2017 Jeep Compass Review
Automakers typically take one of two approaches when it comes to the final model year of a vehicle before it is completely overhauled. Some introduce new trims that combine popular high-end features at a lower price to provide a good value proposition. Others simply release the previous year's model with no changes and focus attention on the future car. The 2017 Jeep Compass follows that second line of thought. With the successor to the Compass and Jeep Patriot expected to go on sale in early 2017, the current Compass soldiers on with no changes.
A change can't come soon enough because the Compass is mostly inferior to its rivals. It feels old in more ways than one, partially because of the aging platform that it shares with long-dead vehicles such as the Dodge Caliber and Chrysler Sebring. The cabin isn't as nice as many competitors, the touchscreen interface is woefully out-of-date, and there's an abundance of tire and wind noise at highway speeds. Add to that unimpressive EPA fuel economy estimates and a lack of high-tech entertainment or safety features, and the Compass is a difficult vehicle to recommend even half-heartedly.
It's true that the Compass isn't completely without merit. Its Grand Cherokee-lite styling still looks pretty good to our eyes, and this is one of the few compact SUVs offering a modicum of off-road ability. But these strengths are greatly outweighed by the drawbacks, and informed buyers will want to consider alternative compact SUVs. If you want to keep it in the family, the Jeep Cherokee and smaller Jeep Renegade are much more modern and still quite capable when pavement turns to dirt. Other highly rated small crossovers include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester.
With a replacement likely coming next year, the Jeep Compass carries forward unchanged for 2017.
The 2017 Jeep Compass is a five-passenger small crossover SUV available in two primary trim levels: Sport and Latitude. The Sport has two appearance-related packages called the Sport SE and 75th Anniversary Edition, while the Latitude can be had in a High Altitude Edition.
Standard features for the Sport include 16-inch alloy wheels (upgraded to 17s if the larger 2.4-liter engine is specified), foglights, air-conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, manual accessories (windows, mirrors and locks), 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-only steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.
The 75th Anniversary package includes 18-inch, bronze-painted alloy wheels, bronze exterior accents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, remote engine start, a sunroof, mesh upholstery, and a cargo cover. The Sport SE package adds 18-inch, gray-painted alloy wheels and matching gloss-gray body trim, the leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, heated front seats, and upgraded cloth and vinyl upholstery.
Options for the Compass Sport include the Power Value Group (full power accessories, heated mirrors, body-color trim, automatic headlights and remote keyless entry) and other option packages shared with the Latitude (see below).
The Latitude starts with the Sport's standard features and adds the contents of the Power Value Group as standard, plus 17-inch wheels, chrome exterior accents, silver interior trim, a height-adjustable driver seat, the Sport SE's heated front seats and upgraded upholstery and steering wheel, reclining rear seatbacks and a 115-volt power outlet.
The High Altitude Edition package, offered only on the Latitude, adds unique 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, additional chrome exterior trim, leather upholstery, and a six-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjustment. Other options unique to the Latitude include a towing package and automatic climate control.
The Latitude is also eligible for three additional packages. The Security and Cargo Convenience Group includes an alarm system, an upgraded trip computer and a cargo cover. The Premium Sound Group includes nine Boston Acoustic speakers (two of which swing down from the tailgate) with a subwoofer. The Sun and Sound Group bundles the Premium Sound package with a sunroof.
Four-wheel-drive models can be equipped with the All-Weather Capability Group, which consists of 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, tow hooks, daytime running lights, an engine block heater and all-season floor mats. Every Compass is additionally eligible for the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group, which includes 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, an upgraded all-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing, skid plates, a brake-lock differential, tow hooks, a full-size spare tire, a heavy-duty alternator, an engine oil cooler and (for the Sport) a height-adjustable driver seat.
Finally, both trims can be specified with a 6.5-inch touchscreen interface and rearview camera, though the navigation system is limited to the Latitude.
The Compass' industrial-grade plastics feel cheaper than materials found in almost every other competitor. Moreover, in this day and age, it's exceedingly rare to find a vehicle that still comes with crank-down windows and manual locks and mirrors as standard. That's something to keep in mind if you're eyeing a low-priced Compass — it might not be equipped with the features you expect.
The front seats are comfortable enough and adequately supportive for longer drives, though the seatback cushions are a little narrow for larger adults. Rear legroom is tight for this class, reminding us more of a compact hatchback than a typical high-riding, airy crossover. In terms of infotainment, the optional 6.5-inch touchscreen is older and less user-friendly than the 8.4-inch Uconnect interface found in most other Jeep and Chrysler models.
