New 2017 Jeep Compass Revealed in LA

Not to be confused with the existing 2017 model, Jeep revealed the newly redesigned (also a 2017) Jeep Compass this week in LA. It’s not quite what I was hoping for, but it is exactly what I expected.

Jeep® Compass Limited

Jeep® Compass Limited

I’ll start off by saying that the Limited trim looks really, really nice – something I wouldn’t say about the Limited models of the Renegade or Cherokee. Maybe it’s the fact that the Compass is even more of a mini-Grand Cherokee than the outgoing model, but I don’t mind  the non-off-road version’s aesthetics. Jeep® Compass LimitedThe rear roof line is supposed to make it look faster (according to the designers’ explanation in a promotional video Jeep released shortly after the press conference) but it still looks a bit off to me – the Trailhawk’s matte trim doesn’t accentuate it nearly as much as the chrome on the Limited, which I think looks a lot better. Jeep® Compass TrailhawkThe Compass will be built on a similar chassis as the Renegade and share most of the power-train options in the US – a 2.4L 4cyl engine and three transmission options depending on trim and other selections. The great news is that the Compass will be available with a manual 6-speed on non-Trailhawk 4×4 models as well as the FWD models. As expected, the Trailhawk comes standard with the 9-speed transmission and Jeep’s Active Drive Low 4×4 system – which uses a lower differential gear ratio and the 9-speed’s low 1st gear to simulate a low range 4WD.Jeep® Compass TrailhawkCompass Trailhawk also gets all of the off-road goodies we’ve come to expect from the more rugged versions of Jeep’s recent offerings: red tow hooks, skid plates, embroidered seats, and black hood decals. The Trailhawk also has different front and rear fascias (to increase approach and departure angles) as well as an increased ride height for more ground clearance.Jeep® Compass TrailhawkThe interior takes ques from Renegade while adding high end materials found in the Grand Cherokee – it’s safe to say this whole vehicle is a mix of Renegade’s performance and capability with Grand Cherokee’s styling. I’m glad that it maintains an analog tachometer and speedometer, but am admittedly upset by the lack of a passenger grab bar. Trailhawk interiors also share Renegade’s red accents which fit nicely here and don’t appear too over the top.Jeep® Compass TrailhawkMy main disappointment is that Compass Trailhawk has no real advantage over the Renegade Trailhawk. I was hoping to see Compass Trailhawk with Jeep’s Active Drive II system (currently offered on non-Trailhawk Cherokees, this system uses a mechanical gear reduction via the 2-speed drive modules) instead of Renegade’s Active Drive Low. This would have provided a nice middle ground between Renegade’s pseudo low range granny gear, and Cherokee Trailhawk’s gear reduced low range with rear axle locker. Jeep could have used that as a real game changer for the segment, but fell short with that choice in my opinion.Jeep® Compass Limited and Jeep® Compass TrailhawkOverall I really like the vehicle and think it’ll easily outsell the current Compass, we’ll see if it can sell in the volume that the current Compass and Patriot are producing.

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