2018 JEEP COMPASS FIRST LOOK
2018 JEEP COMPASS FIRST LOOK BY AUTO CRITIC STEVE HAMMES
When it arrived in showrooms a decade ago, the Compass became Jeep’s first-ever car-based crossover.
Not intended for severe off-road adventures, it shared a platform with the Dodge Caliber and Jeep Patriot, targeting 25-35 year olds, predominantly women. And now, Jeep is taking the all-new, next-generation 2018 Compass in a more rugged direction, flaunting the brand’s 4X4 off-road capability.
Built upon the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X compact SUV architecture, the new Compass aims to set the benchmark for off-road capability in the class. Both available 4X4 setups include the Selec-Terrain system, providing up to 5 modes for the best 4-wheel drive performance.
The most aggressive Trail Rated Trailhawk models also include a Rock Mode, increased ride height, skid plates and tow hooks, improved approach and departure angles, aggressive 17” off-road tires, hill decent control, and a low range with a 20:1 crawl ratio. It can ford 19” of water and tow up to 2,000 pounds.
Available in Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk in both 2- and 4-wheel drive, the Compass is powered by the company’s 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder engine producing 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, delivering up to 30mpg.
Depending on trim, it’s mated with either a 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic or 9-speed automatic transmission. On-road driving dynamics have also been targeted, utilizing a fully independent suspension with a segment-exclusive frequency damping strut system to filter out inputs from uneven road surfaces and precise electric power steering. Inside, there are a variety of new Uconnect systems featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.