Meet the 2017 Jeep Compass

Nov. 23, 2016 By Tim Healey
The Jeep Compass Trailhawk sits 1 inch higher than the standard Compass and has improved approach, departure and breakover angles.

The outgoing Jeep Compass, which will be sold along with the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass, has been derided as being outdated and otherwise not up to snuff. After the North American unveil of the Trailhawk and Limited versions last week at the LA Auto Show, here is a look at why its replacement will be worthy on- and off-road.

Mike Manley unveils the Jeep Compass Trailhawk and Limited at the LA Auto Show

For starters, the new Compass will have not one but two available four-wheel drive systems. Dubbed Active Drive and Active Drive Low, the two systems are meant to give the Compass more legitimate off-road cred. Both are full-time systems, and the second one offers a 20:1 crawl ratio.

2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

The Active Drive systems will include a drive-mode select system, which will have auto, snow, sand and mud modes, and a rock mode on Trailhawk models. Both systems will also use a disconnecting rear axle and power-takeoff unit to improve on-road fuel economy when four-wheel drive isnít needed.

2017 Jeep Compass Limited

Of course, the Compass, like many SUVs these days, will likely be shopped mostly by buyers looking for something for on-road use. But Jeep being Jeep, it canít sell anything thatís not going to be capable off-road Ė itís sort of the brandís mission Ė and therefore it hasnít forgotten about the true off-roaders among Compass intenders. Hence, the Trailhawk.

Not only will the Trailhawk be the only trim with a rock mode, it will also feature skid plates, front and rear tow hooks, a ride-height raised by an inch, 30-degree approach angle, 24-degree breakover angle and 34-degree departure angle. It will have 17-inch wheels, hill-descent control, the ability to ford up to 19 inches of water and a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds.

The Compass Trailhawk features Jeep's signature red towhooks up front.

The Compass will offer three transmissions Ė a standard six-speed manual, an optional six-speed automatic for two-wheel drive models and an available nine-speed automatic for 4x4 models (it will be standard on some trims).

Of course comfort on the inside is important event for off-roaders, and thatís the case with the Compass, which will get a major upgrade and now offer features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Safety hasnít been forgotten, either, with forward-collision, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear-view camera, rear cross-path detection and stability control with roll mitigation all among the available safety features.

The Jeep Compass will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

But again, the real news here is that the Compass will likely be just as capable off-road as its Renegade and Cherokee siblings (which it will sit between in the lineup), and thatís good news not just for off-roaders, but also for Jeep Ė in a world in which every SUV segment is crowded to the brim, Jeepís commitment to off-road capability across the board helps it stand out.

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