frontal driver safety, 3 stars in Frontal passenger safety, 5 stars in Side driver safety, 2 stars in Side passenger safety, 4 stars in Side rear passenger safety, and 4 stars in Rollover AWD.
With the facelift of 2011, Compass joined the ‘Trail Rated’ fleet and featured design changes going in the direction of the Grand Cherokee, while keeping the identity of the Compass. Mechanical improvements include revised suspension setting, redesigned interior with more equipment as standard, and additional trim levels.
Available trim levels include Sport, Latitude, Limited, 70th Anniversary Edition, and Altitude Edition:
- The Sport trim level is the base model and includes 17-inch alloy wheels, single-disc CD stereo, cloth seat trim, manual windows, and door locks.
- The Latitude trim level adds these features on top of Sport: air conditioning, keyless entry, security system, power door locks, and windows.
- The Limited trim level adds leather seats, sunroof, and remote starter.
- 70th Anniversary Edition adds air conditioning, unique leather seat trim, exclusive alloy wheels, sunroof, side-impact airbags, Boston Acoustics sound system, power windows and door locks, keyless entry, and security alarm.
- Altitude Edition was available from 2012, with options added to the Latitude: black-painted alloy wheels, leather seat trim, a sunroof, and Boston Acoustics sound system.
Powertrain options available in Australia include:
- 2.0L Inline-Four petrol engine producing 115kW (154hp) and 190Nm of torque, paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a choice between CVT or 6-speed automatic transmission
- 2.4L Inline-Four petrol engine producing 125kW (168hp) and 220Nm of torque, paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a choice between CVT or 6-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0L Inline-Four diesel engine producing 103kW (138hp) and 310Nm of torque, paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 9-speed automatic gearbox
The Second Generation (2016-present)
Debuting in Brazil and later at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in 2016, the new Compass replaced both the first generation and the discontinued Jeep Patriot. Much like the facelift of the first generation, it got its design inspiration from Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Elements such as headlamps integrated into a narrow grille with black finish are inspired by the Grand Cherokee, while the rear styling and interior design are from the Cherokee.
Production moved to Toluca, Mexico, while the Cherokee took its place in Belvidere, Illinois. It is based on a stretched FCA Small Wide LWB 4x4 platform, shared with the Jeep Renegade.
On the Euro NCAP crash test, the second-generation Compass performed far better. It received a 5-star rating in the Overall safety category, 90% and 34.5 points in the Adult occupant safety, 83% and 40.7 points in the Child occupant safety, 64% and 27.3 points in Pedestrian safety, and 59% and 7.1 points in Safety assist.
IIHS gave it the best rating of 'Good' in Small overlap front impact, Moderate overlap front impact, Side-impact, Head restraint and seats' safety, and Roof strength.
Available trim levels include Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk:
- The Sport package serves as the base trim level. It includes 5-inch Uconnect infotainment system, 16-inch steel wheels, tyre inflation and repair kit, premium cloth trim, manually adjustable front bucket seats, 3x3 point rear seat belts, ABS, front and side airbags.
- The Latitude trim level adds to the Sport package: SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a spare tyre and wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, tinted glass, keyless entry, security system, premium cloth trim with vinyl accents.
- The Limited trim level is the luxury package. It adds on top of previous packages: heated leather steering wheel, heated/ventilated front seats, remote vehicle starter system, TFT LCD instrument cluster display, 18-inch alloy wheels, luxury leather trim, power-adjustable front seats, 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, GPS navigation, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, power rear tailgate, driver-assist systems.
- The Trailhawk trim level is oriented towards off-road driving, available only in four-wheel drive. It adds features to the Latitude trim level, such as ‘Ruby Red’ interior, off-road suspension, 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, power-adjustable driver’s seat, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, heated leather steering wheel, TFT LCD instrument cluster display.
In Australia, available powertrain options include:
- 2.4L Inline-Four petrol engine producing 129kW (173hp) and 229Nm of torque, paired with a 6-speed or 9-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0L Inline-Four diesel engine producing 125kW (168hp) and 350Nm of torque, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission
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Author: Luka Kusic