Jeep Rushed the New Compass into Production; Here’s Why (and Why You’ll Like it)
There is an all new 2017 Jeep Compass coming to US dealerships in June.
Now you may be thinking, but there is already a 2017 Jeep Compass on the market, right? Jeep redesigned the Compass and decided to stop production on that one and and bring the new one to market quickly. Confused yet? I was too, but after hitting San Antonio for some serious off-roading in the new 2017 Jeep Compass, I’m excited to share what’s new and why you’ll like it.
2017 Jeep Compass Limited
Styled after the Grand Cherokee, the Compass is a mid-sized crossover utility vehicle, or CUV, smaller than the Grand Cherokee but larger than the Jeep Renegade. On my test drive I primarily drove the Limited version. This is the top of the line and filled with the most features but carries a price tag of under $30,000.
The Limited has a 7 slot front grille (all Jeeps do), premium headlights with white lights, 19″ wheels, optional black roof, a dual pane sunroof, leather, touch screen, Apple Car Play and more. The back seat has USB and a household plug. You truly get a premium feel in this model. The Limited’s fuel economy estimates are 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined, but my driving partner and I averaged 24 mpg combined. Someone has a heavy foot!
The 2017 Jeep Compass pricing:
- Limited $28,995
- Trailhawk $28,595
- Latitude 4×4 $24,295
- Sport 4×4 $22,495
These packages are available options on all but the Sport model:
- Advanced safety and lighting package, including brake assist, lane departure warning and forward collision warning: $895
- Safety and Security package, including blind spot monitor, cross path detection, park sensors and rain sensing wipers: $795
- Navigation package: $895
- Tow package, including a tow hitch and a full size spare tire: $495
What I liked About the 2017 Jeep Compass
Everything was simply laid out. I was quickly able to find everything I was looking for, from USB ports to driver controls to climate control– and in Texas, you need quick access to air conditioning.
I also appreciate how much storage space the 2017 Jeep Compass has (27. cubic feet) and that the back row folds down. The 60/40 split seats give you the opportunity to add cargo space and still have a passenger or two in the back seat.
I thought the back seat looked roomy until I made Bob Gritzinger get back there. He had enough room, but as you can see he didn’t have much extra. However, back seat passengers have plenty of other comforts: The middle seat has a fold down armrest with cup holders, there is rear air conditioning, a household plug and a USB port. I love having a household plug in my vehicle and it’s standard in the Limited and Trailhawk but not available in the Sport or Latitude editions. If you’re camping, a household plug makes it easy to make coffee or blow up an air mattress.
Other Things I liked:
I liked that the Compass Limited has a nice suite of active safety features, available as an option on all models but the Sport. This includes:
- Blind-Spot monitoring and rear cross path detection
- Adaptive cruise control
- Forward collision warning – this alerts the driver about potential crash risk, and may assist with driver response by applying the brakes under certain circumstances.
- LaneSense lane departure warning
Things I Would Change
One thing I did not like was the engine start/stop. Whenever it “stopped” the A/C dropped. Texas is hot and I wanted the A/C on full blast. Stop/start is intended to improve your gas mileage, but using it will get 1 mpg better than you would without it. I also did not like the small console in between the driver and passenger. I wish it had been larger and did not set as far back. However, depending on your body type, it may not be an issue for you.
I Wasn’t Sure the Compass Could Handle This Off Road Course.
Halfway through our drive we stopped at a ranch in Texas for lunch and some off-roading. Now I am a Texas gal, so this was right up my alley!
The model we took off-roading was the 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk. This model is designed even more for the challenges of off-road driving with a 1″ lift, 17″ wheels, tow hooks, and the bottom is skid plated (to protect it from rocks, roots and other hazards).
Now, I knew we were going off-roading, but I didn’t think it would be anything too crazy. But when we arrived at the ranch and saw the course they had chosen, I was floored. This course seemed to be meant for a truck jacked up off the ground, not a CUV. I felt so unsure that I took one of the top Jeep executives with me on our drive. I figured they wouldn’t let him drive with me if there was a chance I would flip the car.
As I drove along I just kept telling myself that surely they wouldn’t be letting us do this if the car couldn’t handle it. At times I only had three tires touching the ground, but we made it. What I found quite handy was the hill-descent control. The Jeep Compass Trailhawk will take over when going down a massive hill. It is a little creepy letting a car do this. I kept wanting to hit the brake or the gas, but I resisted and let it do its job. Turns out it can drive itself down a hill perfectly fine without any assistance from me!
Luxury, Even in the Wilds of Rural Texas
One of the main reasons you might want a luxury car is that it’s quiet. So I was surprised how quiet the Jeep was to drive even when we were off-roading. I’ve been in a few Jeeps and they were loud and creaky, but the Compass made it easy to talk about what you’ll see when you’re off road, or just enjoy the peacefulness of the Texas Hill Country.
Disclosure: I was Jeep’s guest for this drive opportunity; travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions expressed are my own.