2017 Jeep Compass

2017 Jeep Compass Review

Dramatically improved, the redesigned 2017 Jeep Compass provides both capability and utility.
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

The redesigned 2017 Jeep Compass is much improved over its predecessor. It's a good choice if you want a comfortable and affordable crossover SUV that can still handle a dirt road. Worth noting, the previous version of the Compass will also be sold as a 2017 model alongside the new version for a short time.

That's right — there are two Jeep Compass models for 2017. Jeep produced its previous-generation model for the first part of the model year and then switched over to the fully redesigned Compass. The first one suffers from poor performance, a low-quality interior and a rough ride, among other faults. We don't recommend buying the "old" Compass.

The new Jeep Compass, however, is a much more competitive small crossover. Jeep made the new Compass more comfortable and enjoyable to drive on the street, where it knows that owners will spend most of their time.

You'll like the Compass' easy-to-operate Uconnect infotainment system and the 27 cubic feet of rear cargo space. Fold down the 60/40-split rear seats and there's almost 60 cubic feet of space; plus, the legroom in back is sufficient for tall passengers. Spacewise, the Compass splits the difference between Jeep's smaller Renegade and larger Cherokee. Of course, it's still a Jeep. Most owners will never need the enhanced off-roading hardware available on the Trailhawk model, but it's nice to know it's there if you want to get into a muddy campsite or have to get out of a snowed-in parking lot.

Though the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is still a bit underwhelming in the new Compass, the overall driving experience is much improved. If you're looking for a comfortable and affordable crossover SUV that can also get you out and into nature, the new Compass works well.



what's new

There are two Jeep Compass versions for sale in the 2017 model year. At the start, Jeep carried over the 2016 Compass unchanged. Midway through, though, Jeep stopped selling the old one and introduced a fully redesigned Compass. The redesigned Compass features a stronger chassis, revised suspension tuning and simplified powertrain choices. The exterior and interior designs are completely new and follow the looks established by the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Other highlights for the new Compass include new advanced driver safety aids, an improved infotainment system and a new Trailhawk trim level featuring enhanced off-road capability.

we recommend

There are two versions of the 2017 Jeep Compass. Make sure to get the redesigned/new Compass and not the old one. It might be tricky to know the difference without seeing the vehicle in person because Jeep uses similar trim level names for both. But once you've decided on the new Compass, it's just a matter of the trim level and options. Although the Trailhawk trim level is neat, we think most buyers will find that the Latitude hits the sweet spot for content and value. It also gives you a lot of flexibility in choosing powertrain and option configurations.

trim levels & features

For the redesigned 2017 Compass, there are four trim levels. All come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (180 horsepower, 175 pound-feet of torque). Starting things out is the Sport trim. Equipped with cloth seats and 16-inch wheels, it's one of the more affordable compact crossover SUVs. The Latitude model adds larger 17-inch wheels, upgraded seating surfaces and access to some important driver assist systems. The Limited version is only available with all-wheel drive and adds more convenience- and luxury-oriented features. The Trailhawk is the trail-rated Compass and has unique features that optimize its off-road capabilities.

Although it's the entry-level trim, the Compass Sport can be equipped with the widest variety of drivetrains. It comes standard in front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is available. The six-speed manual is standard in all-wheel-drive versions as well, but the optional automatic is a nine-speed. Standard equipment highlights include the smaller Uconnect system (with 5-inch touchscreen display), Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker sound system.

Compared to the Sport, the Compass Latitude has larger wheels, upgraded cloth and simulated leather seat upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and more choices for option packages. The packages span the gamut from a tow package, advanced driver safety aids and a Cold Weather package. The Latitude keeps the same 5-inch Uconnect system and is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, just like the Sport. There is no manual-transmission FWD option, though.

The Compass Limited is the most comprehensively equipped. Standout features include 18-inch wheels, upgraded exterior trim, a 8.5-inch Uconnect touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration), automatic dual-zone climate control, an upgraded driver information display, a power driver seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery. Unlike the Sport and Latitude, the Limited is only available with AWD and a nine-speed automatic.

Though the Trailhawk sits below the Limited in price, it differs greatly in function and features. Only available in AWD with the nine-speed auto, it rides on 17-inch wheels with off-road-oriented tires, a raised suspension and a unique front fascia to maximize approach and breakover angles. Further mechanical changes include its own Selec-Terrain system to help it crawl over steep climbs and rocky surfaces. Red tow hooks front and rear and a matte-black hood accent further differentiate the Trailhawk from the rest of the Compass line, while a hidden set of underbody protection shields keep the engine, oil pan and gas tank from harm's way.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our initial drive of the 2017 Jeep Compass Limited (2.4L inline-4 | 9-speed automatic | AWD). For our take on the older 2017 Jeep Compass, please see our review of the 2016 Compass.

driving

Jeep has dramatically improved the way the new Compass drives. It rides well on the road, with carlike steering and brake inputs, and has enough chassis stiffness and suspension control to handle curves and off-roading.

comfort

The Compass has a substantial feel to it, and that's a good thing. It more readily absorbs the kind of little bumps that most crossovers transmit straight to the driver. The seat cushions are firm, but there's plenty of head- and legroom.

interior

Driver controls are well laid out and easily accessible. The doorsill step-over height is a bit elevated, but seat height is perfect and the doors open wide and have large openings. Even the rear door openings are squared off to provide more head clearance for rear passengers.

utility

The 60/40-split rear seats fold down nearly flat, and the armrest bin and glovebox are well sized for your personal items. Door pockets can accommodate larger water bottles, and the cupholders do an effective job of keeping bottles and cups held firm.

technology

Three versions of Uconnect are available; our experience is with the largest 8.5-inch system with optional navigation. Graphics are crisp and the touchscreen is responsive. The menus are customizable, giving you the ability to make your most frequently used functions visible at all times.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.