2021 Jeep Compass
- Starting around $23,000 (estimated)
- Late 2020
What to expect
- The 2021 Compass may get a plug-in hybrid variant
- Part of the second Compass generation introduced for 2017
What is the Compass?
The Jeep Compass straddles the line between the Jeep Renegade in the extra-small SUV class and the Jeep Cherokee in the small SUV class. That makes it difficult to name direct competitors, though sizewise, it's close to crossovers such as the Honda CR-V. The Compass distinguishes itself from the pack with its better-than-average off-road abilities.
As the Jeep Compass heads into the fourth year of production since it was last redesigned, we don't expect any significant changes in terms of styling or feature content. There is a high likelihood, though, that there will be an additional engine choice. Jeep showed a plug-in hybrid variant at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, dubbed the Compass 4xe (as in "four-by-e") — likely a U.S. version of the one it debuted at the 2019 Geneva auto show. The European version touts 31 miles of EV range for the smaller Renegade, with the electric motors driving the rear wheels. When the batteries are depleted, it'll switch to the gas engine powering the front wheels.
Jeep and other Fiat Chrysler vehicles will begin to incorporate the next-generation Uconnect infotainment system, but probably only on all-new or redesigned cars and SUVs. That means the 2021 Compass will likely continue with the current system, which remains one of the easier to use in the industry. With any luck, some of the Compass' drawbacks could be addressed for 2021. These include a weak four-cylinder engine that is exacerbated by the nine-speed transmission's slow response. It's unlikely, though, that the Compass' smaller-than-average cargo space will change for 2021.
The plug-in hybrid version would be a welcome addition to a select class of competitors. The current Jeep Compass comes in sixth place in Edmunds rankings of its class. We'd be pleasantly surprised if the 2021 model can improve its position, but we're not holding our breath. Keep checking back for more information, though.