The Compass does offer some clever interior features, such as distinctive (and optional) speakers that flip down and out from the raised liftgate for beach parties and the like. However, the maximum cargo capacity of 53.6 cubic feet pales in comparison to rival crossovers. Behind the second row, the Compass' 22.7-cubic-foot cargo hold is also quite stingy.
The 2017 Compass' base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the 2.0-liter Sport, while the 2.0-liter Latitude comes with a CVT that acts like a traditional automatic. Front-wheel drive is mandatory with the base engine.
Optional on front-wheel-drive models and standard with all-wheel drive is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 172 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed manual is once again offered on the Sport, but otherwise a six-speed automatic handles the shifting — unless you specify Freedom Drive II, which substitutes a CVT with a crawl mode that simulates a 4x4 vehicle's low-range gearing.
Fuel economy varies depending on which powertrain setup you get. None are all that fuel-efficient, though. For example, you're looking at 24 mpg combined (22 city/26 highway) with the 2.0-liter engine and the CVT or 23 mpg combined with the bigger 2.4-liter engine and front-drive and six-speed automatic. That drops to 21 mpg when you get the Freedom Drive II's CVT.
In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive Compass with the 2.4-liter engine and six-speed automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, a slower-than-average time for this class.
Properly equipped, a Compass can tow up to 2,000 pounds.
The 2017 Compass' 2.0-liter engine keeps the cost down, but it's rowdy, underpowered and not all that great for fuel economy, considering its modest output. Remember, too, that if you can't drive a stick shift, you're stuck with the decidedly uninspired CVT. The 2.4-liter engine, on the other hand, has enough pep to keep up with traffic, and there's little fuel economy penalty compared to the 2.0, though refinement isn't much better. The six-speed automatic is a big improvement over the CVT, but it still shifts too slowly for our tastes. If you opt for the Freedom Drive II off-road setup, the CVT is unfortunately part of the deal.
Ride quality is another weak spot for the Compass. The basic suspension design was sourced many years ago from the underwhelming Dodge Caliber hatchback, and it struggles to cope with today's well-worn urban roads. Expect a nervous, bouncy ride on such surfaces, with more impact harshness than you'll feel in most rivals. Handling is also below average, with an initial sense of control giving way to excessive body roll and vague steering in corners. At least you can do some respectable off-roading with Freedom Drive II, though other Compasses are unremarkable in this department.
Standard safety features for all Jeep Compass models include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Front-wheel-drive models feature inferior rear drum brakes, while all-wheel-drive models get disc brakes front and rear.
In Edmunds brake testing, an all-wheel-drive Compass came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is an average stopping distance for this class of vehicle.
In government crash testing, the Jeep Compass received a somewhat alarming three stars out of a possible five for front-impact crash safety.
Appealing baby-Grand Cherokee styling; optional flip-down tailgate speakers make tailgating a bit more fun; above-average off-road capability with Freedom Drive II; attractively priced.
Unrefined and sluggish base engine that's paired to a droning CVT; steering wheel doesn't telescope, making it hard to get an ideal driving position; poor crash-test scores; unsophisticated ride quality over bumps; minimal cargo space; chintzy cabin.
The 2017 Jeep Compass can be an inexpensive way to get a Jeep that looks more expensive than it really is. But read on to learn why we think other rival crossover SUVs bring a lot more substance to the table.
Copyright Edmunds.com, Inc. All rights reserved. First published on www.edmunds.com and reprinted with permission. Edmunds and the Edmunds.com car logo are registered trademarks of Edmunds.com, Inc.
