New 2017 Jeep Compass is a Capable Compact 'Goldilocks' SUV; Jeep Grand Cherokee 'Mini-Me'

Mar 09, 2017 07:10 AM EST | BC Tabotabo

The 2017 Jeep Compass may be compact, but it is still fully capable! While the Jeep Cherokee is more spacious and has more power, the Compass is a small and mini version of the popular SUV.

The all-new Compass is a complete revamp. According to a report by Auto Focus, they changed everything on the SUV but the name. Keeping the name was a global decision for the brand. Moreover, it is also confusing because the model retained the "2017" year, similar to its predecessor. Apart from the name and model year, that's pretty much all it shares with the old Compass.

The new Compass uses the same platform as the Jeep Renegade and the Cherokee. It sits perfectly between the two SUVs. All in all, the Jeep Compass is the Goldilocks of compact Jeep SUVs. It is slightly bigger than the super compact Renegade and it is slightly smaller than the Cherokee.

Designers even describe the new Compass as a "baby Grand Cherokee." That is a very apt description of what it is. It truly is a compact SUV with the good looks of the Grand Cherokee. It has the trademark seven-slot grille which touches the headlights to give the front a wider look. The back's taillights are tied together with a sharp body.

Another report from Digital Trends provided that the main difference between the Cherokee and the Jeep Compass are two important points. First is that the Cherokee comes with a 3.2-liter V6 engine which is capable of 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. That kind of engine is reportedly not available for the compass. In addition, the Cherokee will cost an extra $2,000 at the least for comparable trim levels. Additionally, high-end trims for the Cherokee are not available for the Compass.

The 2017 Compass only comes with one engine - the 2.4-liter MultiAir Tigershark. It is capable of 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. While there is only one engine, there are a lot of other choices. It comes in all-wheel-drive nine-speed AT and there is also an option for six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission for FWD. In addition, there is also a choice of Jeep Active Drive or Jeep Active Low for low range gear driving for challenging terrain.

Another interesting aspect of the 2017 Jeep Compass is its interior comfort and equipment. The interior's design is classic Jeep - no nonsense and everything is properly laid out in its place. Additionally, it comes well equipped with generous rear room and cargo space. It also has the newest fourth-generation Uconnect system and three different screen options. The new interface also supports smartphone integration and GPS navigation to boot.

The Compass also has impeccable on and off-road performance. The ride quality is quiet and smooth on the road, steering and handling are also responsive and predictive. While it is not as powerful as other units, it is still very capable.

The 2017 Jeep Compass is really Jeep's Goldilocks compact SUV. It is small but spacious and looks like a baby Grand Cherokee. It also has a decent price tag starting at around $22,000.

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