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2017 Jeep Compass KBB Expert Review

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Consumer Rating 7.1 / 10
10/7.1

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Keith Buglewicz


The new 2017 Jeep Compass is not the old 2017 Jeep Compass, and buyers looking for an affordable compact SUV should all be grateful. Based on the same underpinnings as the new Jeep Renegade and Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2017 Compass does much more than clear the low bar of being better than its predecessor. It's a strong alternative to vehicles like the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Crosstrek and others. With only 180 horsepower the Compass won't win many drag races, but it is available with a rare combination of a manual transmission and 4-wheel drive, and not just on the base model. The Compass Trailhawk incorporates special features that make it surprisingly capable over terrain most people wouldn't even consider in a compact SUV.

If you want to read about the earlier (carried-over-from-2016) 2017 Jeep Compass, please read our 2016 Jeep Compass Expert Review.

You'll Like This Car If...

The new Jeep Compass is comfortable, roomy and surprisingly quiet out on the road. It also looks good, incorporating traditional Jeep styling cues like the 7-slot grille neatly onto a vehicle notably smaller than the Grand Cherokee. On top of it all, the Trailhawk models offer genuine off-road capability.

You May Not Like This Car If...

There's no alternative to the somewhat anemic-feeling 180-horsepower engine in the Compass, while competitors like the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson offer turbocharged upgrades. Additionally, the 9-speed automatic was extremely slow to downshift.

What's New for 2017

Despite sharing a model year with the SUV it's replacing, the 2017 Jeep Compass is an all-new vehicle, built on the same basic underpinnings as the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Cherokee. With a new engine, significantly better interior, and much better features, it immediately goes from afterthought to top of mind.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The 2017 Jeep Compass is built on the same underpinnings as the smaller Jeep Renegade and larger Jeep Cherokee, and it drives like a successful blend of the two. It offers the on-road quiet and comfortable ride of the Cherokee, but around town and in parking lots it feels more like the smaller and more nimble Renegade. The slow-shifting 9-speed automatic hampers power delivery from the 180-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, and we shut off the intrusive start/stop system. When the road turns, the Compass isn't as nimble as competitors like the Kia Sportage or even the Subaru Crosstrek. However, nothing can touch the Compass Trailhawk off road, thanks to its raised ride height, more rugged tires (including a full-size spare), skidplates, a special crawl mode that locks the transmission in first gear, an additional Rock mode in the 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system, and more.

Favorite Features

TRAILHAWK
The Compass Trailhawk is a unique proposition in the compact-crossover SUV segment. With lifted ride height, a low-range setup -- not a 2-range transfer case, though -- and other mechanical and electronic tricks, it's far more capable in off-road situations than you might expect a car-based crossover SUV to be.

UCONNECT 4
We already like the Uconnect system in various Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat models, and this new version fixes what few complaints we had. It's far quicker, with a faster response to tapping the screen. And it finally incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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