Small, Powerful Compass Gives Jeep Trust Continuity
This year’s version of the Jeep Compass brings a nice SUV that is small in size, but big on performance and fuel efficiency. Anyone looking for a crossover SUV that can actually go off road for a bit needs to take a good look at the Compass when shopping. Not only is the Compass a great SUV from a long trusted name, but it also carries with it a very affordable price. When found with the fuel efficiency it offers, this is an SUV anyone can afford and offers the ability to ride around in an SUV instead of a boring old sedan.
Even though the Compass has been around for several years, the Jeep Designers and Engineers have added a new six-speed automatic transmission for the front-wheel drive (FWD) and 4×4 models. In addition to the transmission upgrade, the new Compass adds a bit of safety with standard front seat side airbags and an optional backup camera to help keep all occupants safe and secure.
The folks at Alabama Jeep Dealers tells us that the Compass drives more like a car than an SUV, which is really the draw to the crossover class, offering a refined suspension and steering that soak up the road and responds quickly and easily to all inputs. With the addition of some deft insulation and noise cancelling technology the inhabitants of the Compass will be able to enjoy their choice of sounds instead of the constant droning of the road. Even though the six-speed automatic transmission is new and well designed, the best off road offering on the Freedom Drive II is unfortunately saddled with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that seems to really hold it back.
With two engine offerings, owners will want to opt for the larger, more powerful engine. The base engine is a 2.0 liter inline four-cylinder that has 158 horsepower and 141 lb.-ft. of torque. This is hardly enough for any real off road action, but might be suitable for folks who want a nice crossover SUV but have no intention of leaving the pavement. When paired with the five-speed manual transmission this engine offers fuel efficiency of 23 city/30 hwy mpg and with the six-speed automatic achieves 21 city/28 hwy mpg. Both setups for this engine are for FWD only.
The second, more powerful, and best choice engine for this vehicle is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that offers 172 horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of torque, certainly this engine is more suitable for leaving the blacktop behind. The transmission choices for this engine start with the FWD five-speed manual with offers 23 city/28 hwy mpg, the six-speed automatic in FWD brings 21 city/28 hwy mpg, in 4×4 mode the manual transmission offers 23 city/28 hwy mpg, for the Freedom Drive I 4×4 automatic the fuel mileage comes in at 21 city/27 hwy, and for the Freedom Drive II with the 4×4 CVT automatic the mileage comes in at 20 city/23 hwy mpg. With so many choices to set this powertrain up there is going to be a Compass that suits just about every driver.
On the inside the Compass is comfortable and easy to enjoy with soft and supple materials throughout the cabin including a very comfortable steering wheel. Equipped with speaker in the lift gate, and fold flat rear seats this vehicle could easily be used to head out away from the city and watch the stars, planes, or anything the owner desires. The cup holders actually light up make it easier to find your beverage when out in the darker areas of the country.
From the exterior the Compass offers the signature stylings known to Jeep. Starting with the vertical bar grill which appears to be gnashing teeth ready to chomp the road ahead to the squared off look of the front end all the way to the back, this is certainly a Jeep in every way. Offering a star-spoked set of wheels with beefy spokes the wheels appear to mean business and are road and off road ready depending on the equipment set up in the power train. Basically, the Compass appears to be a smaller version of the Grand Cherokee, a very nice look at a much lower price.
The Compass comes in three different trim levels for shoppers to choose from, Sport, Latitude, and Limited. Offering standard features including the four-wheel independent suspension helps buyers know this really is a true Jeep. The rest of the standard features include air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, power heated outside mirrors, a removable and rechargeable flashlight and the Uconnect media center. That a really nice list even for a basic model SUV, especially the flashlight and Uconnect center.
The optional features are all trim level based and packaged together to offer a value for the money spent. With the Freedom Drive II package the ability to head off road for just about anything short of boulder hopping makes this the most capable set up for the Compass. Other packages include the All-Weather Capability Group that include all-season floor mats, an engine-block heater, and all-terrain tires and tow hooks. Add this to the Freedom Drive II and this vehicle becomes even more capable off the pavement.
If the base model is what suits the buyer the starting price is around $20,000. The Compass offers a wide variety of price points due to the differing equipment that can be added to the vehicle to make it really please the owner. At the top end, the Limited starts just over $26,000 and can end up over $30,000 when fully loaded. The price range actually allows the Compass to remain affordable to almost anyone and includes the great fuel economy to make this an overall very affordable SUV.
Anyone looking to buy a great crossover SUV needs look no further than the 2014 Jeep Compass. It is a small SUV with true Jeep stylings and equipment to make the off road grade synonymous with the Jeep name.