Automakers are flocking to the small sport-utility segment, but Jeep continues to set itself apart from the pack with its newest iterations of the Compass that bowed at the L.A. Auto Show.
A truly global all-new compact SUV, the 2017 Jeep Compass will be manufactured in Brazil, China, Mexico and India, for consumers in more than 100 countries around the world.
“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 2017 Jeep Compass is available in four different trim configurations: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk, but perhaps most importantly, all are very capable off-roaders. Jeep took that capability up a notch with the Compass offering two new new 4×4 systems.
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Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4×4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on- or off-road and in any weather condition.
For even greater Trail Rated off-road capability, Selec-Terrain includes Selec-Speed Control with Hill-descent Control on Trailhawk models. Compass features a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU), in order to provide 4×4 models with enhanced fuel economy. Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4×4 systems instantly engage when 4×4 traction is needed.
Of course, since most SUV owners spend 99% of their drive time on tarmac, Jeep worked also to improve its road manners as well developing its “small wide architecture.” The system combines a fully independent suspension, segment-exclusive Koni frequency damping front-and-rear-strut system and precise electric power steering to provide outstanding on-road handling.
Additionally, the new Compass boasts a rigid foundation. The upper body structure and frame are engineered as a single unit for a stiff and more mass-efficient structure, and it is designed and built with an extensive use of high-strength steel and liberal use of structural adhesives. More than 65% high-strength steel is used for maximizing vehicle dynamics and crash performance while optimizing weight efficiency.
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When buyers think small, they tend to thing “fuel efficiency” and the new Compass hits the mark there too. Jeep has five engines – three gasoline and two diesel – available, depending on the market worldwide. In North America, 16-valve 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine puts out 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque while delivering up to 30 mpg.
It’s mated to a nine-speed transmission standard on all Compass 4×4 models, although a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic are available as part of certain trim packages, the company noted.
Driving well is important, but small cars are typically fun and the Jeep made sure the infotainment system on the new Compass fits the bill. The center stack houses the 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreen displays for the four new Uconnect systems for North America, delivering communication, entertainment and navigation features that drivers and passengers desire, including the segment’s largest full-color LED instrument cluster.
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Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available for the new Compass. Drivers and passengers also have an abundance of infotainment features at their fingertips with SiriusXM Radio, Travel Link, Traffic and Guardian Connected Services that provide real-time information.