Audio Features - SiriusXM Satellite Radio (RSD/X9B)
• Satellite Radio
Audio Features - Radio 130 (RES)
• Total Number Of Speakers: 4
• Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place (cubic feet): 22.7
• Bluetooth: Bluetooth
Misc. Exterior Features
• Roof Rack
• Liftgate Window: Fixed
• Front Fog Lights: Front Fog/driving Lights
Front Passenger Seat
• Number Of Passenger Seat Manual Adjustments: 4
• Power Steering
1st Row Seats
• 1st Row Seat Type: Bucket
• 1st Row Head Room: 40.7
• Spare Tire Mount Location: Inside
• Power Outlet(s): 12V
• Maximum Ground Clearance: 8.1
• Intermittent Front Wipers: Variable Intermittent
• Audio Controls On Steering Wheel: Audio Controls
• Center Console: Front Console With Storage
• 2nd Row Sunroof: Removable Glass
• 1st Row Seating Capacity: 2
• Air Filtration: Interior Air Filtration
• Final Drive Ratio: 3.37
• 2nd Row Center Seatbelt: 3-point Belt
• Front Spring Type: Coil Springs
• Angle Of Approach: 19.5
• Antilock Braking System: 4-wheel ABS
• Driven Wheels: Front Wheel Drive
Misc. Interior Features
• Cruise Control
• Number Of Driver Seat Manual Adjustments: 4
• Engine Immobilizer
• Head Airbags: Front And Rear
2nd Row Seats
• 2nd Row Seat Type: Bench
• Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror: Electrochromatic
Tires - P215/55R18 BSW All-Season Tires (TT1)
• 75th Anniversary Edition Quick Order Package 2GK:
Wheels - 18" X 7.0" Painted Aluminum Wheels (WND)
• 75th Anniversary Edition Quick Order Package 2GK:
|ParkView Rear Back-Up CameraParkView rear back-up camera; 40GB hard drive with 28GB of available storage; 6.5" touch screen display; Radio 430; Audio jack input for mobile devices||All||$1,095 / $996|
|75th Anniversary Edition Quick Order Package 2GKVehicle with standard equipment; 18" x 7.0" Bronze aluminum wheels with P215/55R18 black side wall all-season performance tires; 75th Anniversary badge; Bronze Compass badge; Bronze fascia applique; Bronze liftgate applique; Bronze roof rails; Jeep 75th Anniversary Package; Jeep Bronze badging; Leather wrapped steering wheel; Moroccan Sun interior accents; Ombre mesh bucket seats; Power express open and close sunroof; Remote start system; Soft tonneau cover; Steering wheel mounted audio controls; Tangerine interior accents||75th Anniversary Edition FWD||$0 / $0|
|Smoker's GroupCigar lighter; Removable ashtray||All||$30 / $27|
|Engine Block Heater||All||$95 / $86|
|Manual Driver Lumbar Adjust (Fleet)||All except All Sport SE and All High Altitude||$50 / $46|
|High Beam Daytime Running Headlamps (Fleet)||All except All Sport SE and High Altitude FWD||$40 / $36|
|Additional Hawaii Destination ChargeAdditional destination charge required in Hawaii.||All||$50 / $50|
|Power Value GroupAutomatic headlamps; Body color door handles; Body color liftgate applique; Illuminated entry; Keyless entry; Fold-away power heated mirrors; Power windows with driver side one-touch control; Speed sensitive power locks||All Sport/All Sport SE/All 75th Anniversary||$2,245 / $2,043|
Jeep Compass Exterior Colors:
Jeep Compass Interior Colors:
Jeep Compass Recalls Issued - 2017
|Recall Number: 17V740000|
|Component Description: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: INSTRUMENT PANEL|
|Manufacturered From: to|
|Owner Notification Date:|
|Number of Vehicle Affected: 25,823|
|Consequence: An instrument cluster that is too bright, and cannot be dimmed, can reduce the driver's ability to see at night, increasing the risk of a crash.|
|Corrective Action: Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will update IPC software, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began December 8, 2018. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is T70.|
|Description: Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2017-2018 Jeep Compass vehicles. The brightness of the backlighting for the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC) cannot be adjusted. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 101, "Controls and Displays."|
|Recall Number: 17V433000|
|Component Description: EQUIPMENT:OTHER:OWNERS/SERVICE/OTHER MANUAL|
|Manufacturered From: to|
|Owner Notification Date:|
|Number of Vehicle Affected: 12,989|
|Consequence: If a customer follows the User's Guide, they may hook up the battery jumper cables incorrectly, increasing their risk of injury.|
|Corrective Action: Chrysler will notify owners and will replace the User's Guides with a corrected version, free of charge. The recall began August 22, 2017. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is T46.|
|Description: Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2017 Jeep Compass vehicles. The affected vehicles have User's Guides that contain incorrect information regarding the jump start procedure, specifically, the polarity of the battery terminals are reversed in the battery terminal graphic.|
|Recall Number: 17V301000|
|Component Description: POWER TRAIN:AXLE ASSEMBLY:AXLE SHAFT|
|Manufacturered From: to|
|Owner Notification Date:|
|Number of Vehicle Affected: 1,178|
|Consequence: If the left front halfshaft disengages or breaks, the vehicle will have a loss of drive. Additionally, if the vehicle is parked without using the parking brake, the vehicle may roll, despite being in 'Park.' Either condition may increase the risk of a crash.|
|Corrective Action: Chrysler will notify owners, dealers will inspect the left front halfshaft for engagement and replace any that are not properly engaged in the transmission, free of charge. The recall began on June 12, 2017. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is T26.|
|Description: Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2017 Jeep Compass vehicles equipped with a 6-speed transmission. The left front halfshaft may not be properly seated, and, as a result, it may disengage from the transmission and/or break.|