Better Late Than Never: The 2017 Jeep Compass Limited 4X4

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Jeep Compass Limited
The 2017 Jeep Compass Limited 4X4.
Nearly five years ago, our Publisher and Executive Editor wrote about the Jeep Compass, noting that it would be leaving the Jeep lineup after 2014.  It was true at the time, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles changed plans, deciding it would be less than good business to not have an entrant in the rapidly-growing small SUV segment.  So, despite its shortcomings, the first-generation but heavily facelifted Compass soldiered on while a replacement was designed and engineered.

Now it's here---and it is exactly what the Compass should have been all along.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Jeep Compass Limited
2017 Jeep Compass Limited 4X4.
And unlike the very first 2007 Compass, which was more of a Dodge Caliber dressed up in Jeep's clothing, and infamously the first Jeep not to be trail-rated, on the theory that there was a market for the Jeep name without Jeep capabilites, the new Compass is very much all Jeep.

The new Compass fits almost precisely in between the Jeep Renegade and the Jeep Cherokee in terms of length and price, completing a formidable lineup of contemporary small SUVs.  And of those three, we would argue the Compass is the best-looking.

There are four trim levels of Compass.  Sport is the base model, which begins at $20,995. Next is Latitude at $24,295, then Trailhawk at $28,595 and finally, the top-of-the-line Limited, which was our test vehicle, at $28,995.

For that money, you get the same 2.4-liter Multi-Air engine that is in all Compass variants, and a nine-speed automatic available only as an option in Sport and Latitude.  At 172 horsepower, the object is not speed, but fuel economy, and as such, it delivers, with an EPA estimated 22 city/30 highway.

Also standard on the Compass Limited: Remote start, engine stop/start, SelecTerrain, keyless entry, pushbutton start, speed-sensitive power door locks, a rear back-up camera, rear window defroster, windshield wiper de-icer, deep tint sunscreen glass, a security alarm, electronic stability control, electric parking brake, electronic roll mitigation, six-speaker audio system, Uconnect 8.4 with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Bluetooth, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a tilt/telescoping steering column, power front windows, heated front seats, a power eight-way driver's seat with four-way power lumbar, dual-zone climate control, ambient LED interior lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 18-inch polished gray pocket aluminum wheels, automatic headlamps, power adjustable mirrors, heated exterior mirros, halogen quad headlamps with turn-off time delay and fog and cornering lamps.

Interior view of 2017 Jeep Compass Limited
2017 Jeep Compass Limited Interior.
Our test vehicle, as usual, had options:

  • Customer Preferred Package 2XG includes the Advanced Safety and Lighting Group, with advanced brake assist, lane departure warning, full speed forward collision warning, LED taillamps, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps with LED signature and automatic high beam headlamp control ($895).
  • The Safety and Security Group including a rear park assist system, blind spot and cross path detection and rain-sensitive intermittent wipers ($745).
  • The Navigation Group integrates satellite navigation into the Uconnect 8.4 system and includes a year of the SiriusXM Guardian service as well as a five-year subscription to SiriusXM Travel Lin and SiriusXM Traffic Plus ($895).
  • Power liftgate ($495).
  • Compact spare tire ($245).
  • Upgraded 19-inch polished black pocket aluminium wheels ($895).
With a $1,095 destination charge---which may be the first time I have seen a four-digit destination charge---the as-tested price of the Compass Limited 4X4 came to $34,260.  A very reasonable price for any well-equipped small SUV.  But this one says---and really means---Jeep.