Jeep Reinvents The Jeep Compass Making It Better and Badder Than Ever
I’m old enough to remember when there was only one type of Jeep. Renowned for unsurpassed utility, it was not the type of vehicle that one yearned to take on long road trips. That has all changed for modern drivers. A visit to your local Jeep dealer provides a smorgasboard of choices from luxurious large Grand Cherokees to compact (but still luxurious) SUVs like the Compass. Of course, the off-road superstar Wrangler is still available in lots of configurations – all far better equipped and a lot more comfortable than the models that contributed to the United States’ victory in World War II.
If you have been to a dealership and seen a Compass in recent years, look again! This is not the Compass you may have seen or test driven. The 2017 model marks an entire new generation of vehicle and is manufactured for sale in over 100 countries worldwide. It is available in four different configurations, Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk (the model I test drove).
“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 4×4 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 new Compass Trailhawk is one of the most versatile models on the market, offering economy, comfort, utility and a lot of value. With a base price of $28,595, the Trailhawk 4×4 is capable of going virtually anyplace and handling all types of terrain.
2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk- Ready To Tackle The Trails or the Highway
The model I tested was equipped with off-road suspension, a Selec-Terrain feature, Hill Descent Control, a 20:1 crawl ratio and Electronic Roll Mitigation. The ride height can be increased by almost an inch. The many steep trails at Barnhill could also be handled with ease considering the Trailhawk’s 30 degree approach angle, 24-degree breakover angle and a 34-degree departure angle. There are a number of puddles and mud pits to test throughout the area, so the ability to ford 19 inches of water comes in quite handy.
Interior features my test model was equipped with insured that the trip to the recreational area would be enjoyable as well. The leather interior group ($1295) which includes leather bucket seats, heated front seats, an eight-way power drivers seats with four-way power lumbar assist and a heated steering wheel insured that my butt and back would be feeling fine both before and after heading for an off-roading adventure.
The Navigation Group ($895) insured that I would find my destination and do it while being entertained with UConnect, SiriusXM and Travel Link/Travel Plus along with an 8.4 inch GPS Navigation System. Apple CarPlay and Android features make it easy to stay connected with the outside world via smart phones enabling the ability to make calls, listen to music, message friends and more. The Trailhawk I drove even had some clever storage areas nestled throughout the cockpit. There is even a mesh side pocket in the front footwell for a notebook or a tablet. The rear area has a multi-level floor that comes in quite handy when one has used the seating area for child-safety seats.
My Trailhawk had a 2.4 liter 14 multi-air engine with start/stop featues and a 9-speed automatic transmission. They enabled quick starts and economical driving. This model is rated at 25 mpg overall with 22 in the city and 30 during highway driving. If one chooses the model with a six-speed manual transmission, the fuel economy increases by a mile per gallon during highway driving.
Whether one chooses the standard Compass, the Trailhawk or any of the other Jeeps in the dealer stable, there is a model that answers all potential SUV needs. Test driving the full-size Grand Cherokee, the standard size Cherokee, the compact Renegade or the iconic Wrangler will result in making a choice perfect for the adventurous person and their family.