Jeep Compass Origins
The Compass was not a fan favorite with Jeep brand loyalists. The car had all-wheel drive, but it lacked a low range, meaning it was suitable only for driving in bad weather conditions. Over the years, Jeep introduced several modifications that helped the Compass to add some offroad pedigree to its reputation.About the Jeep Compass
The 2012 Jeep Compass is now available in three trim lines: Sport, Latitude, and Limited. The 2.0-liter engine in the Sport produces 158 horsepower and 141 lb-ft of torque, while the 2.4-liter engine in the Latitude and Limited produces 172 horsepower and 165 ft-lb of torque.
The Sport comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, heated mirrors, 60/40 folding rear seats, and a tilt-only steering wheel. Quality of the interior materials improved on changes made in 2011. Specifically, hard plastics are making an exit as softer materials become available.
The Latitude increases comfort with heated front seats, height adjustment, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with built-in controls. The Limited model increases the tire size to 18 inches, has automatic climate control, satellite radio, and a six-disc CD changer.
Several different packages, including the Security and Cargo Convenience Group, and the Sun and Sound Group, are available. An offroad package is now available as well. The package increases four-wheel driving performance, increases ground clearance, and introduces all-terrain tires, skid plates, and a low-range gear setting.
The Compass has stability control with a rollover sensor, full-side curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes. Although there are several improvements on the 2012 line, it still lags behind the competition in areas of fuel economy, engine noise, and acceleration, and the interior is somewhat lackluster. Jeep Compass Evolution
2007 saw the introduction of the Jeep Compass to the market. The first year was cheap for new buyers with lots of extra luxuries. The Compass came standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 172 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque with a standard five-speed manual transmission, and a continuously variable transmission was offered as an option. The vehicle was available in front-wheel drive and automatic four-wheel drive. The interior also feels cheap, one of the major downsides of the first-year Compass.
2008 saw a few changes, including the introduction of air-conditioning and chrome interior accents as standard features on all vehicles. A navigation system was also added to the Limited trim line.
The first-year Compass suffered from excessive cabin noise. While the 2008 model reduced some of the noise, the interior still felt as cheap as ever.
The 2009 model saw a big interior overhaul. Sound deadening was added behind the engine and in the interior to cut down on the cabin noise from the engine. Still, the noise was present during engine acceleration.
The 2010 model saw further changes to the interior. Front head restraints were added to the front seats for added safety. Automatic climate control was also added to the Limited trim models. Remote car start was also made available to vehicles fitted with an engine with the CVT system. Still, the engine failed to produce any kind of exciting power and produced an undesirable amount of noise. The cheap interior was still a downfall as well.
Finally, 2011 saw some major changes to the interior styling of the vehicle. Plastics in the interior were changed to soft material that gives to the touch. The styling of the exterior has changed as well. The Compass has a Jeep Cherokee-style front, possibly to draw in consumers that were turned off by the fact that Jeep seemed to be intent on building a car that was not typical of the company’s aesthetic.
Still, the engine continues to be a problem. The 2.4-liter is still standard, still noisy, and still not up to the standards of a Jeep-branded vehicle. However, the Compass is now a four-wheel drive vehicle, which is likely to please many Jeep-faithful critics.