The 2015 Compass is offered in five different levels--Sport, Altitude, Latitude, High Altitude and Limited. All are available as front-wheel-drive and a full-time active 4-wheel-drive system. The Compass spans a wide range of ability from what's essentially a city-friendly tall small car up to a surprisingly able off-roader.
Sport and Latitude models of the Compass include a 158-horsepower, 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, while the 2.4L four in Limited models (and optional on the others) makes 172 hp and 165 pound-feet of torque. The Sport comes standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, while a new 6-speed automatic with manual mode is fitted to the other Compass models save one: Those Compasses with Freedom Drive II utilize a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). EPA ratings estimate the 2.0L models at 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 23/28 mpg for the 2.4L.
The most noteworthy option in the Compass--and what sets it apart from other small crossovers--is the availability of the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package. It includes a special version of the CVT with a true low range that engages in off-road mode, plus many of the features you'd find in traditional SUVs, like skid plates and tow hooks, as well as fog lamps, a raised suspension, all-terrain tires and a full-size spare.
The Compass otherwise has a layout that bears some commonality with small cars and its compact size combined with relatively responsive handling, great maneuverability and ease of parking altogether make this a good city vehicle. Rear seatbacks are split 60/40, and they flip forward to a flat floor. Manual-transmission models include Hill-Start Assist, while active front head restraints, anti-lock brakes, side-curtain airbags and seat-mounted side airbags are included in all models.
Base Sport versions of the Compass come about as well-equipped as small-car models in this price range with cruise control, alloy wheels, illuminated cupholders and fog lights among the other standout features included here. Altitude models add heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and some body-colored trim. Latitude trims offer heated mirrors, remote keyless entry and a leather wrapped steering wheel, while at the Limited level you get leather seats, 4-wheel disc brakes, a 6-way-adjustable driver's seat. High Altitude Compass models come with leather seats, remote start, a power sunroof and a power-adjustable driver seat. Top-of-the line Limited models can be distinguished on the outside by their 18-inch alloy wheels, spoiler, bright exhaust tip and additional rear-fascia brightwork.
Options include a navigation system with SiriusXM Travel Link and a UConnect Bluetooth hands-free calling interface are highlights from the options list.
Versatile Layout For People And Gear
Maneuverability And Parking Ease
Some Innovative Features
Serious Off-road Ability In An Affordable, Compact Package
All-wheel drive is now available on the Altitude and High Altitude trims. Otherwise, the Compass is basically the same as its 2014 predecessor.
Along with the closely related Jeep Patriot, the Jeep Compass is one of the lowest-priced off-road-capable utility vehicles on the market when you get it with the optional Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package, yet it packs that in a vehicle that rides and handles for the most part like a car. Ease of parking and maneuverability are strengths for this model, and it's also reasonably fuel-efficient at an EPA-estimated 30 mpg. The Compass can optioned to tow up to 2,000 pounds--enough for a couple of jet-skis.