That's partly because the old one was such a woeful SUV.
We never liked the old Jeep Compass. Basically, Jeep took the already crappy Dodge Caliber, and turned it into an SUV that no one would want. Since the days of the Caliber, Fiat has been trying to turn Dodge and Jeep around, and new models like the Cherokee and Renegade were steps in the right direction. At this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, Jeep is ready to show how far it has come with the all-new 2017 Compass. The Compass is no longer a punch-line and might be the most improved model that we have ever seen, considering where it has come from.
The base Compass used to come with a woefully underpowered 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 158 hp. There was also a larger 2.4-liter engine with 172 hp, but trust us, that was no prize either. For 2017, the Compass only has one engine option, Fiat's 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder which is also used in the Cherokee and Renegade. In the Compass, this engine produces 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. There are three transmission options including a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual for FWD models, or the option of a nine-speed automatic if you option 4WD. For all you off-road enthusiasts, you can still get the manual with 4WD, which is probably how we would option it.
The Compass comes with Jeep Active Drive and Jeep Active Drive Low, which can transfer up to 100% of the engine's torque to which ever wheel has the most traction. Unlike the old Compass, this 2017 model should be very capable when the road disappears. The interior is also a vast improvement over the old Compass. The old model was a plastic, monochrome wasteland for technology, but the new car will get FCA's excellent Uconnect infotainment system. Base models come with a 5.0-inch display, but 7.0-inch and 8.4-inch units are available on higher trims. There is also a screen in the gauge cluster, which will either be be a 3.5-inch information display, or a full 7-inch digital dash which replaces gauges all together.
The Compass will take technology even further by offering both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which will be available on the 7.0 and 8.4-inch displays. There will also be a good amount of safety options including forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a backup camera. Fuel economy has not been announced, but expect FWD models to be able to hit 30 MPG. Pricing and availability has yet to be announced, although we expect the Compass to slot nicely between the smaller Renegade and larger Cherokee.